Thanks for your thoughts on this Dave and I don’t disagree with your assessment, although I think its only one part of the equation. Young boys are actively taught to suppress all vulnerable emotions from a very young age in a way that girls are not and it’s very detrimental to their emotional wellbeing. This is not just courage in the face of fear for the purposes of survival. It’s dominance hierarchy dynamics where you must ruthlessly compete against all of your peers in order to obtain status. If you don’t win, you lose, and one cannot afford to feel too much empathy for your competitors under these circumstances, which is incredibly isolating for men. It’s one of the reasons that there is such an epidemic of loneliness and a high rate of suicide in men.

This view of masculinity is straight out of patriarchy. In other words, it’s only 10K years old. Men were protecting their families and showing courage in the face of danger long before then. I haven’t gotten around to really writing about it yet because it’s going to be research intensive, but when the northern war-like and patriarchal tribes overtook the more peaceful and egalitarian cultures about 10K years ago, they brought with them a culture that glorified fighting and death. They worshipped gods of the mountains rather than the goddess who had been the main deity in most cultures before that time. She brought life, abundance, crops, good livestock breeding, etc. This is a time of little war, and a great emphasis on culture, art, and technologies of civilization that improved life, rather than took it.

But the term Indo-European has stuck. It characterizes a long line of invasions from the Asiatic and European north by nomadic peoples. Ruled by powerful priests and warriors, they brought with them their male gods of war and mountains. And as Aryans in India, Hittites and Mittani in the Fertile Crescent, Luwians in Anatolia, Kurgans in eastern Europe, Achaeans and later Dorians in Greece, they gradually imposed their ideologies and ways of life on the lands and peoples they conquered.9

The one thing they all had in common was a dominator model of social organization: a social system in which male dominance, male violence, and a generally hierarchic and authoritarian social structure was the norm.

New dating techniques not available in Engels’s time indicate that metallurgy in Europe first appears in the sixth millennium B.C.E. among people living south of the Carpathian Mountains and in the region of the Dinaric and Transylvanian alps. These first metal finds are in the form of jewelry, statuettes, and ritual objects. By the fifth and early fourth millennium copper also seems to have come into general use for manufacturing flat axes and shaft-hoe axes, wedge-shaped tools, fishhooks, awls, needles, and double-spiral pins. But as Gimbutas points out, the copper axes of Old Europe “were wood-working tools, not battle axes or symbols of divine power as they were known to be in proto- and historic Indo-European cultures.”14

As we have seen, technologies of destruction were not important social priorities for the farmers of the European Neolithic Age. But for the warlike hordes that came pouring down from the arid lands of the north, as well as up from the deserts of the south, they were. And it is at this critical juncture that metals played their lethal part in forging human history: not as a general technological advance, but as weapons to kill, plunder, and enslave.

Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and the Blade . HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

“From boyhood, men get one lesson drilled into them over and over. Their peers, their parents, their toys, their television, every joke and jibe and playground game tells them one thing, the single most important thing they must do to perform masculinity, to be a big boy, to be a real man: men must at all costs never show, or if possible never even feel, emotions.

Boys don’t cry. Toughen up. Quit whining and man up. Lose and start again at your beginnings and never breathe a word about the loss. Walk it off. Get over it. Chuck Norris’s tears cure cancer, too bad he never cries. Nobody cares about your problems. Quit being such a little bitch.

A man is strong, we are told, and emotions are weak. Emotions make you vulnerable. Emotions make you less able to fulfill your roles as a protector and a provider. Emotions mean that someone might be called upon to take care of you, instead of you being self-reliant and self-sufficient and independent the way men are supposed to be. Emotions prove you are a human being, instead of an unstoppable success robot.” (emphasis mine).

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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