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What Is Effeminacy?
Not to be confused with “femininity,” effeminacy is the opposite of masculinity. St. Thomas Aquinas, who was an immensely influential philosopher and theologian, defines effeminacy as an unwillingness to put aside pleasure in order to pursue what is difficult. Well, that sounds like sloth, so what’s the difference? Sloth is an aversion to what’s hard, while effeminacy is an attachment to the pleasure.
Effeminacy is an unwillingness to put aside pleasure in order to pursue what is difficult.
Effeminate men are irresponsible men, like baby daddies who choose the pleasure of not taking responsibility for their actions.
(For any men reading this: If you are effeminate, your wife or girlfriend will never truly respect you. Despite what pleasure she might get out of controlling you if you’re weak and lack conviction, she’ll never respect you as a man. But keep in mind – a man who controls his girlfriend or wife is also effeminate. More on that later…)
Men Have Become Soft
Today, effeminacy is off the charts largely due to the ease and comfort of our modern times. So few jobs require hard physical work, and as a result, many men have become soft.
Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.
One of the big contributing factors is technology. Technology is awesome for many reasons. So awesome that using it gives us pleasure, especially to men (more so than women). Why? Because men are designed to use tools, and tech is the greatest modern “tool” ever created. Men have to practice temperance in relation to technology, otherwise it will make them soft. We’re not saying real men are masochists. There’s nothing wrong with rightly ordered pleasure. It’s the attachment to the pleasure that’s the problem, especially when it prohibits men from doing the right thing.
50 years ago, if a guy was 18 and not mature enough to marry in every way, there was thought to be something wrong with him. Just ask anyone still alive from the Greatest Generation. Maturity comes from suffering and from shouldering responsibility. Today, most guys avoid responsibility like it was herpes.
Now that we understand what effeminacy is, let’s dive into the four kinds of effeminacy.
The Four Kinds of Effeminacy:
1. Sensual Effeminacy - Attachment to your sensual appetites (food, drink, sex, entertainment, sleep, etc.).
A guy who sleeps with lots of women is seen by other men as a real “macho” man in many cultures. Except he’s not – he’s actually the opposite because he can’t put aside his pleasure to protect these women from himself. If you’re dating a guy who is trying to get you to have sex with him before marriage or is always trying to seduce you, get away from him because he’s effeminate. He can't control himself in relation to you. If he can’t do it before marriage, he likely won’t be able to do it after. Part of being a man is being chaste. It’s difficult, but any guy who doesn’t master chastity is no man.
Other questions to consider:
Does he overeat, especially sweets?
Does he drink too much? Beer guts don’t lie…
Does he play Fortnight or other video games for hours on end?
Does he watch pornography?
Does he habitually sleep in late?
2. Emotional Effeminacy - Attachment to giving way to emotions.
Giving in to emotions without thinking can destroy masculinity. Strong emotions are pleasurable; following right reason is hard. Does your guy emote or complain often? Men get pleasure out of complaining. He needs to man up and change whatever he’s complaining about or accept it.
Is he controlling? Then he’s effeminate. Why? Because he can’t stand on his own. He’s trying to impose his will on you because of some insecurity he has. His obsession with controlling exterior things is a reflection of his inability to control himself interiorly (therefore he overcompensates).
Does he have a bad temper? He might be ripped and muscular and think being emotionally aggressive is manly, but it’s actually effeminate because he can’t control his temper. The man who can maintain control in the face of hard and upsetting things is a real man.
3. Intellectual Effeminacy - Attachment to the pleasure of thinking.
Part of masculinity is seeking the truth, arriving at the truth, and RESTING in the truth. One expression of intellectual effeminacy is to be continually thinking and never acting, because thinking is more pleasurable than the work of acting. Another expression is to tenaciously hold to a wrong position because of an attachment to the lifestyle that would need to change if the underlying belief changed. Men have to be willing to pursue the truth, wherever it leads, regardless of the personal cost to them.
4. Volitional Effeminacy - Attachment to choosing things that benefit and give pleasure to yourself over others (Self-love / Self-Will).
The guy who does what he wants instead of what he needs to do, specifically in relation to those around him (wife, children, etc.), is effeminate. For unmarried men, this can be manifested in different ways – vanity, narcissism, selfishness, etc.
What Is True Masculinity?
Sorry, guys. Smoking cigars doesn’t automatically make you masculine. The true nature of masculinity is self-sacrifice. It’s why men work to support their families. It’s why they go to war to protect their country.
Masculinity is the ability to put aside pleasure to do what is hard, but right. A real man sets aside pleasure to pursue greatness, not just professionally, but specifically in virtue. Virtue is the hallmark of masculinity. With virtue comes self-discipline and self-control.
What is the result? The lower faculties (appetites for food, sex, and sensual pleasures) are subordinated to the higher faculty of REASON (is it right or wrong to do this thing in this circumstance?). When that happens, a man can make better decisions, have healthier habits, and participate in more fulfilling relationships.
Testing 1, 2, 3
So is your boyfriend or husband effeminate? Based on reading the above, you probably know by now. If not, here’s something you can try:
Ask him to give up something that he's constantly getting pleasure from (give a good reason). If he responds negatively and throws a fit, he’s probably effeminate.
Better yet, encourage him to read this article. But be careful. He might think you're automatically implying that he is. If he reads to the end, at the very least, he’s courageous! If he thinks it over and sees the truth in it, or maybe has a self-realization about an area of his life that needs fixing, lucky you!
If he gets annoyed, upset, or dismissive…If he starts going off about how ridiculous, wrong, or stupid this is…Well, you guessed it.
He’s probably effeminate.