Manliness and ClassA Man, being of sound health and manner, as well as coming from a Darwinist perspective should be accepting of change in order to survive, of course, this isn't always the case as we have seen in our modern society. People have created their own sub-cultures, and from this their own definition of manliness, and indeed class. Classiness is subjective in this regard rather than, as an example, conforming to the classical Hollywood film view of class...Perhaps the image of an upstanding gentleman in society; kind to women, and from this, fellow men as a form of respect all of which employed alongside a silently pitiful mannerism towards those who are unable to attain such class. As an example of said manliness, let me take a moment to use the image of James Stewart in Hitchcock's masterpiece 'Vertigo' to present this notion of masculinity.
James Stewart; Hitchcock's classical Hollywood hit "Vertigo"
Of course, this representation of manliness is subject to change through time, as has been seen through the many sub-cultures of the youth of today. We fear that they are to be the future of mankind because man is ever chiefly so nostalgic and unforgotten of the past; each man, through his own experiences, define manliness in a different way; as Julius Caesar rightfully stated "Experience is the teacher of all things." So from this we can never be accepting of what manliness means to the youth of this generation...But, of course, we can relate the image of manliness with our elders, because they are the ones who brought us up to view manliness in this regard....An example of which can be observed not many years before the production of 'Vertigo' is 'Rebel without a cause' portraying what the youths of that time period viewed as 'Classy' and 'Cool', the flick knives and leather jackets being seen as 'manly,' which is anything but laughable now. Alongside Goddard's portrayal of Michel being rude to women and offensive to authority in his film 'Breathless' it is no surprise that the aspect of classiness and manliness is an ever-changing position. As examples of this changing position, allow me to take a moment of your time to view these portrayals of men through time.
James Dean; Rebel without a cause
Michel; Goddard's French New Wave film "Breathless"
Through the changing aspects of manliness and class through time, it's not so hard to see that it's easy to point the finger at something such as self-satisfaction being anything but manly. It is indeed true that as a species we have evolved to procreate and advance our species to the next generation, but one factor that was not programmed into the language of evolutionary behavior is over-population. Through generation to generation we have over-populated the Earth in the last century more-so than we have ever populated this planet, and from this is it not hard to view the act of self-satisfaction, and even homosexuality in this case (although debatable; see here.) Such a hetero-normative perspective on homosexuality however has fuelled a need to classify it as 'unmanly' - as to what end is homosexuality a means of population control? Heterosexuality is fed to the masses through a lens which normalizes such behavior and as a result of this homosexual behavior has become somewhat 'othered' even though it is completely and utterly normal.
Human Nature and Biology
Before using this as a basis for my argument let me take a moment to state that although the aspect of classiness and manliness attain no such link with Human biology it must be noted that we are the custodians of the meaning of class, and from this we must observe that our biological structure plays its part in determining this. Evolution has aided us into becoming self-aware, and has even granted us the ability to view an argument from both sides; the opposing side to our argument and the accepting side, whilst still being accepting of said sides.
Such changes, however, also have their downfalls. New diseases and disabilities have been discovered to infect and take control of the biological structures of young children; effectively disabling them before they are self-aware enough to realize what is happening to them. Disabilities such as multiple sclerosis have been observed to take control of an entire hosts body, leaving them helpless to act. As an example, I have provided a lovely picture of the young Stephen Hawking for you to observe.
Stephen Hawking; world famous physicist
How then, can one maintain such a standard of 'Class' or 'manliness' in an ever-changing society whose own standards appeal to the upbeat but ignore the downtrodden? Surely, it is then better to live isolated than have your own company of a woman who would not respect the way you look, act, touch, taste even smell...Not that I would have had the chance to smell Stephen Hawking to begin with. The fact of the world today is that evolution itself is a failure in many terms, however such failures can also be seen in a successful light. Stephen Hawking once stated that he is 'accepting' of his disease simply because it allowed him the time to study and observe the universe as it was meant to be; in all its magnificence. Here he states that his disease has effectively allowed him to research in such depth rather than be distracted by meaningless debates in modern society.
Stephen Hawking; discussing the aspect of God and his personal life
Surely then, it could be debated that Porn and Self Satisfaction are in fact natures way of granting humanity the chance to satisfy sexual cravings rather than failing oneself by being unable to in fact attract a mate. However, porn itself could be regarded as 'pathetic' in the regard of a lack of imagination rather than being somewhat lazy in not attaining the class to attract a mate, but the fact is that people who have and will never be able to do this arguably makes this point invalid through imagination simply not being enough through having not experienced having Sex.
Porn and Self Satisfaction; an affront to a Human's enjoyment?
Pornography itself has been with us for a long time and thus has become a means to an end for our sexual satisfaction. However, in the past century we have began to question pornography's place in society; why don't people experience 'the real thing' rather than masturbate to it? The fact is that if we were 'created to procreate' from a darwinist perspective, or even so to survive in order to create the next generation of our species we would be nothing more than primates. The definition of 'class' which has been present in modern society dictates that a man should be nothing less than a type of Renaissance everyman; one who rises from nothing to gain class and etiquette in society through respectable means...The application of 'survival of the fittest' cannot be applied to such means. Although there are 'classy' and 'non-classy' people as Oxhorn has rightfully stated here, on his youtube channel, the aspect of class itself has changed into a much more modern sense.
Leonardo Da Vinci; the idealistic renaissance man
Individualism reigns supreme in modern society; we are no longer held back by the aspects of hierarchical class systems of wealth in order to express ideas, such as Leonardo was not, but the majority of society views porn as something to be pitied; a means to an end, and from this, an addictive behavior to satisfy this end. However, how can one view such an act as an addiction where we are already programmed for this? It is a highly snobbish and frankly ignorant view to see masturbation as an addiction which pales in comparison to sex for this reason alone. We see children making jokes about sex, giggling about how rude and abstract the topic is for their discussion, but we are not children anymore so surely we can view masturbation as a serious subject, but still people argue that it is pathetic; masturbation itself is not lesser or superior to sex, it has its place in society just as pornography does. To weigh one against the other is foolish and, if one can argue, 'climbing on your high horse,' trying to mock someone who partakes in such an act for his worth. One can maintain a position of manliness and class without engaging in sex, in fact, in can be argued as respectable in many regards such as the spread of HIV and AIDS and the view which other people see them as through partaking in such acts.
50 cent; how modern society views a hetero-normative man craving sex
To use a Darwinist perspective to argue that porn as a use to sexually gratify oneself is meaningless in its application to a modern society; the world does not need more people. We are already over-populated, as I stated before, as it is. A Darwinist perspective also argues that it is 'survival of the most adaptable'; surely, from this we can view masturbation as an adaptable action to satisfy oneself rather than going head-long into society to prove you are a MAN.
Although many argue that porn is pitiful and pales in comparison to sex, and from this men (though everyone can participate in the observation of porn...) should get the real thing in silent dignity, I believe that I have affirmed the position of porn in society; it is no longer a means to an end, it is something which we can enjoy in leisure. No longer are we living in caves and the dark ages, we are able to freely communicate our wants and desires with the world; this does not make us any less 'classy' or 'manly' than the next man simply through the fact that everyone comes from different backgrounds and individualism has reign over modern society.
Alongside all of this, as a little note, it should be stated that I believe masculinity and this notion of 'manliness' to be foolish; gender is a social construct through any sociological lens. Masculinity and femininity are employed by ALL gender categorizations. Capitalism has fuelled these notions of men and women to separate each from the other as a binary construct. This post regarding 'manliness' should be viewed through a willingness to conform to the blog this is in response to; a way to engage the matter on the same level of phrasing and tone.
I'd like to thank Oxhorn for giving me the idea for this blog post; his enthusiasm for class, as seen here, and his position on the topic of this post seen here encouraged me to make my position on this topic clear, and hopefully learn more about his position on such a topic; it was a challenge to make my viewpoint respectable in such a judgmental society on the internet.