Typically, the weakest spot of men is their manhood, be it physically or mentally. We all know that a blow to the genitals can bring down the strongest man. But striking at a man’s sense of manhood is just as efficient a cowardly “low blow”. The magical formula to defeat a macho is by pushing him to do something dangerous and stupid, with the (not so) “secret” words : “I dare you to do it, if you’re a man.”
– Pascal Rassi, artist
A macho, as Rassi calls him, is not just stupid. He is a throwback to prehistoric days when the most powerful young men in a band or tribe were the most daring and strongest. These were the warriors. These were the men who forever trumpeted “My (blank) is better/bigger/stronger than your (blank).”
These were the people who, as children, would not only accept reasonable dares, they would be the ones to taunt others with unreasonable or risky dares. They learned that they gained social power by making others look like chickens because they would not accept unreasonable dares.
The people exist today, though they may be found in politics or in vocations that thrive on guile and people-management muscle as well as in gyms for muscle builders.
They are not bullies, though they may be violently aggressive. Bullies lack self esteem and pick on those they perceive as weak, whereas the Testosterone Kings want to confront their equals or those who consider themselves superior, to defeat them.
Confrontation is a constant issue with the machos. Like prize fighters working their way to the top, the machos win even when they lose because in a loss they learn how to do it better the next time, to defeat the next macho in line. They don’t lack self esteem. More likely they suffer from an unsupportable excess of it.
However, not all men succumb to a dare against their manhood. Some are secure enough and intelligent enough to recognize a stupid dare and an unwinnable confrontation to walk away from it without looking back. They understand that their sexuality is not at risk because of a stupid dare.
While this machoness is usually attributed to men, women suffer from the same dares to their womanliness. The cosmetics industry thrives on it, indeed exists solely because of it. They dare women to be as beautiful as the models in their advertising, even though the models may be anorexic and madeup to within an inch of their lives, more like china dolls than real women.
Everyone wears clothes, but the women’s fashion industry uses the threat of not being “in” to push new wardrobes on budget-weary women each year. In the medical field, cosmetic plastic surgery has grown enormously over the past two decades so that it is now the most lucrative and cushiest segment of the medical community.
The victims of these dares and threats to their sexuality testify that we have not fully emerged from the mentality of our forebears in their primitive days as carnivores of the African Rift Valley.
Security, sexuality and self esteem all exist entirely within our own minds. We act out our lives as our minds tell us they believe we are. If we listen to others, we will never be confident about any of them.
You are who you believe you are. If you don’t like who that is, you can change your beliefs. That will change your life. That will change who you are. Believe it.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to teach their children the social and emotional skills they need to be competent and confident adults.
Learn more at http://billallin.com