Odin Illustration by Jack Donovan 2014
Strength, Courage, Mastery and Honor are the four “tactical virtues” that I used to define primal masculinity in The Way of Men.

In a band-level society or “gang,” these are the virtues that men would look for and value in other men, because men who are strong, courageous, competent and loyal make better cooperative hunters, fighters and protectors. I talk more about defining masculinity in this video, but for an in-depth explanation of my “gang” theory of masculinity and the tactical virtues, read The Way of Men.

Like many of my readers, I’m drawn to Germanic Paganism and Runes. It occurred to me that each of the tactical virtues could probably be assigned a corresponding rune.

For those who aren’t familiar, the runes come from a series of alphabets that were scratched into rocks, wood and metals by various Germanic peoples. But each rune is also associated with an abstract concept or “mystery” and also sometimes a natural form — like ice, hail or a yew tree. As such, they become a simple shorthand for a bigger, more complex idea.

This was my first formulation:

Strength         ᚢ (uruz)

Courage         ᛏ (tiwaz or Týr)

Mastery         ᚱ (raido)

Honor             ᛟ (othala)

Uruz is associated with aurochs, the now-extinct ancestor of modern domestic cattle. According to the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem,

“The aurochs is proud and has great horns;

it is a very savage beast and fights with its horns;

a great ranger of the moors, it is a creature of mettle.”

Aurochs were very large, with bulls reaching a shoulder height of almost 6 feet, and weighing almost a ton. Uruz works as a symbol of raw strength. I like it for any kind of strongman or powerlifting or other “beast of burden” training, and I have it scratched into my lifting belt. “Strong like bull.”

Raido means “ride” or “journey” and it is associated with becoming and, according to Edred Thorsson’s Runelore, “rightly ordered action.” In Collin Cleary’s essay, “Philosophical Notes on the Runes” in Summoning The Gods, he identifies Uruz as the “Will to Form” and links it directly with Raido, “Dynamic Order.” I’ve been personally associating Raido with technical ability and the ability to apply concepts in motion for a while.

This arrangement makes sense, but it occurred to me that the tactical virtues align perfectly to the gods themselves. The gods can be seen as aspects not only of elemental man and nature, but also as aspects of manliness as an idea.

Strength        Thor ᚦ

Courage        Tyr ᛏ

Mastery        Odin ᚨ

Honor is Othala— not a god, but a runic concept that in this application encloses and represents the sum of the others.

The Mannaz rune symbolizes man, so, in a formula:

Man, or (Mannaz) ᛗ = ᚦ + ᛏ + ᚨ + ᛟ

There is also an optional addition to the concepts that describe masculinity which corresponds directly to the qualities of the god Freyr.

Below are my brief rationales for linking the virtues to gods and runes. As we really don’t know exactly how our ancestors might have used the runes or conceptualized them — and even then, which ancestors? in what place? in what period? — I can only speculate and make my own associations based on what information is available. The purpose here is to take something old and breathe new life into it, and make it useful to men who are alive today.


thurisazThor – Strength

Thor, god of thunder and lighting, is known for his strength and muscularity. He wields a heavy hammer, Mjölnir, and when he wears his belt, megingjörð, his already great strength is doubled.

In Gylfaginning,  Thor is said to be, “the strongest of all gods and men.” When tricked by illusion into thinking he was fighting a sleeping giant, he split valleys into mountains with his hammer, and through further deception was tricked into drinking so much of the sea that it ebbed, and lifting part of the serpent that circles the world into the sky.

The rune ᚦ is called Thurs or Thurisaz. ᚦurs means “giant” in Old Norse, and it is the work of Thor to use his strength to battle giants and split their skulls.

It’s often occurred to me that “might” could be a better word than “strength” for the tactical virtue, because it seems to covers a wider range of physical capability and power — though the words are often used interchangeably. Might includes speed, athleticism and dexterity — all aspects of strength.


tiwazTýr – Courage

Týr is best known for the courageous sacrifice of his hand to the wolf Fenrir, the monstrous offspring of Loki and a giantess. To trick the wolf into allowing itself to be bound, Týr  agreed to place his hand in the wolf’s mouth as a guarantee of good faith from the gods. When Fenrir could not break free and realized he had been tricked, the wolf bit off Týr’s hand. He is often referred to as the “one-handed” god, as in the Icelandic Rune Poem.

“Tyr is a one-handed god,

and leavings of the wolf

and prince of temples.”

The Romans identified the Germanic worship of Týr with their own worship of Mars, the Roman god of war. Týr has long been associated with courage, martial valor, victory and doing what must be done to maintain a right order of things.

A man who will take no risks or make no sacrifices for the group when risks are necessary can’t be counted on, and his aversion to risk could actually make the group more vulnerable as a whole. He won’t hunt the aurochs or fight the enemy.


ansuzOdin – Mastery

Odin hung himself for nine days and nights, until the forms of the runes revealed themselves to him. He ripped out his own eye for the opportunity to drink from Mímir’s well and gain knowledge of the past, present and future. Odin has many names and aspects, but in his essay, “What is Odinism?,” in TYR: Myth, Culture, Tradition.Volume 4, Collin Cleary argues that “Odin’s key feature is his ceaseless quest for knowledge.”

“Closely connected with this is his striving for power. But these are so tightly linked that they are almost corollaries of each other. Greater knowledge — increased insight into the nature of the universe and its secrets — brings with it an increase in the ability to manipulate and to control all manner of things. So that, as the saying goes, knowledge is power.”

Odin wants to know, understand and master the world. Mastery is the tactical virtue that critics of the tactical virtues always seem to skip over.

Engineers and programmers and researchers and philosophers always seem to want masculinity to be about being an engineer or a programmer or a researcher or a philosopher. If they don’t see themselves as being strong or courageous, they tend to discount the importance of those virtues and re-stack the deck so that their own virtues are the most important ones.

Understanding, judgement, wisdom, knowledge and technical proficiency are essential virtues in any survival group — because otherwise you have a bunch of strong, clumsy guys who don’t know anything taking risks for the sake of taking risks. Mastery is technology, and technology is a kind of magic to those who don’t understand it. Martial arts require mastery. Tool and weapon making and operation require mastery. Strategy and tactics require mastery.

Knowledge is power, but without the courage or the ability to use that power — apply it — knowledge is just information. Knowledge is only useful when it is used, though having no immediate use for knowledge does not make that knowledge useless.

Mastery alone can’t define masculinity, and while Odin is the Allfather, he’s not the only god, because human life is also a physical endeavor. We are our bodies, and our bodies must survive to make the seeking of knowledge possible. To think otherwise is a conceit of the spoiled. Violence is Golden, and that conceit depends on the outsourcing of strength and courage and the protection of the perimeter to “someone else.”


othalaOthala – Honor

Honor, as I defined it in The Way of Men, is about loyalty to a group. You behave a certain way, make sacrifices and do things you wouldn’t normally do because you care what the other men in your group think of you. If you act like you don’t care what anyone thinks of you, you are more attached to a group than part of it. You’re a wild card. Your honor is your reputation among your peers and your commitment to them. Honor is about the “us” — those who are “within the perimeter.”

In Runelore, Edred Thorsson refers to Othala as “the sacred enclosure” and writes that, “in it is embodied the central concept of Midhgardhr and of the whole idea of ‘in-sidedness’ and ‘out-sidedness’ so prominent in Germanic (and Indo-European) thought.”

Because masculinity is both a physical reality and a way of being, a man who does not care about masculinity or being regarded as masculine cannot be masculine. Now, many men will bluster and tell you they don’t care what anyone thinks of them, but they will draw lines in the sand quickly if you start asking them to dress or behave like women in public. They still chafe at being called weak or cowardly. They still care about being seen as masculine by others, but in many cases those “others” may be absent or abstract. Men who barely have any friends at all still care about “others” seeing them emasculated.

In a globalized world with billions of humans, choosing who you are loyal to and which men you agree to be judged by is especially important, because you can’t please everyone. There are feminist men who have inverted masculine virtues to the extent that if you show that you value strength, courage, mastery and honor, they will (hypocritically) call you a coward for clinging to “old ideas” about masculinity.

Your honor is your reputation as a man among men, but because there are so many men with so many ideas about masculinity, to stay sane you have to decide which group or kind of men. Define your boundaries and close the circle, or leave yourself open to judgment by a thousand codes and billions of eyes.

The sowilo or sig rune ϟ has also been associated with honor and victory, as well as the sun. Depending on how the rune is formed, two facing sig runes can be joined to create an othala rune.


ingwazFreyr (Ingwaz)

It is likely that the majority of the warriors who fought and died in wars probably did not have children. A lot of them probably died virgins. Many young men have joined dangerous expeditions, war bands, pirate ships, armies and so forth with the hope of one day being able to afford a wife or children or even a regular whore. A man can demonstrate all of the tactical virtues and be regarded as an exceptional man among men, but remain a bachelor or without children. Two Odin-like adventurers, soldiers, researchers and writers — Lawrence of Arabia and Richard Francis Burton — both died without children, and they would be regarded as having been good at being men by almost anyone. I’m sure you’ve encountered fathers who appear to be extremely weak, passive, cowardly or effeminate. Masculinity can exist without fatherhood, and frequently does, and extremely effeminate men can become fathers, so fatherhood cannot define the phenomenon of masculinity as a way of being.

Still, fatherhood follows naturally from manhood, and without children, no band, gang or tribe can survive more than a generation unless it continually recruits from outside. Most men who survived long enough eventually fathered children by a wife, mistress, slave or concubine. Fatherhood is an aspect of masculinity and a role that most men eventually take on in some form. It’s not essential to masculinity, but it’s still important and relevant.

The god Freyr is associated with fertility, the harvest, wealth, peace and prosperity. And just as fatherhood is separate from but linked to masculinity, Freyr is separate from but linked to the other gods, who are known as the Aesir. Freyr is one of the Vanir, a distinct tribe of gods who fought with the Aesir until a truce was called and Freyr, his sister Freya, and their father Njörðr – a god of seafaring and wealth – went to live with the Aesir. Odin is, of course, “The Allfather,” and could be associated with fatherhood as well, but Odin as a concept is more concerned with big ideas than with home life and the everyday reality of fatherhood.

Milo Yiannopoulos recently interviewed me for a Breitbart UK piece on young men giving up on modernity and modern women.

Breitbart UK – The Sexodus, Part 1: The Men Giving Up On Women And Checking Out Of Society 

Edwin Dyga mentioned me among “heretics” in an in-depth piece on the future of conservatism in Australia in the October 2014 issue of The Quadrant, which is, from what I gather, a well-respected magazine down under.

The Quadrant – The Future of Australian Conservatism

Finally, martial arts instructor and prolific writer James LaFond wrote that The Way of Men  is to date the “most important book of the 21st Century” in his new book, Taboo You. He also offers some criticisms that I hear frequently from men who see themselves as loners and see group belonging and group-think as some kind of weakness or unmanliness. So many American men — and it seems to be mostly white men — reject group belonging and group identity because they are afraid, like LaFond, ” that any such act will obscure the elusive ‘truth’ about life that I am, like some 19th Century Gnostic nut-job, looking for.” I get it, myself being kind of a Nietzschean personality who keeps evolving.  But I also think that’s why we’ve become so powerless against larger forces and interest groups who are organized collectively. To borrow a phrase a pal of mine uses all the time, the Truth and two dollars will buy you a cup of coffee.  This back and forth between individualism and the group is the phenomenon I started addressing in my speech, “Becoming The New Barbarians” and what will really be the topic of my next book, should I manage to write it.

LaFond seems like he would have a lot of good training advice. I especially enjoyed his recent piece, “Getting Hammered In The Hood.” It dealt with some of the issues that bug me about dealing with white guys who are so proud of being “civilized.” I thought about writing a piece titled, “Your Good Manners Won’t Save You.”

LaFond has commented on many posts, podcasts and articles I’ve written (thanks!), and the “ManCave” section of his web site is well worth reading on a regular basis for anyone who is interested in men, masculinity and violence. And if you’re reading this site, you probably are.




The Origins of Political OrderI wrote up a brief review of Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order for Counter-Currents.

Cohesive Societies Check State Power:
On Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order

The first part of the book, “Before The State” should be of particular interest to anyone studying tribalism and pre-state societies.

The rest should be of interest to anyone who wants to better understand where modern liberal institutions came from, why they don’t necessarily work everywhere, and why they may not last forever.

Here are six quotes pulled from my own notes on The Origins of Political Order:

On Patrimonialism

“…the natural human propensity to favor family and friends — something I refer to as patrimonialism — constantly reasserts itself in the absence of strong countervailing incentives. Organized groups — most often the rich and powerful — entrench themselves over time and begin demanding privileges from the state. Particularly when a prolonged period of peace and stability gives way to financial and/or military crisis, these entrenched patrimonial groups extend their sway, or else prevent the state from responding adequately.”

 On The State of Nature

“The state of nature might be characterized as a state of war, since violence was endemic, but the violence was not perpetrated by individuals so much as by tightly bonded social groups. Human beings do not enter into society and political life as a result of conscious, rational decision. Communal organization comes to them naturally, though the specific ways they cooperate are shaped by environment, ideas, and culture.”


“For the account of the state of nature given by Hobbes, Locke, or Rousseau to be correct, we would have to postulate that in the course of evolving into modern humans, our ape ancestors somehow momentarily lost their social behaviors and emotions, and then evolved them a second time at a somewhat later state in development. It is much more plausible to assume that human beings never existed as isolated individuals, and that social bonding into kin-based groups was part of their behavior from before the time that modern humans existed. Human sociability is not a historical of cultural acquisition, but something hardwired into human nature.”

 On Alpha Males

“An alpha male in a chimp colony is not born to that status; like a Big Man in Melanesian society, he has to earn it by building coalitions of supporters. While physical size and strength matter, dominance is ultimately achieved through an ability to cooperate with others.”

On The Struggle for Recognition

“Since human beings organize themselves into social hierarchies, recognition is usually of relative rather than absolute worth. This makes the struggle for recognition fundamentally different from struggles over economic exchange, since the conflict is zero sum rather than positive sum. That is, one person’s recognition can come only at the expense of the dignity of someone else; status can only be relative. In contests over status, there are no win-win situations as in trade.”

On Violence and Social Change

“Societies can get stuck in a dysfunctional institutional equilibrium, in which existing stakeholders can veto necessary institutional change. Sometimes violence or the threat of violence is necessary to break out of the equilibrium.”

Disaster Dentistry
My guest for episode 9 of Start the World is Dr. Sherman House, DDS.

He’s a dentist who specializes in emergency dentistry, and he teaches something not a lot of us think about — “disaster dentistry.”

Like most people, I always thought of dentistry in the cosmetic sense — until I came down with an infection in my wisdom tooth that put me down for days with a fever and caused me so much jaw pain I couldn’t eat solid food or train for a couple of weeks. I came across Dr. House’s Facebook page at that time and was surprised to find many examples of how dire dental emergencies can become. People used to die from the dental problems he deals with every day, and if there were some kind of breakdown or collapse or zompocalypse, they would start dying from them again.

Wouldn’t that be a bitch?

You survive the collapse, become a trailer park warlord, and die from a jacked up tooth…

Dr. House is full of interesting information, so I more or less just encouraged him to tell stories and re-educate us for an hour.
If you are able to take one of his classes, you’ll become a more valuable member of any tribe. If you have a shooting or survival group, consider booking him to speak in your area.

"Classic Mountain Dew Rot"

“Classic Mountain Dew Rot”

For More Information Visit:


Facebook : The People’s Dentist : The Real Doctor House


Topics Covered:

Tooth Extraction

Are Periodontal Disease and Tooth Decay STDs?

Preventative Tooth Care and Dentistry

Ancestral vs. Modern Diets and Tooth Decay

Books Mentioned:

Where There Is No Dentist

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Every day there’s some new click-bait outrage from the increasingly monotone mainstream media…some finger-shaking display of moral purity from some woman, opportunist or white knight who I wouldn’t give the time of day in real life. Men I respect argue with them give them attention. These “social justice warriors” just feed on that kind of validation.

My new response to these people, who are not my people or people whose opinions have any value to me, is “I don’t care.” I don’t care what they think or how they feel or what they think I should do. I don’t care if they live or die on a personal level — they are strangers in world full of strangers —  though the world would be better without them.

For more, read my latest for RADIX:

“I Don’t Care”

In anticipation of the upcoming French language release of The Way of Men, I spent the last week developing a video introduction to the book, titled, “What Is Masculinity?”

I’m proud of the way it came out, and I think it will help bring the book to a whole new audience. Watch it here or on my YouTube channel.

I had a great time talking to Tucker Max, author of the notorious NYT Best-selling book I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, and evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, author of The Mating Mind and Spent, on their new Mating Grounds podcast. I have to figure out how to get to Austin and go wild boar hunting with Tucker Max. That sounds like a good story…

Mating Grounds – Jack Donovan Interview

Ted Ryce and I also had an excellent two-part conversation about masculinity and a wide range of other subjects on his popular podcast, The Alpha Man Project.

The Alpha Man Project – Episode 61: Jack Donovan: Part 1: The Way of Men – Understanding Masculinity, Manly Virtue, and Men

The Alpha Man Project – Episode 62: Jack Donovan: Part 2: The Way Of Men: Understanding Masculinity, Manly Virtue, and Men

I also talked with Angel Donovan (no relation) about masculinity in the modern world on the Dating Skills podcast.

Dating Skills Ep. #70 Masculinity in a Modern World with Jack Donovan

Baphomet by H.R. Giger

Transsexuals, especially male transsexuals, are tormented souls torn between what they are and a desire to be something they can never truly become. I have some sympathy for their predicament, but I think the well-meaning progressive doctors and therapists who push them to “transition” are abusing them for ideological reasons, and because saying “no” feels mean. They’re indulging them and spoiling them like parents who let their obese children live on pizza and candy “because that’s what they want.”

Since homosexuality was decriminalized and gay marriage has become politically inevitable, forward thinking professional gay activists — who preferred to distance themselves from transsexuals when they were still seeking mainstream legitimacy for themselves — have recognized that “transsexual is the new gay.” Transsexualism is going to be pushed as completely normal by the progressive media for the foreseeable future, and objections will be drowned out by the outrage pornographers who now dominate mainstream American discourse.

I do believe a silent — petrified, even — majority believes that encouraging transsexuality, especially in children, is infuriatingly abusive to the point of being evil. But few will risk being vilified as bigots to question the narrative.  Provocateur Gavin McInnes, who I still think of as kind of a disgruntled liberal, was forced to take a leave of absence from a company he co-founded after his trans-faux-pas, and anyone who isn’t already independently wealthy will avoid making the same mistake.  Using the right pronoun for a man who had surgery to look like a woman will become thought crime, and there’s nothing any of us can do about it.

Instead of arguing about the validity of the claims made by transsexuals, I wrote a piece for RADIX about some of the reasons why transsexuality fits so harmoniously into progressive visions for the future — aside from it being the ultimate “fuck you” to the “cisgender community” and the ultimate progressive boogeyman — the masculine white male.  In many ways, the transsexual is the progressive ideal — a post-human, blank slate, interchangeable consumer who can be decorated with disposable and ultimately inconsequential identities.

Read it now at RADIX Journal:

“That’s Ms. Potato Head To You”

Transsexuality, Transhumanism, Transcendence, and Ecstatic Rites of Highly Conspicuous Consumerism

Polly Prissy Pants

Paying nine bucks for a simple drink seems like a waste of money, so when I go out to one of Portland’s many great restaurants, I try something made with ingredients I can’t afford to keep stocked in my globe bar at home.

I’m not going to play Garth Brooks and pretend I’m just too darn simple to appreciate anything but Jack Daniels and Budweiser. Dude probably laughs and guzzles champagne with Beluga and blinis every time he does an encore of “Friends in Low Places” for the Wal-Mart country crowd. I’ve been around good food for years, and I know what I like.

We’re living in a renaissance of fine drink mixing, and while you’ll never hear me say “mixologist” or “artisan cocktail,” bartenders really are doing some nifty things with booze. I’ve had some truly inventive, artfully-balanced and complex drinks in the past few years.

Unfortunately, the hipster trend is to serve them in foofy stemware.  Having learned this, I order whatever I feel like drinking, but ask the waitress to have it poured into a double-old fashioned glass, because I don’t want to sit around with my pinky out, pinching the fragile little stem of something that looks like it belongs at a tea party for Polly Prissy Pants.

So, last night I ordered this beverage I really like at a fine establishment that will go unnamed to protect the innocent, and told the waitress I wanted it in a DOF or “something a little more manly” than the champagne flute or whatever they were going to serve it in. She comes back with my drink the way I wanted it, but told me “the bartender says that glassware has no gender.”

Obviously, the bartender was a woman, and she must have confused her job pouring drinks with a Huffington Post comment thread.

But more importantly, she was also incorrect.

Many objects can be gendered, including glassware.

Hell, one of the guys at the gym told me the other day that I was using the girly ab roller and I should switch to the manly one. Apparently, you can also gender ab rollers.

One of the reasons I developed a comprehensive theory of masculinity was that I wanted to be able to apply a formula to reasonably assess whether a behavior or even a thing was more or less masculine.

Men all have their opinions about what is masculine and what isn’t, but they can’t usually explain why they think the way they do. Usually, they are just repeating something they’ve heard or making some kind of cultural association.

Culture matters — because culture is theoretically about what the men of our tribe associate with masculinity. It makes sense to care about what your father and grandfather thought was masculine.

But out in the gray zone of globalist modernity, where most people don’t even have a tribe or much of a culture that wasn’t advertised to them by some corporation, I think the formula is what really matters.

The opinion of some female is irrelevant — masculinity is primarily about signalling to men. My drinking buddy was a guy from my gym, and we agreed that we were probably the biggest, manliest guys in the dining room at that moment. (In downtown Portland, that isn’t a big achievement.)

We had no one to impress, but masculinity is a way of being. You don’t turn it off and giddily act like a teenage girl just because no one is there to judge you. I’m still watching me, and I have to respect myself in the morning.

Speakers of Latin languages have long believed that objects can be gendered — though sometimes strangely, arbitrarily, or for long lost cultural reasons. I can’t tell you why the French think a day is masculine or a table is feminine. They just do.

I was recently searching for the right font for a project, and Fonts.com users have tagged certain fonts as being “masculine.” The masculine fonts are predictably sturdier and stronger-looking, tend to be sans-serif (because serifs are kinda fancy), and related tags include “legible,” “clean,” “geometric,” “technical,” and “sturdy.” They read as direct, solid, functional, bold and authoritative. The “masculine” fonts fit the pattern and more or less communicate the universal masculine tactical virtues of Strength, Courage and Mastery as I laid them out in The Way of Men. (It’s hard for letters to have Honor.)

You can look at an object, compare it to other similar objects, and gender it according to the tactical virtues based on both how it looks and how a man would use it. It’s somewhat subjective, but if you asked a room with 100 men from all different cultures to pick out glasses and determine which ones were masculine and which ones were feminine, the more fragile looking glasses would consistently be rated as less masculine, and the heavier, sturdier glasses would be rated as more masculine. The masculine virtue of strength alone would be enough to gender the glassware. (I’m not sure how courageous a glass can really be.)

There’s another reason why men prefer certain kinds of glassware — it has to do with the way you hold the glass. For instance, a few years ago I had a little debate with a pal over martini glasses.

As a gin drinker, if I’m not driving anywhere and I really feel like getting my drink on, I’ll open with a dry martini or four. It’s basically a glass full of gin, and a classic man’s drink. (Ladies’ drinks like “chocolate martinis” are not regarded as martinis proper by any competent drinker or bartender).

After ordering my martini “up” in a martini glass, the guy I was drinking with chuckled in that snidely bemused way that men do when another man does something that seems a bit off.

I argued that, for me, the martini glass was a Las Vegas, Sinatra, “rat-pack” kind of thing. I started drinking martinis during that whole 1990s lounge music and cocktail revival period, so that was my cultural association. I’ve had a martini at Musso & Frank’s in Los Angeles, and that’s the way they’ve been serving them since Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper were drinking there.

I still think that’s perfectly valid, but my friend Andy won me over to the idea that the gesture and hand position required to hold a martini glass was more meaningful than the cultural association.

A pint glass, double old-fashioned glass, and a beer mug all offer a solid hold. With a mug, your hand is basically making a fist, and if you actually clobbered a man with the mug itself, you wouldn’t be the first. Same goes for bottled beer. Cans can be crushed on the forehead as a threatening gesture, but only at a hillbilly barbecue or a frat party. What are you going to do with a champagne flute or a martini glass? That’s right, not a damn thing. Pint glasses, beer cans and DOFs probably don’t make the best weapons, granted, but the hand position communicates strength and control, compared to the delicate pinching required to hold a martini or cocktail glass.

It’s a small thing, and it doesn’t matter much, but why not make the manlier choice?

These days when I’m out in public, if I order a martini, I order it shaken and neat, or on the rocks. And if I’m sampling a complicated drink with bitters or some imported liqueur that’s been made by monks for 300 years, I make sure I don’t have to drink it out of a vintage pink champagne coupe.

When I write about things like this, there’s always going to be some guy who says, “real men don’t think about whether what they do is masculine or not.” This is the fetishization of stupidity and the confusion of stupidity with masculinity.

One might as well say that real men don’t think about what they do at all. This is strange position, given that men invented philosophy.

Clearly, men do think about what they do and why they do it, and I guarantee you that if I were given a position of authority over any man who says he doesn’t care how other men perceive him, I could give him something to do that he would grumble about because he felt like it was emasculating.

“You don’t think about masculinity or about how other men perceive you? OK. Your new uniform is pink spandex with sequins, and every morning we’re going to start the day by doing pole dancing to “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé. We’re going to do this in public where hundreds of people will see you.”

If that’s not going to be a problem for you, you’re probably already too far gone to be reading this.

Granted, most men don’t sit around philosophically contemplating the relative masculinity of glassware. That’s my job.

Gendering objects, actions and gestures is an educational project, and doing it can bring you to a deeper understanding of masculinity and the behavior of other men. It’s also a good way to check yourself and determine whether you’re sending out some signals you’d like to change, or craft a better argument for why you’re going to keep doing it the way you want to anyway.


Hunter Cuneo

In Start The World Episode #8, I interviewed Hunter Cuneo, who runs his own private men’s strength and conditioning gym in California. I’ve talked to a lot of guys who want to start their own gyms for men, but no one seems to think it is possible. This guy is doing it. I asked him how and why. Check out his promo video below.



“The Iron” by Henry Rollins


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