In this interview with Jack Donovan, author of The Way of Men, we explore the meaning of masculinity, its roots, and how feminist and white knights are anti-male.
Jack is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the topic of manliness. Watch the video below or read the full transcription. You can check out Jack’s site here.
Intro: Jack: What is masculinity? People seem to know it when they see it. They assess– [inaudible 0:07]. They react–[inaudible 0:08]. They value–[inaudible 0:09] but, if you ask most men to define “masculinity”,–[inaudible 0:11] get a lot of confused and conflicting answers. In many cases, you’ll get a lecture about morality, about what a real man should–what he–about what he should wear; how he should behave.
Eddy: … your own sense of yourself, anyway.
Jack: Well, every once in a while, I’ll get a vibe from a podcaster that’ll be like, “This guy’s gonna be like–” [incomplete statement] or I’ll get the vibe that they’re super Christian, or something like that. Every once in a while it’s happened and it’s–like fuck! I don’t know what to say! I normally, I swear all the time.
Eddy: Yeah. “This guy’s too edgy. Shut the fuck guys down.”
Jack: Yeah, it’s over.
Eddy: This is over, we can’t do it anymore.
Eddy: Well, I’ve started recording and welcome, everyone, [inaudible 1:10] to John–Jack (not John), Jack Donovan, the author of The Way of Man and a number of other books I’m really eager to check out.
I read The Way of Man, recently, and I found out that was an awesome book, actually! I was doing some research on the masculinity topic coming up, of a university, and most of the definitions out there–most of the people talking about masculinity are men. What it means to be a man or, usually, coming from a feminist’s perspective or an emasculated man’s perspective–somebody who’s already had their nuts cut off–and they don’t really go very deeply into why they are in the first place and why we function the way we do. Instead, they kind of give an ideological slant on or filter for everything they basically talk about, right?
Jack: Oh, yeah, yeah. They’re basically helping you to not be a man.
Eddy: Yeah. [inaudible 2:09]
Jack: Let me help you to stop being a man. That’s basically what they’re telling you to do.
Eddy: Yeah, manhood is bad, so we got this new definition of masculinity where you follow that, do what you’re told.
Eddy: Be a good, little, lap dog, basically, right?
Jack: Which is always the first thing, because their definition of traditional masculinity–or, masculinity as it actually is. It makes men so controlled and, whatever. Just trying to control men, too.
Eddy: It’s kind of reverse psychology, too, right? Like saying masculinity is controlling you. You gotta do this, instead. Well, yeah, man– So, you know? You just kind of reverse it in a person’s head.
Jack: Yeah. It’s funny. Reverse psychology is about all they have, but… it works so well for them, most of the time.
Eddy: Have you met a–
who are, probably, hurt by messages, you know? Your book’s wrong. That’s not masculinity. Or, you gotta take the more passive route and that’s better for women–or stuff like that?
Jack: You know what’s funny? It’s that, every once in a while, I get a little bit o’ that. And I’m sure there are lots o’ those guys out there. You know? Once in a while, I’ll get an Amazon review or somethin’ like that, but, really, I don’t get a lot of hate mail and I really don’t get a lotta feminists writing about me which is really surprising because the book’s doing pretty well!
If you look at the gender section on Amazon, it’s usually [one of] the top books on the subject, right alongside their books. I don’t know if they have an agreement that they’re never going to talk about me or what, but, yeah, they never ever–or rarely write about me, which, again, is fine with me because I’m not–[incomplete statement] Arguing with them does me no good.
Jack: So, I’m actually very lucky that I get to talk to the kind of men who I actually want to reach, rather than people who are already too far gone to be bothered with.
Eddy: So, it’s been mostly a positive response? People who are like, “Oh, yeah, this guy knows his shit” unless they want to connect with a guy who’s a real man, who’s not just a watered-down version?
Jack: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know? My readers are really cool. A lot of ’em are guys I’d really want to hang out with. I’m comin’ from this–really, I went to art school. I have a theoretical background. I have so many readers who are soldiers or lifters. All these, traditionally, manly occupations, who have tested a lot of things that I write about. And they write back, “Nope, you got it.” (laughs) “That’s what I’ve always thought masculinity was.” You know? So, it’s pretty cool to get that verification because I’m never gunna necessarily be in a firefight in Afghanistan. But, the guys who’ve been there are like, “Yep, you got it.”
Eddy: That’s interesting because you look at it, you look like a “lefter”, too. You look like a liberal arts student that men connect with. (laughs)
Jack: Well, yeah, I’ve definitely become the thing, more as a–[incomplete statement] I try to follow my own advice, so, if I say I’m gonna reconnect with this, I’m not gonna do that and then sit, cuddled up with a book and, you know, movies and whatever. I try to go out and do things and, fortunately, right now, I have a lifestyle that I’m able to do all that. I mean, yesterday, I spent two-and-a-half hours in boxing classes.
Eddy: Boxing’s a real trial. I did amateur boxing two years ago. I’m quite soft, now, but I remember boxing toughens you up because you’re getting punched in the face and you gotta learn how to handle it. I mean, most of the guys–and, maybe it’s the same for your club, too, but most of the guys in my past club who had come through–they would act tough. They put on a front when they say they want to fight and you get them in a ring and you spar with ’em and beat the shit outa them and they never come back, right?
I think you talk about that in your book, too, right?
Eddy: They’re trying to look the part, be like a man, be masculine; have this macho attitude, but not having anything to back it up.
Jack: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, that’s what modern society encourages and that’s what men–
very susceptible to marketing. Feminists get this right, occasionally, that men have this nervousness because they’re untested. Men, who are untested, don’t know that they’re going to be that way, but men, who know they’re untested, will buy a lot more things to make them more masculine, that aren’t necessary. So, you know, they are being tested, in a way.
So, yeah, boxing is fun. We don’t do a lot of sparring in my gym. I mean, I could do more of it, if I wanted to, I guess, ‘cuz I am an MM agent. I haven’t extended out into kick boxing and jujitsu, yet, so, I really have no ground game. But it is–[incomplete statement] I do, obviously, I have a–[incomplete statement] The other club that I belong to, the Wolves of Vinland (an officially-designed hate group), you know, we spar and fight; and, I have to fight a buddy of mine in a couple weeks, here. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We fought a couple times before, so it’s always a good experience either way.
Eddy: Nothing like two buddies punching each other in the face. It’s all in good fun or good sport, right?
Jack: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s one of those things that feminists and a lotta women just really cannot wrap their head around. They’re like, “Wait, so… you’re going to punch your friend? O… kay.” They don’t get that that’s a thing and that men are okay with that and, you know? You know, we can train for months to punch this guy that we really like in the face. [both laugh]
Eddy: Yeah, it’s not a hate thing, though; it’s a challenge.
Jack: No, no; it makes you a better friend. [inaudible 8:28] Me and my buddy? We talk on the phone about what we’re doin’ for training and stuff like that.
It’s–ya know? I mean, obviously, we’re not tryin’ to kill each other. [inaudible 8:42] … once we start doin’ that stuff, ‘cuz, once you start throwin’ elbows and [laughs] kicks–you’re talkin’ about puttin’ people in the hospital. I think once you’re tryin’ t’ do that you’re just–ya know? We’re just–[incomplete statement] but, definitely, we’re just tryin’ to do that testing thing that you were talking about. The proving and the–that proving kind of thing.
Eddy: I think it makes–[incomplete statement] It creates real confidence because you were tested, at least on some physical level. Maybe, again, not on the battlefield with bullets zinging by your head, but it does test you on some physical level where you’re like, “Okay, I could stand up for myself” on some level or, “I could help somebody in a certain situation.” Like, you just walk more confidently.
Jack: Yeah, and that’s something I’ve–[incomplete statement] One of the self-defense instructors I talk to, sometimes, my buddy, Greg Hamilton, at InSights, up in Seattle. He does that lecture, sometimes, where he talks about body language and looking like a victim versus not looking like a victim. And one of the reasons to train is so that you project that not looking like a victim. You send out that kind of energy because, actually, people who would attack somebody, they’ll pick the person who looks the most vulnerable. You don’t even necessarily have to be the biggest guy, but, if you’re putting out this energy that you’re going to be a problem, that you’re not gonna be just like, “Okay, whatever!”, then they’ll move along to the next person.
Eddy: Yeah. I think that even works for women. People who keep their head up and not walking around looking at the ground, they would be less likely to be attacked. When you don’t look like a victim, you’re probably less likely to get victimized.
Jack: Oh, yeah! Actually, that’s a story he tells. There is some study that they did where they asked a whole bunch of career criminals to watch some videos of some people walking down the street and, you know? One of the ones everybody agreed on that they weren’t gunna pick this one person, that was a woman in high heels [laughs] walkin’ down the street. Which, you would think, that that would be the way to go. But she was just sending outa vibe that, oh, she’s not gonna take any shit. [laughs] You know? Yeah, yeah; she’s gonna be a problem. Pick that person that looks more passive.
Eddy: Weren’t those passive people that they chose, in a vast majority of the cases, those people had been, actual, like, real victims in life. They’d been attacked, in some cases.
Jack: Oh, yeah, yeah. That’s another thing that he’s talked about. Yeah. I mean a lotta people. Actually, a lotta people that have been victimized get victimized over and over again, you know, because they have that thing about them that says that they are “prey” animal. I mean–ya know? [laughs]
Eddy: It’s a big target on their head?
Jack: [laughs] Yeah. Like, maybe their eyes are too far or close to the sides o’ their heads. [laughs] I don’t know. Like–[incomplete statement]
Eddy: Oh, man; tough situation to be in. Imagine the viewpoint you would have, too, if you were one of the people that was just constantly victimized? It’d be almost hard to blame them for seeing the world in a really negative light ‘cuz they keep getting victimized, but, at the same time, they’re perpetuating their own victimization.
Jack: Yeah, I have to wonder, sometimes, when we talk about like feminism, people who are so angry about masculinity and so forth. I wonder if some of those people–I mean, we see about people being triggered, or whatever, because they’ve had these horrible experiences happen to them–and, yeah, I wonder how many of them are seeing them as victims and not understanding how to fix the problem? You know, they’re coming to it from a victim’s standpoint, so, yeah, everything that is victimizing them is wrong, but they’re making an enemy of strength; therefore, continuing to be victims.
Eddy: Instead of becoming stronger, themselves?
Jack: Exactly. Exactly.
Eddy: It’s kind of like the fat acceptance movement. These people are saying, “Hey, I’m fat. You have to accept me and be attracted to me.”
Jack: [laughs] “Have to be attracted to me” is the most hilarious part of that.
Eddy: I know! It’s the worst! I can’t understand, but, instead of just makin’ themselves better, right?
Eddy: They could do it for themselves, but, instead, they want other people to change, so they’re keeping themselves in a victims’ space.
Jack: Not only that: it’s a very childish mentality, expecting the entire world to change for you.
Eddy: Yeah, I don’t understand where it came from, but all this stuff is pretty rampant right now. It all looks like it comes from some sort of victim mentality, as well. Everybody’s triggered or everyone has to make somebody else’s standards change so that they can be accepted instead of changing themselves.
Jack: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, yeah. You have to wonder why that is and I’m sure there are many reasons. But, one of them I think that is because people have very few children. Or a lot of people come from very small families or have so few children and, you know? People are so precious with their kids, you know, they treat them as though they’re magic and special; then, the kids think they have to be treated as though they’re magic and special throughout their life or they don’t know how to deal with life. They have this entitlement that, “Everyone’s supposed to love me as much as my parents did. Forever.”
Eddy: Forever. Yeah, exactly. It’s the same thing with–oh, what is it called? The trophy you get when you don’t win, like for participation.
Jack: Oh, yeah, yeah; exactly.
Eddy: There was a football player–I can’t remember his name–Maybe you know of him, but he’s caused a bit of a rouse before. He said–He took his kids’ participation trophies away from them, you know? Fuck eye shed. “You don’t get trophies for just showing up. Winning is winning. You don’t get a trophy for just showing up.” (That’s not an exact quote, by the way. He did a much better job wording it.)
Eddy: But it was kind of cool to see, though. And it was interesting to see people’s reaction to that. People are kind of pissed off about this.
Jack: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Eddy: It’s like everybody wants a participation trophy. Everybody wants success without the work, right? I’m saying everybody. It’s not everybody, but the vast majority of people. People who are in that space. Everybody else has to change for them. It’s not–[incomplete statement] It’s a very strange place. I’ve had trouble understanding it. I don’t come from that. It’s like–if I want something, I need to do something for that. And if I suck, I better start changing myself so I don’t suck so much. Right?
Jack: Yeah! Yeah. That’s a sane way to look at it.
Eddy: [laughs] That’s more empowering.
Jack: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can change yourself. That’s very empowering. But, a lotta people, you know? Seal it–I think they call them “cry boys”, don’t they? Isn’t that one of the phrases that people used to call–
Eddy: [interrupts] “Cry boy”?
Jack: Yeah, they want to push people around with their emotions and, so, that gives them a feeling of power, instead.
Jack: “I feel hurt by you; therefore, you have to change.” I grew up with two sisters and the one younger one–she was brilliant–and she could just cry on command. So whenever she wanted to get back at me, she would just start crying [laughs] and, then, I would get in trouble.
Jack: It seems to be the way these cry bullies are, ya know? They–[incomplete statement] “I’m offended! Everybody has to pay attention to me! You’re horrible for making me feel bad.”
Eddy: Yeah, exactly. Is that like–[incomplete statement] I guess for–[incomplete statement] Actually, on the topic of bullies, the “cry bully”, I guess, is one sub-session or sub-topic. But, do you think bullying–[incomplete statement] Like, is there actually such a thing as bullying? ‘Cause, that’s a big topic, right now. Everyone’s up in arms about bullying now and I kind of think–[incomplete statement] And I’ve heard from guys who were made tougher by it when they were young–when they were getting bullied and teased by other kids, they say they became stronger because of the fact they got beat up. Like their reaction to it made them better men, as opposed to–
Jack: [interrupts] Well, yeah. I suppose there’re basically two ways you can go with that, right? I mean, that’s, again, normal male behavior, you know, for some men. And some kids are just jerks. And that’s the way it is, you know? I mean, you have to get used to it ’cause you’ll have to deal with it the rest of your life. Some people are fuckin’ jerks and that’s–they’re always gonna be jerks and, then, some people grow outa that, too. I mean, people, who are jerks when they’re kids grow outa that. You know?
I mean, I was a little bit more of a jerk. I mean, I was never really a bully; I was probably more bullied, but I was never really a bully, but I was definitely very [laughs] insensitive to other people when I was younger. And, then, you know, some things happened in my young adulthood that kinda–and, now, I’m actually a bit better at kind of seeing what other people around me need.
But, yeah, bullying–I mean, it’s–[incomplete statement] Any kind of male testing behavior is just–you know, men pushing each other to be better, even if they don’t know they’re doing it, is just kind of an instinct for them to tease each other and make fun of each other. You need to be able to deal with that and be able to be “made fun of” in life, a little bit. And, you know? It kinda–it does make you stronger.
And, again, there’s these people who don’t want to have any challenges in life. They just want to cry and push people around and that’s what makes people, who are up in arms about bullying–[incomplete statement] I mean, kids have always been mean to each other. I mean, read Tom Sawyer. [laughs] I mean, that’s the perfect example of kids being kids.
I mean, this bullying is not new. In fact, it’s so bully penalized that it’s–[incomplete statement] There’s probably less of it than ever. I mean, it’s kind of like people say violence and we live in this violent world and the world is probably less violent than it has ever been. Because we see things in the media. It’s like the media distorts–[incomplete statement] Not as an end key, but just because it exists. I mean, before television and radio, you had no idea what was going on in the town twenty miles away. I mean, you would never have had–[incomplete statement] You would never know if someone at school got bullied. [laughs] But, now, if someone has a bad day, somewhere, you’re gonna hear about it. You know the media will pick whatever story they like and push that one. But, yeah, I mean, you’re gonna definitely hear about things that you would normally never hear about, so it seems that there are more horrible things going on in the world than there really are.
Eddy: It seems like all this stuff just perpetuates a much weaker society, like this move to eliminate bullying, which I think is ridiculous and impossible. But, obviously, we should reduce violence wherever possible. But, it’s just like every move people are making is just to make people more sensitive and more weak and more politically correct (P. C.), and unable to handle criticism or even physical threats. People are becoming more androgynous, so–
Jack: [interrupts] Yeah. Well, we being trained to be better slaves.
Jack: [laughs] I mean, that’s the end of it. “They” want–[incomplete statement] There are too many people on the planet and it would be better if we could, basically, sit at home and play video games and shut up. [laughs] Basically, if we could just sit at home and collect benefits or do–[incomplete statement]
You know? The jobs that most people do are just really boring and not fulfilling in any way. If you can just learn to adapt to that and be passive, that’s, actually, really ideal for people who actually do have power.
Eddy: Hmm, is that where the men sort-of stepping out of the social world–[incomplete statement] Like universities–[incomplete statement] A lot less males enrolled now and, you know, a lot of these video games are probably a lot more popular than ever. They seem to be upward… upward… (I’m missing the word.) Anyhow, it’s gaining more popularity for people to just sit and play video games instead of actually challenging themselves with physical challenges, sports or whatever?
Jack: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely a trend.
Eddy: Hmm. Is that also why one of the reasons watching sports is so popular for men? I think you mentioned that in your writing: the fact that guys watching guys do something that’s kind of masculine, facing challenges–physical challenges–that kind of get–[incomplete statement] That makes them feel like part of a team? Right? Just seeing somebody else do what they like to do? I mean, they’re not doing it but seeing somebody else do it–they still get some kind of a high out of it.
Jack: Yeah, yeah; it’s kind of a vicarious masculinity. I mean, really. Yeah, it’s like playing video games. It’s a fantasy of action. You know? So they get to be part of this thing. It’s really gross to me. I mean, a lot of people are sports fans and they’re even people that I like. And it is what it is. But, to me, that kind of vicarious association with this group of people who don’t even like you–[incomplete statement] I mean, the sports stars and sports teams? I mean, they don’t really care about these people who care so passionately about them! I mean, they’re just guys and they’re gonna get traded to another team or get moved to another team when someone gives ’em more money, or they have a better opportunity, or whatever. But these people were just, like, religiously devoted to them and it’s like–[incomplete statement] It’s a very perverted version of that tribal instinct and that tribal loyalty, and it’s like these guys who barely have any friends in real life are deeply devoted to this, you know, like, athlete who doesn’t care about ’em.
You know? I’d much rather see people playing amateur sports versus actually playing them. [laughs] I think that’s a much better use of time and, I think, much more fulfilling and much less vicarious.
Eddy: Yeah, it gives you the actual benefits instead of just getting a mental picture while you’re actually getting a beer gut–
Jack: [interrupts] Yeah, yeah! People sitting on the couch, getting fat, watching other people do amazing things and, then, criticizing them, which is also hilarious.
Eddy: Yeah, like how that play–
Jack: [interrupts] Oh! I totally woulda done that different. I woulda kept… sitting on the couch.
Jack: That is what you do.
Eddy: Is it also related to the– This kind of spectator society is also kind of related to the way masculinity–or the way men are looked at today. I’ve heard the term “beer and boobies masculinity”.
Jack: [laughs] Okay… I’m not familiar with that term, but I think I know whatcha mean.
Eddy: Yeah, Mike Cernovich  passed that around before. I think I even heard you say–maybe not that specific one, but something along the lines of like, you know, “being a man is like drinking craft beer” or something like that, right? Basically, the same thing. You have your craft beer and, then, you have your manly thing. When it really has nothing to do with a man.
Jack: No. In fact, you know? Hi-hop beer, basically estrogenic. [laughs] So, it actually get… yeah, drinking hoppy beer’s a really great way to get man boobs. But in excess, obviously. I actually like [inaudible 23:58] every once in a while, as a malt. You know, if you sit and drink do that, the guys who do that–you’re going to look a certain way. [laughs]
Eddy: A little more feminine.
Jack: Yeah! Yeah! A little more feminine every day. But, obviously, it goes back to what we were talking about earlier. You can, you know, guys who are uneasy about their masculinity are easy to market to. So you can just sell something that says “manliness” and they’ll buy it and it doesn’t matter. And that’s one of the benefits of reading it–The Way of Man and the benefit for me of writing it, was if you really understand what masculinity is about, you can categorize things as “masculine” or not, very easily.
So that goes down to marketers. They understand that already, you know? They know what fonts are more masculine. [laughs] You can actually–[incomplete statement] I think the font source that I use you can actually look at the tag “masculine” and it’s very consistent with what those fonts are. Masculine fonts, more masculine shapes. You can look at all kinds of things and categorize them, which, of course, you know, a lot of the romance languages had the masculine and feminine nouns. And people have always assigned genders to things, based on the standing of masculine. Sometimes, it’s idiosyncratic, but a lotta times there’s some sense to it.
And, yeah, I mean, the “beer and boobies” sentiment? I’ve definitely–I think I said something similar to it, because there’s a lot of people who do the same thing with the American flag. You know, they’re like, they don’t realize that it actually means the government. [laughs] And, really, the government really pushes the policies that they hate. [laughs] So, there’s these guys running around with flags on the backs of their pickup truck and I’m like, “Well, but, you’re cheering for Obama’s [laughs] America right now, is what you’re doing. Your American flag doesn’t actually mean, you know, blondes and bikinis and, you know, firearms.
Eddy: And beer.
Jack: Yeah, and beer. Yeah, it’s like that’s kind of what their version of market is, but that actually has nothing to do with what America is as it actually is. It’s just kind of this marketing idea of America, which is kind of ridiculous.
Eddy: So is it kind of marketable–[incomplete statement] Marketers are smart or good marketers are smart. I mean, they can connect to the way men want to feel–
Jack: [interrupts] Oh, yeah!
Eddy: [cont.] … and use that.
Jack: Oh, yeah, a lot of ’em probably don’t even know they’re doing it as explicitly as that, but there’s some truth to marketing, in terms of–[incomplete statement] ‘Cause the bottom line is what actually sells versus what you hope sold. In the same way, feminism–[incomplete statement] They’re trying to make something sell to men that men don’t actually want. I mean, it is changing to a certain extent because this kind of victim-wearing society, you know, everyone wants a way to be a victim. So they’re selling victimhood to men and a lot of men are buying it. But, you know? Feminism.
They’ve always sold men ideas that–[incomplete statement] Like, you could be more free to cry. Well, men don’t actually want to cry more and, if you understood men and testosterone, they don’t actually cry as much. It’s just not a thing. But women don’t really understand that, so they think they want it. “You know, you could be more like me.” So they try and sell that, whereas marketers telling men what they actually want. Like, “Oh. Men want to feel strong.” “Okay. Let’s sell them something that makes them feel strong.” I mean, so there’s truth in that–in the successes in buying. You know. They’re buying. You know? They know you can get men in theatres to watch action movies, but you can’t get men in theatres to watch romantic comedies.
Eddy: You know? A lot of men have jumped on the bandwagon because it seems a lot of men have become more androgynous and they try to be this more sensitive version of men. And I’ve seen this a lot, too, different guys who are in the spotlight who kind of advocate this sensitive masculinity, where you are more touchy-feely about a man and you can cry and it’s okay.
I made a criticism of Trudeau and Obama crying. I said they should go cry together and I got a lotta hate for that on my Facebook page. People came out and they were pissed off at me. All of a sudden I was being called a misogynist. I had no idea how this connected, but I was a misogynist because I was telling them they should go cry together. It just didn’t seem like a thing a strong leader should do. They can cry with their wife or whatever, but that’s not–somebody who’s leading a country, fight off the outsiders or whatever the situation and make sure that con–[incomplete statement] None of this stuff requires crying. It requires a strong mind, right?
Jack: Right. In many cases, they’re–[incomplete statement] And, especially, when actors do it. Actors are, actually, touchy-feely people, anyway. Even like action stars and stuff. Their nature of their craft actually makes ’em touchy-feely, but, you know, a lot of things with this kind of crying, this advocating this kind of sensitive masculinity? A lot of that’s bullshit. They’re pandering to women is what they’re doin’. This pandering–[incomplete statement] You know? They’re saying things that they know women will like and men will be afraid to “call them out” for. Because, you know, of the way our society is going, just like you said, you’ll get a ton of hate mail. “You’re not allowed to say that!”
Eddy: [laughs] Yeah.
Jack: You know, you’re not allowed to say that men shouldn’t cry. Whereas, they can say, “I think men should cry,” and women will be like, “Oh… ” So it’s an easy, easy like, pull elevation thing; it’s an easy way to score a few points. Men might secretly dislike it but they’re not going to call them out on it.
That’s why our society caters to women in that way because–[incomplete statement] And that’s why there are very few men will write the kind of book that I wrote. Because it puts your masculinity under attack and men don’t want to do it. They want it assumed; they don’t want to be challenged in that way.
So, I think a lot of men will just let things happen the way they are, you know? Just the women do the talking. That’s the way our society is, the men let the women do the talking.
Eddy: You think that’s why the family courts–the divorce settlements against men because men just let things slide? “Yeah, sure! You can have everything I worked for my entire life!” [laughs] Make it legal.
Jack: Well, yeah, a lotta men will do that, anyway, because they don’t–[incomplete statement] Men just kinda–[incomplete statement] A lotta time in marriages, men will just kind of let a woman rule by nagging and they get tired of it so they’ll be like, “Well, fine, whatever. I’ll deal with it.” [laughs] Like, “Whatever happens, I’ll deal with it.” And, “‘Cause I don’t want to have her yapping at me for, like, an hour and a half.” So a lotta guys will do that, but, and I think, when it comes to courts and so forth, I mean, I don’t know a lotta specifics about that issue. It just sounds like, you know, everything I’ve heard about divorce is they’re generally terrible for men and women get everything and it’s kind of assumed they’ll get the kids and all that. And, then, men? They’ll basically extort men for money while they go and bang their new boyfriend. And have the dad pay for their new makeup and boob implants, and whatever. And it seems like that’s not always the case and not all women are that way and, sometimes, men deserve what they get, but, you know? It’s–It does seem like the legal system–I know, here, in America, is definitely geared to kind of a feminist perspective.
Eddy: Yeah, I think, pretty much here, the media is pretty much geared to a feminist perspective, as well. For men, now, though–[incomplete statement] I think, in your book, you talk about creating your own kind of tribe, like your own kind of group of ten guys you can be actually close with. What would a guy do now so he’s not such a pussy? [laughs] Right? So he can start being, like, the kind of man he’d like to be and stop being such a spectator?
Jack: Well, I mean, stop being a spectator, basically. [laughs] I mean, all the things we talk about. It’s hard. And, it’s expensive, really. I mean, a lotta these things are luxury things. I mean, like the boxing place I go to is not inexpensive. [laughs] You know? For a lotta guys–[incomplete statement] For years, I wanted to do stuff like that and I was just like, “I don’t know where the money’s gonna come from.” So, make that sacrifice. Give up some other things because, you know, you’re going to get benefit out of it. Go take some martial arts. Go put yourself in an uncomfortable situation.
It’s something I want to write about in the future, you know? About ego and kind of getting over being uncomfortable. You can be awesome in your own head until–[incomplete statement] But, you’re never gonna be tested that way, so you’re never gonna have real confidence; you’re gonna have this like inflated self importance. People think they have to let go their ego in order to do some of these things. I think it’s actually in the service of your ego; I mean, you’re using all those people and your coaches to create a better version of yourself. So I think it’s in the service of your ego. I think I want to write an article about that at some point, but, yeah, you have to get out there and use those people to test yourself and to test yourself and make yourself–[incomplete statement] And, to give yourself real confidence instead of fake confidence.
Eddy: Stop being so overly sensitive.
Jack: Yeah, yeah; yeah. You have to be willing to fail because that’s what learning is. Learning is wrong three hundred times before you get it right.
Eddy: Yeah, no, I agree.
Jack: You know, some people need to not live in this magical space where, whatever they’re good at, they just keep doing that and, then, just become very one dimensional.
Eddy: This guys said he’s just too scared to do something that makes him look stupid, right? And, we–
Jack: [interrupts] Well, yeah! And we talked a little bit about that, maybe, emasculated urban males. That kind of brings to mind “hipsters” and, so forth, for people. And that’s another thing, like, to talk about, the hiding behind irony. This kind of thing that you do: you can always say you were “just kidding”. That’s a real big trend with young people today. They want to be kind of silly all the time. You know? They want to be silly and, you know, whatever, so if they try and fail, they weren’t really serious. They don’t want to actually fail; they want to kind of test the waters so they can always kind of look–[incomplete statement] I mean, they’re not even trying to look cool because being cool is actually trying to be something You know, they’re actually just trying to be silly and, that way, they’re never going to actually be judged.
They’re really afriad of judgment and that’s really sad. It’s a great way to never have any confidence or to actually never be anything at all. That’s definitely kind of a sickness. I see it a lot at the gym with a lot of young lifters who are always tryin’ to be silly. It’s strange! I go to a power-lifting gym and there are all these guys who are always trying to “see how silly I can be”.
Eddy: Unusual. That’s weird.
Jack: Yeah, it’s very strange, but it seems to be like–[incomplete statement] I mean, that market, you wouldn’t think would be like that way. You know, like power lifters? But, just young people, just generally, want to be silly so they cannot really be judged, just being–[incomplete statement] You know, there’s that saying out there, “Try hard”? You know, which I’ve never really liked. I get what it is: the guy who’s not getting it and, just, you know, over the top in a direction that he’s not successful at. But, I think a lotta people are worried about being “try hard”.
Jack: And, so, they really come out as the opposite. They don’t really care that much about anything. That’s sick. Sincerity, I think, you know, I like people that are crazy. Even if you tell me you’ll go all the way, even if they’re crazy. [laughs] Like, who are just trying to be something “bigger than life”?
Eddy: They’re pushing.
Jack: Yeah, they’re just pushing their boundaries and they’ve just decided who they’re going to be and they’re going to go 300 percent in that direction, and I’d much rather be with someone like that than someone who’s just trying not to be judged.
Eddy: It’s kind of like the travel idea you talk about in the book. You’re creating a group of men you’re really tight with. If they’re strong men, they’re going to lift you up, as well. You’re going to become a stronger man, as well.
Jack: Oh, absolutely.
Eddy: Yeah; that’s an idea I really like. It’s sort of like Ahmit personal-type of gurus. [inaudible name 38:35] Not specifically for men, but, just in general. You should have–[incomplete statement] Your close friends should have the same mindset you want to have. You shouldn’t have losers around you or you’re going to be a loser, too.
Jack: Yeah, absolutely. It’s like a sickness. [laughs]
Jack: It sounds horrible to say, I mean, a lotta people are–[incomplete statement] I mean, but I definitely feel that. I’m definitely surrounding myself with the successful people and, yeah, we gotta–[incomplete statement] Someone who just keeps being a fucking loser [laughs] and not just–[incomplete statement] It’s bad; it taints family constantly. It’s like you just don’t want that around you, you know what I mean? You don’t want their taint all over you!
Jack: Which, again, [laughs] sounds horrible, [laughs] but I’m like, “Don’t come into my winning space right now!” [laughs] I’m winning over here!
Eddy: Send me an E-mail!
Jack: [laughs] I’m with ya! [laughs] Don’t come in my winning space!
Eddy: I know, from personal experience, too, from my past, like, many times in my life, I shed friends that just didn’t really suit the kind of person I didn’t want to be. They were just very negative people and, you know, I’ve got big ambition. This person makes me feel kind of negative and that makes me feel kind of down. And, if I’m down, I’m not gonna be pushing hard to get where I want to go.
Jack: Oh, yeah, you have to cut people loose or it’s gonna drag you down. And, people say that’s a criticism or whatever, but successful people don’t have time for that. Successful people surround themself with people that are moving forward. People who just want to whine all the time or–[incomplete statement] I mean, I had a friend who was brilliant! But, in many ways, he was just committed to being unhappy. And it’s like, well, “If you want to be unhappy, go over there and be unhappy, ‘cuz my life is going great right now.” [laughs] It’s like it’s one thing to help a friend get through a rough time but if you’re committed to having a rough time, then that’s–[incomplete statement] You gotta cut those people loose and they can go find each other, I guess, and be miserable together.
Eddy: Yeah; and they do, too. You don’t want to be part o’ that group.
Jack: Yeah, yeah! And that group’s not goin’ anywhere. [laughs]
Eddy: Yeah, the guys that I abandoned years and years ago, they’re still–[incomplete statement] I ran into them where I grew up. Every once in a while when I go back there and they’re exactly the same. Same losers. They just look older.
Jack: Yeah! [laughs] Yeah, yeah, yeah! [laughs]
Eddy: They’re in the same place they were left at. Is that something you have done in the past where you just kind of had to shed friends that were–[incomplete statement] Or, even a whole social circle?
Jack: Oh, totally. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, definitely. As I’ve evolved, I mean. I think you have to carry people who are close to you; I mean, definitely I think that’s important. You have to have influences that are the right kind of influences around you. And I think time is a resource and you don’t have a lot of it. So, building any kind of a relationship with anybody in adult life, I mean, that is a very precious amount of time that you’re spending because most people have to work, they have to go places–like, they have a lotta errands to run, I mean, you only have so many social hours for your social time and life. I mean real social connection, not like liking somebody’s post on Facebook, but actual, real social connection. You have little time to do. You know? The people who I want in my life? It’s hard to fit it in and I’m not even that busy. [laughs] You know? Like they’re people like people who you want in your world. Making time, like my buddy, the photographer, he’s really successful; he’s always all over Europe and it’s like, “Oh! We have to get together!” (We actually have to schedule some time so that we can go have dinner and actually hang out because he’s busy and I’m busy, you know?) But we value talking to each other and we’re both kind of making each other successful, so we want to make that time. But, you know? Friends that I’m like, “I’m g’wan see you about once a month”? [laughs]
And, then, you know, like with my tribe, ‘cuz that’s my priority is building my tribe, right now, I mean my chapter of the Wolves of Vinland out here in Cascadia, and, so, I give those guys the most time because we’re tryin’ to build a lifelong connection. Basically, a family. And, so, you know? Those guys are my number one priority that I’m always gonna invest that time in them. And, then–[incomplete statement] Because, you know? I want them around in ten or twenty years. But that is a huge investment of time you have to make, so, yeah! I mean, like, having people around that aren’t contributing to your life? You’re just stealing from your actual friends. [laughs]
Jack: They’re stealing time from people who could actually be helping you, people you could actually be helping. You just kind of have to let ’em go.
Eddy: Yeah, resign them to your Facebook page and, then, leave it at that.
Jack: Yeah, exactly.
Eddy: Before I let you go, I’m curious about your thoughts–oh, sorry, before you finish, curious about your thoughts on things like Ming Tao and these other kind of men movements or men’s groups that are kind of popping up here.
Jack: Right, right. I guess that’s all part of the man-o-sphere which should–[incomplete statement] You know? That was kind of an interesting evolution. I mean, I guess I come from that, although I always say that I’ve been writing about masculinity since 2007, in one way or another. So, like I’m still here, writing about masculinity. These trends sort of come and go, but the Ming Tao thing? That’s been around for a long time. Like these little movements? Some of those guys like my work; some of them don’t. And that’s fine. [laughs] Basically, that’s all I have to say, is that’s fine. Like, the ones who like me, that’s great. If they like what I have to say, that’s good. If they don’t, then that’s cool, too. I mean, I don’t have to pick fights with any little movement that is moving around.
The man-o-sphere, itself, seems to have evolved in a somewhat positive way. I mean, when I first got involved in it, you got the “angry from divorce” guys and, then, you got the guys who can’t get laid, and, you know, they’re all kind of getting together and figuring stuff out. And, what’s happened with a lotta these guys who started out trying to get laid or about how the feminists are saying things that aren’t true, or whatever?
A lot of those guys seem to have improved in a way that they’re talking about self-improvement, now. They’ve moved passed being angry at the world in some way and they’re more about succeeding and making the world around them better. And I think that’s a really positive development. That’s kind of what I’m doing, too.
There’s a lotta value, I think, in taking apart the narrative that we’re all kind of being fed. And I’ve done that. People always write to me, wanting me to do it, still, but I’m passed that. [laughs] Like, I’m passed that. I don’t want to know what some feminist blog is writing about every day. I mean, I actually do kind of watch the television news right now, which is odd, because I don’t really care about it. But, it’s kind of like this evening entertainment thing that I’ve been doing. But, beyond that, I don’t follow politics very much anymore; I don’t follow those things, and I don’t want to be in that sphere of whatever people in New York say we’re supposed to talk about today. I’m done with that. I think it’s been helpful for me, personally, to not be involved in that anymore. I want to talk about timeless things, not things that no one will care about tomorrow. But there is some value in guys who are doing that, taking that apart–that narrative–’cause that’s kind of the way. I mean, you have to go through some doors to get to a place where you can totally just ignore that world. [laughs] You have to understand why you’re ignoring it, to begin with and I think that’s helpful.
So, guys who are blogging about feminists or masculinity or the problems of society? That does have some kind of value.
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Eddy: Awesome. Okay. Well, Jack, thanks a lot for comin’ on. That’s been awesome and very enlightening to have you on the show. And, thanks, everyone for watchin’.
Jack: Arright. Thanks.