"Women know what they have to do, men have to figure out what they have to do."
Jordan Bernt Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist, YouTube personality, author, and a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. He began to receive widespread attention as a public intellectual in the late 2010s for his views on cultural and political issues, often described as conservative.
The area that draws him the most attention–good and bad–is his view of masculinity. Peterson believes society is quickly tumbling into chaos, and one of the primary reasons for our descent is because “The West has Lost Faith in Masculinity.” The result has been nothing short of a crisis—for men and women alike.
He has no patience for modern-day critiques of masculinity as oppressive or toxic. In fact, he blames that way of thinking for much of our cultural problems today.
The “divine symbol of masculinity has been obliterated”–leaving men with no ideal to aspire to. As a result, boys are confused and discouraged about what they’re supposed to do or become, and it’s hurting them in every conceivable way. Whether it’s drug use, graduation rates, behavioral problems, or suicidal tendencies, boys are doing worse than girls across the board.
Convinced “a stable society needs masculine men,” Peterson is on a mission to restore dignity to the very idea of manhood. To that end, he expects men to assume responsibility for the work ahead: “‘Toxic Masculinity’ is a contradiction of terms. It’s ridiculous. The masculine spirit is necessary. At its core, the essence of masculinity is responsibility.”
His message to men is clear: assume responsibility for a better tomorrow. The response has been profound. Peterson is frequently moved to tears as men credit him with saving their lives and giving them purpose.
Pick up the world with all of its trouble, with all of its suffering, with all of its evil, and move forward with it. And in bearing that burden, learn that you’re the sort of creature that can bear that burden and therefore deserves respect.
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