Archetypes in Masculinity

Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?
from Troy (The Movie)

Probably without intention, and no doubt, exaggerated and contorted by my personal speculation, the three main protagonists in the movie Troy, and in the original Iliad, represent archetypes in masculinity.

Redefinition of masculinity has been favorite pastime of pretentious females and feminists these last many decades; who presume to redesign the male psyche into toy poodles of their teen-age fantasies. However, it must be the male who must define himself, thank you very much! After doing that, without reference to female whims; it will be up to the female whether she wants to follow his lead.

The stereotypical motif of the romance novel consistently takes a wealthy, self-sufficient hunk with a wild streak, and through the charms of the female heroine, he is seduced and reduced to house pet, whose sole purpose is henceforth, to cater to the welfare and whim of the woman and household. A tell-tale sign that this motif essentially neuters the domesticated male is the lack of sequels about this now boring male antagonist, who comes to resemble the very spouse beside her, which galvanized her to adventurous escape. After such usage, the female reader needs to find another appealing, untamed fictional male antagonist, by which to emasculate, in endless turnstile. The resemblance and equivalence to men’s visual porn reductionism of women needs no comment.

The effeminate Paris of Troy fits this ‘after’ emasculated image. The height and extent of his gangly aspirations extend not much beyond being in the luxurious soft arms of new love, Helen. He is without skill or vision beyond being the consumer of his domesticated passions, without courage, conviction, prudence and independence of will; and, at least in the movie, is only shamed into doing the right thing.

In contrast, is the Greek Achilles; alpha-male, masculinist, atomistic, whose goals are solely personal, without genuine concern for the general good. Women, or at least the bimbo variety of them, are luxurious afterthoughts and consumer goods that come with the territory of being an accomplished man-beast to which all wish to be associated.

It is to the tragic Trojan figure Hector, well played by Eric Bana, to which admiration and aspiration flows; with an alpha-male mind and body but beta-male heart. Dante’s Inferno gives him place in Limbo as virtuous pagan. Achilles lays no similar claim in the heart of Dante. Hector thinks independently outside of the consensus of the council; acts according to prudence and for the common good. Though compassionate and tender with his wife’s plea to stay by her and her son, he acts to serve the greater cause to which she is beneficiary.

The Achilles of this world strives for purposes apart from, and without his woman. The Hectors of this world work through and ultimately for her.

In the conjugal interaction between husband and wife, there remains this tension between the male’s need to make his mark in the world and the female’s need to focus her husband’s sights on the domicile.

Should the male need dominate, he disconnects with his wife. Woman, children and household suffer neglect. The wife may become embittered shrew. The husband might seek comfort from this alienation from flattering and fawning lips of another. The defeat on the domestic front undermines any accomplishment in the outer world.

Should the female need dominate, the male is emasculated. Lament and/or resentment for lost opportunities and dreams ensue. The wife may come to disrespect and suffer boredom with such the husband and churn through romance novels or lovers. Should the wife unduly demand and strive for too much attention on the home front, she will alienate and he will pull away.

However, should the wife enlist into the lead of her husband in his primordial quest for external mark, purpose, vision and accomplishment; should the husband reciprocate to ensure that his woman’s anxieties are met and bid her to alter the terms to accommodate her greater dreams; then a firmer, more comprehensive and appreciative union ensues.

(From upcoming book - "In Defense of Christian Marriage")
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