I was introduced to Jack Donovan through the manosphere, and his book, “The Way of Men,” immediately caught my attention. Admittedly, I was hesitant at first when I learned that Donovan was gay. It challenged my preconceived notions about what it means to be a man. However, curiosity got the better of me, and I dove into the book with an open mind.
A Fresh Take on Manliness
“The Way of Men” is not your typical guide on how to succeed in your career or improve your relationships. Instead, Donovan focuses on the primal characteristics that define manliness throughout history. He delves into the core virtues of strength, courage, mastery, and honor, which form the bedrock of masculinity.
Donovan argues that men need other men in their lives to truly feel like men. He introduces the concept of “The Gang,” a group of 10-15 men who engage in activities together. Within this gang, a hierarchical social order naturally emerges based on how each man embodies the four virtues.
The Virtues of Men
Strength, courage, mastery, and honor are the Alpha Virtues of men, according to Donovan. While women can possess strength, they are not judged in the same way as men. A man’s strength is closely tied to his manhood, and if he lacks physical strength, he must excel in the other virtues to compensate for it.
One virtue that stood out to me was “Mastery.” Donovan explains how mastering a particular skill that contributes to the gang’s well-being enhances a man’s perceived manliness and honor.
The Significance of Honor
In Chapter 9, Donovan explores the concept of honor in-depth. He highlights how honor is tied to a man’s reputation for strength, courage, and mastery within the context of an honor group. Rejecting effeminate men, according to Donovan, is a rejection of weakness, as it threatens the integrity of the virtues that define manhood.
Modern Challenges for Men
Donovan addresses the challenges faced by men in our modern society, which emphasizes gender neutrality and feminism. He criticizes the prevalence of pornography and the rise of what he humorously terms “The Noble Masturbation Society.” Men today often seek fulfillment through video games, sports, or climbing the corporate ladder, but these pursuits ultimately leave them unfulfilled.
The author argues that convincing men they are already losing in society creates a culture of apathetic losers. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing the game is not inherently rigged and encourages men to strive for something greater.
Points of Disagreement
While I found many thought-provoking statements in “The Way of Men,” I also had some reservations. Donovan frequently draws comparisons between men and animals, which leads to a somewhat morally void idea of manliness. His belief that violence is inherent to masculinity contradicts the examples of men throughout history who have led with love, compassion, and self-sacrifice.
A Raw and Sad View
Donovan’s book peels back the layers of what it means to be a man, leaving us with a raw and somber view of humanity and masculinity. His perspective suggests that the only way forward is to return to a more primal existence, where men can embrace their true nature and be respected as men.
While “The Way of Men” will likely resonate with those who view the world through an amoral lens, it fails to recognize the moral complexities of our society. It is crucial to remember that the world still needs men who possess virtues such as love, mercy, and justice. The true mark of a king lies in the balance between administering justice and offering mercy.
Ratingperson provides a platform to explore and evaluate various works, including books like “The Way of Men” by Jack Donovan. Whether you agree or disagree with Donovan’s ideas, this thought-provoking book offers a fresh perspective on manliness.
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