Another insightful and important piece, Joe! Of course, my two cents on why most of this exists is dominance hierarchy — the social system that we’ve had these past 10K years. It requires possessiveness, competition, aggressiveness, stoicism (that’s not actually a positive male trait in my book). Before the onset of patriarchy, humans lived in collective bands that looked out for each other. That doesn’t mean there was never any aggression or violence, but that at least it wasn’t an institutional part of the society, as it is now.
The most emotional people I know are men — because they live in a world that tells them to suppress their emotions and so they seep out through the cracks at every opportunity. On Medium, I’ve noticed a real trend of highly emotional men who have constructed a faux intellectual framework to make their emotions seem logical. They then accuse women of being narcissistic, or being feminist, as a deflection so as not to have to engage with their thoughts and ideas. The other day a guy said to me, “You’re not the boss of me!” Ok then — that is some fine debate rhetoric there, dude. Several other Medium frenemies I have show up on every remotely feminist thing I read and make nonsensical rants just to blow off steam. I know they feel hurt and lost right now, and it’s also so not my problem!
When we get to a society where men are allowed to be more than angry — where they can feel unsure, can feel whatever human emotion they are currently experiencing, then we’ll be getting someplace. Until then, it’s just more dominance hierarchy shoved down all of our throats.