You’d be hard pressed to find a male who doesn’t enjoy a cold beer (or several) on a hot day while working in the yard or after a long and tedious day at the office.
Nowadays it’s even rarer to find a chronic beer drinker who doesn’t also bear the dominant physiological marker of one – namely, a beer gut, or excess weight around their midsection.
Last month, the New York Post ran an article titled “Why Having a ‘Beer Gut’ May Actually Be Good for You.” While the article itself is about a recent study that found a connection between moderate beer consumption in men and a healthy gut microbiome, the clickbaity, supposed-to-be-a-pun title is also easily taken another way. It’s this other way that I want to use as a starting point in discussing the masculinity crisis.
Low Testosterone Is Now Endemic
Once upon a time, low testosterone was an epidemic, meaning that it was a phenomenon limited to an outbreak at one point in time. Now, it’s unfortunately endemic – low testosterone is a characteristic that’s constantly present in our society.
Why the big fuss over low testosterone? Why can’t we just let people “be themselves,” no matter how unhealthy they are? Testosterone isn’t just the primary sex hormone in males. It’s the chemical variable which governs everything about them, including puberty, if they can or cannot reproduce, their physical appearance, their mood and virility, their attitude and demeanor, the kind of mate they may attract, and so much more. Not only that, but the men in our society are experiencing a veritable depletion of testosterone, one that’s never been seen before. In fact, men today have significantly lower T levels than they did just 30 years ago.
Our society has agreed that we no longer need strong men, physically or in the metaphorical sense.
Part of this is due to environmental factors – such as the overwhelming presence of hormone-disrupting chemicals in just about everything we consume – but a large part of it is societal. Our society has somehow unanimously agreed that we no longer need strong men, whether physically or in a metaphorical sense. We’ve eschewed the beneficial presence of fathers and strong mates for more “diverse” alternatives, and we’ve repeatedly told men that their masculinity, however they may express it, is a festering wound within our communities and families. The gender binary which has dictated civilization since time immemorial is disappearing alongside strong men, and we’re discouraging the younger male generation from following in those footsteps. Mixing all of these factors together creates the potential for a cataclysmic disaster when it comes to gender and ideology, the origin of which we’re just beginning to observe in our social media feeds, family units (or lack thereof), schools, and even dating pools.
Why the Dad Bod Obsession?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the soft soyboy usurped the Chad type, but unfortunately, there’s no denying that high T men have basically taken a backseat to the socially acceptable low T alternative. If you need an example (and an incredible display of the theory of physiognomy at that), look no further than TikTok’s latest villain Griffin Green, a.k.a. Bodega Bro, and compare him against one of his main detractors. Green, who was predictably branded a racist and even fired from his job for publically lamenting the lack of grocery stores in New York City, bears all of the traditional markers of a male with high testosterone: a wide jaw, tall, broad-shouldered body, and a deep voice. His detractor, it’s safe to say, doesn’t.
This one small example expertly demonstrates how media and popular culture have played a role in vilifying not only high testosterone males, but the very idea of masculinity in general. Hand in hand with that has been a subtle, years-long attempt to romanticize the “dad bod.” A dad bod is essentially the precursor to a full-on beer gut. For some it may be the pudginess they never lost after their fraternity years, for others it’s the stress or even contentment pounds brought about by marriage and kids. What’s strange though is that it seems like the dad bod is primarily represented in swathes of young single men on dating apps, not the fathers it’s named after.
A dad bod may seem harmless, but consider the other potential characteristics associated with this kind of guy. We’d be hard pressed to find a single girlfriend who wants a guy who has more estrogen in him than she does, but that’s just one of the consequences of excess beer consumption. Some would say we’re too picky or our standards are too high. But the problem is that we just don’t seem to value and honor masculinity in today's society, at least not in the way that we used to.
Men Need the Opposite of a Beer Gut
Think of the traditionally masculine man, or better yet, look through your male ancestors. Our grandfathers definitely don’t look like the majority of men today. “They don’t make them like they used to” is a ubiquitous take these days, but it’s an unfortunate conclusion many of us have come to.
Wherever there are strong men, there can be no suppression.
Our culture is responsible. We demonize not only masculinity, but its associated traits like strength and traditionalism. Traditionalism, modesty, and conservatism are obsolete and even dangerous practices and ways of thinking, or at least that’s what we’re led to believe. Giant publications preach that these characteristics actually oppress us and are responsible for most of, if not all of, society’s problems and must therefore be eradicated.
But masculinity isn’t the disease, it’s the cure. In an age where even our basic freedoms are consistently threatened, strength and masculinity are the antidote. Strong men don’t stop to question whether or not they’re being misled by the elites in power. They don’t pause to listen to constant gaslighting masquerading as concern for safety, and they never give in to tyranny, however small or large the threat might be. They’ve already tuned in to their natural, inherent instincts which are to protect and defend. They don’t cede authority or control to anyone who threatens their liberty, and because of that they’re dangerous. It’s no wonder that those in power would encourage men to be softer, more pliable, more impressionable and more acquiescent, both physically and mentally. True masculinity, which favors prioritizing and promoting your individual liberties and freedoms, is the direct antithesis to all of those traits. Wherever there are strong men, there can be no suppression.
Just because physical and mental weakness is now socially acceptable doesn’t mean it’s something we should embrace. No matter what our society celebrates, there is still a place – and a necessity – for masculine men and for strength in this world. But because that paragon presents too much of a threat to those that would take advantage of us, it’s unlikely that true masculinity is something that will ever be openly encouraged. We as individuals can encourage it though, both in the men we choose to keep close to us and in the men we raise.
Love Evie? Let us know what you love and what else you want to see from us in the official Evie reader survey.