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The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood Paperback – September 8, 2009
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Jesse dares to say what others may have thought but didn't dare express. He's smart about sex and its value in making a man what he becomes. Buy it, and be glad about your personal sexual history.
I'm reading Plutarch's "Lives" and I've been extremely impressed with how Lycurgus (The Lawgiver) transformed the Spartan culture. He took a lawless culture that was overrun by inequality and greed for one where men "live on equal terms one with another, and with equal incomes, striving only to surpass each other in courage and virtue." He also replaced a self-centered individualism with a strong sense of community in which the bringing of boys into men became a primary focus of all men. He was so successful in transforming this society that "the whole city of Sparta was regarded as a school and example of orderly public life and of settled political institutions." These Spartan men were used by the surrounding city-states as advisors and counselors. [Just a side note: this guy also addressed healthcare reform!]
Interestingly enough, in this ultra-masculine culture, the women apparently enjoyed a status that was unheard of in the ancient world. Though the roles of men and women were distinctly defined, it was said that only in Sparta do the women act like men (with reference to their freedom and role in the household).
Admittedly, there were some downsides. For one, the culture focused on war. But then again, Lycurgus was a man who valued peace and this culture, valuing courage and virtue, had little need to go to war. (Consider a primary motive in modern wars and you'll understand this. If a culture does not seek luxury they have no need possess the natural resources of others -- can anyone say "oil?") Also, they had slaves and killed infants who appeared weak or deformed at birth. Just keep in mind, this culture existed around 800 BC -- we should expect them to have a few issues.
I guess what I'm saying is I would love to see a culture of modern men who embrace their masculinity and exchange materialism for a culture of bravery and virtue. Is that in any way threatening to women? Is that in any way a danger to our nation?
I should add that I am in NO way calling the author's of this book "effeminate" -- I'm sure that term would be insulting to most of them. The book just didn't have what I hoped it would.