How to Be a Man, Vol. 2

Comments 48


It was about 5 a.m. this morning when I discovered a subgroup of people I seriously didn’t know existed.

The manosphere.

It was a comment from a reader on my An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4 post.

I think he was trying to be helpful.

“Man, you have to go and reinvent yourself… I am in the same situation. It gets better, if you do the work,” he said.

He dropped in a link and a suggestion: “Start here.”

So, I did. In the wee hours of the morning—knowing I’d pay for neglecting sleep later tonight, I dove headfirst into the rabbit hole.

I was introduced to psychological concepts like “hypergamy,” which is the theory that women instinctively want to discard their current partners when an opportunity arises to latch onto someone better.

Is that what my wife did?

I read all about the sex strategy of women, according to these guys—Alpha fucks, and Beta bucks. This is the theory that all women crave the comfort and stability of whipped men brainwashed by the rising tide of feminism into a “fem-centric,” safe, Beta-providing lifestyle. But they want to be fucked, on the side, like porn stars by large men with huge dicks and werewolf blood.

I am part of this emasculated, effeminate world, they’ll tell you. Plugged in to the feminist system. In metaphorical chains. Destined for a life of being taken advantage of, and abused by women.

Essentially, they will tell you: I am ignorant. I am a weak idealist. I am a fool.

The author of The Rational Male is clearly very intelligent. Educated. Well-read. A strong writer.

But is he wise?

I’m not sure yet. I must read more from him to get the entire scope of his philosophy. And I will.

But just between you and me? I value wisdom more than intelligence.

Men vs. Women

I have read way too little of this manosphere philosophy to offer any sort of major criticism or thoughtful rebuttal.

The following represents my uneducated gut reaction.

At first glance, it appears men who subscribe to this lifestyle measure life success on three things:

1. How many women they have sex with.

2. Never being tied down to a monogamous relationship doomed to fail because modern marriage is a societal construct that goes against the very nature of men and women’s genetic programming.

3. Having power and dominance over women.

If I had a candid conversation with any of these guys or even if they just read my quasi-tongue-in-cheek whining about never having sex, they’d all tell you it’s because I’m a big pussy. Wussified by my mother, and liberal, feminist brainwashing, and years of emasculating servitude to an ungrateful spouse who did exactly what all women are instinctively prone to do—trade up for the bigger, better deal when the opportunity arose.

I’ll say this. I err on the “side” of wives in my writing. In my opinions as they relate to male-female relationships.

But that doesn’t mean I think all men are worthless pigs, and all women, blameless victims.

There are a MILLION posts to be written on shitty wives.

But I’m not going to write them.


I write my posts to “shitty husbands” because I believe in every individual accepting responsibility for his or her own actions.

I write about the need for men to serve their wives and families. I do that because I believe men have the most power to stem the tide of divorce by being what a husband is supposed to be.

That’s not to suggest the wife should sit around getting foot massages and fake tans while metaphorically castrated husbands run around saying: “Yes, princess. Of course, princess. Whatever you want, princess.”

Absolutely not.

Women are responsible for themselves. They are responsible for self reflecting, asking the difficult questions, and deriving reasonable conclusions as to the role they play in failing human relationships, same as men.

My job is to accept responsibility for my own actions and encourage everyone else to do the same.

I’m not going to sit here and point any more fingers at my ex-wife than I already have.

I’ve done plenty of That-bitch-ruined-me feeling sorry for myself.

She’s not a bitch. She’s a human being. Flawed. Mistake-prone. Unable to carry the weight of the world when the pressures and brokenness all become too much.

Just like me.

Just like you.

Life is not one-size-fits-all.

We don’t need advanced degrees in human ethology to recognize that all humans share some very striking physical and emotional commonalities. AND, that we’re all incredibly unique and diverse, as well.

To pigeonhole every man and woman into these silos seems incredibly over-simplistic.

It’s a battle for ultimate power, these guys will tell you. Us versus them.

Is that what we’re in, men and women? An epic power struggle between genders?

Am I supposed to look at every woman I meet as someone plotting to control me? As an enemy?

These manosphere philosophers seem to believe that very battle is being waged. And at least a few of them argue their points intelligently and succinctly.

I just have a little trouble latching on to such ideas. You know that smell? That reeking smell of rotting bullshit? That’s what I smell when I read some of this stuff.

So men should have power over women, you say?

Should white people have power over black people?

Should straight people have power over gay people?

Should rich people have power over poor people?

There’s an aura of macho elitism in much of this. And in their defense—like the guy who commented on my post this morning—I think they just want to help me. They want me to join their team because they believe that’s where true life satisfaction and happiness as a man lives.

A Different Kind of Tough

They’ll tell you I’m weak.

And don’t take this the wrong way, guys, because I’m not completely dismissing every facet of this manosphere philosophy until I’ve studied it much more (the author of The Rational Male, for example, has been married for 17 years and has children)—but, fuck you very much.

I don’t not have sex with women because I’m weak and can’t get any. I don’t have sex with anyone because I’m strong.

I believe in unconditional love. In choosing to love. In making the hard, difficult choices every day in the context of a committed monogamous relationship.

You think that’s easy to do? You think that’s weakness? Eat shit.

Because that’s HARD.

Walking the walk every day—striving to be the best version of your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual self—is not for the weak.

You better be strong. Tough as nails. Every single day, forever. Because that’s what it takes.

My tough might not look like your tough.

You slept with three women last week. Running a scam. Pretending to be something you’re not. To perpetuate the lifestyle of cheap, throwaway relationships, designed solely to serve yourself.

Forgive me for failing to see the virtue in that.

I would gladly choose a lifetime of celibacy over treating human beings like things.

If you want to write that off as my inability to get laid, that’s your choice to make.

I believe in respecting myself. I’m attracted to people who respect themselves.

It’s not weak to respect women. To do it right actually takes enormous strength.

The Meaning of Life

I try so hard to keep theological conversation off these pages.

1. I don’t want to debate it.

2. I don’t want to tell people their beliefs are wrong, nor do I want people saying that to me.

3. I’ll never believe that words on a page will bring people to spiritual fulfillment. Spiritual fulfillment lives in prayer, meditation and taking action. Self-discovery.

To be part of the manosphere, it appears I would have to abandon every moral principle I possess.

Marriage is bullshit, they say. Committed relationships are for fools.

So we teach our sons, through both action and word that women are inferior beings designed to be subservient to our daily whims? To what? Not respect their mothers? Or any other girls in their lives?

And we teach our daughters, what? That they’re a lower-class of human being? That they need to find a dominant man to “game” them into bed before they tire of our daughters’ illogic and crazy emotion-driven behavior?

Here’s as preachy as you’re ever going to see me. Do with it what you will:

Keep telling yourself there are no such thing as souls. That life is meaningless.

That there are no consequences, in this life or the next, in living without moral restraint.

I do believe in God, and maybe I’ll write about why someday.

I subscribe to Christian principles when I’m not saying “fuck you very much.”

I don’t pretend to understand the mysteries of a world beyond our human experience. I don’t have any answers. I just know that trying to emulate Christ (NOT by judgmental assholes who call themselves Christians, but Christ himself), leads to making solid lifestyle decisions that involve loving each and every human being. In behaving in ways that set a wonderful example for our children. Our friends. Our neighbors. Our co-workers.

It doesn’t mean preaching on street corners, screaming at “sinners” and quoting bible verses all the time.

It means walking the difficult path. When people are watching. And when they’re not.

I’m HORRIBLE at this. But it’s what I strive for.

I don’t need to sell anyone on this, nor am I trying to. You’re going to do and believe what you want. And you SHOULD do that. Ask hard questions. Figure things out for yourself.

The truth will be revealed in the end, one way or another.

But living without restraint—without principles—leads to a poisoned soul. Darkness. Contamination. On the inside of us.

It robs us of peace. It robs us of fun. It robs us of love. It robs us of the best feeling we get to experience as human beings—happiness.

Do the wrong thing long enough, and you’re going to feel shitty. And I don’t want you to feel shitty.

So, maybe try something new.

Because many of you manosphere guys are going to wake up 75 and alone one day. And none of your “game” or selfishness is going to have gotten you anything of value.

You’ll be empty, and morally bankrupt.

Maybe—just maybe—you could try it my way instead.

1. Love yourself.

2. Be grateful for your life.

3. Love your partner unconditionally. Choose to love. It’s a decision. Not a feeling.

4. Serve something greater than yourself. On Earth, and spiritually.

5. Give more than you take in all of your relationships and feel the world return that unselfishness to you. Because it will.

Sure, your way will get you more sex with women who don’t care about you in the interim.

But my way? That will keep you from wanting to off yourself in retirement, when you’re empty, bitter and alone. When you’ll need all the “Game” you can muster to get that flaccid thing erect to try and work things out yourself.

Hopefully, there will be some Bones reruns playing for you on TV Land.

Because I’d hate to bump into you 30 years from now working behind the local deli counter.

I’ll walk in. You’ll immediately identify me as not being as manly as you. My pocket will be full of Beta bucks.

“What can I get for you, sir?” you’ll say.

And I’ll reply: “You can make me a sandwich.”

48 thoughts on “How to Be a Man, Vol. 2”

  1. :-O <—my reaction to manosphere.

    🙂 <—–my reaction to your reaction.

    I absolutely love how you put it. It's true- at the end of the day, thinking that way will leave you bitter. As a woman, I don't have some deep rooted want for a husband and then a huge dick on the side. That's generalizing. Sure, there are some people who want that but it's not gender specific-it's person specific.

    It sounds like that philosophy was developed by a bunch of men scorned by women who cheated on them.

    I hate nothing more than generalizations. Thanks for sharing though-interesting perspective.

    1. Yeah, I don’t like shallow, cheating, gold-digging women anymore than those guys.

      But I’m not going to start judging every member of a certain demographic because of the sins of a few.

      It borders on lunacy.

      Thank you for saying hi.

  2. This manosphere you speak of? I personally find it a bit sickening just as they might find me. If, indeed, they are hurting no one, I hope they do this no-one-hurting somewhere that I’m not. I’ve read it elsewhere and cringed. Now, where can I get those beta bucks you speak of?

    Honestly, this is a thoughtful piece that takes bravely takes something seriously long enough to shoot it down. That is a manly/brave thing to do. I couldn’t, because I’d leap to scoffing far too quickly.

    1. Thanks David.

      They think we’re wimpy pussies. Fem-men.

      And it annoys me.

      I’m not done reading their stuff. I want to be fair, and really get to the heart of why they believe what they believe.

      Because in this post, I generalized their opinions, and may have gotten some of it wrong.

      I hope I made it clear that it was simply my gut reaction.

      Appreciate you reading, sir.

      1. In my opinion, being able to be vulnerable is a demonstration of strength. Read on and research it, because people like me don’t have sufficiently open minds to do that.

  3. As always, you have a wonderful perspective – your willingness to be vulnerable is appealing in ways the manosphere men could only dream of being…you have way bigger balls than they do (and I only make that statement because those kind of men love their between-the-legs appendage more than anything, LOL).

    1. I’m not always confident in every situation.

      But the vast majority of the time, I feel very confident in my ability to treat people appropriately in whatever way a particular situation calls for.

      If someone’s telling me to do something different, I assume they’re getting it wrong.

      This situation is no different.

      Thank you for reading and for the nice compliment. 🙂

    1. 🙂

      Ha. Perhaps!

      I’m like Cypher. I like steak so much better than fake, shitty porridge.

      Seriously, I’m flattered you stopped in.

      And I promise I’m going to read a lot more of your work.

      Please forgive me should I respectfully disagree. And I’ll try not to whine when you call me a pussy.

  4. I really enjoyed this post Matt. I know which sort of men I would prefer and it’s not the manosphere kind. These are the types I avoid on I have also have seen some very dodgy women out there making us look very bad. I know things do get overgeneralized out there but every person is uniquely different. I love your approach to this topic and your writing, and your not a pussy 🙂

  5. A powerful piece of writing, sir. I’m not sure where to begin commenting…

    I believe that people must stand up for themselves if they ever hope to get what they want. Of course, they have to KNOW what they want first, and too many people don’t. I’ve been guilty of that myself. Yes, there are powerful social influences at work, but despite that, the human spirit is powerful enough to overcome. It behooves each person to make it a priority to not permit him- or herself to be shat upon by others of either gender. If you allow someone to use you, there will always be some soulless individual out there more than willing to oblige.

    I agree with you that men have the power to stem the tide of divorce. And the chief way to do this is DON’T GET MARRIED IF YOU ARE UNWILLING TO MAKE THE COMMITMENT. You always say “everyone tries it sooner or later.” BUT DOES IT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY? Everyone is different and I won’t think any less of you for choosing the road of singlehood. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: TOO MANY PEOPLE MARRY WHEN THEY SHOULDN’T. The monogamous construct was once essential to the continuation of the human race, but it isn’t any longer. I know both women and men who enjoy having multiple partners. It’s not for me personally, but I don’t hold it against them any more than I hold monogamous marriage against those who choose that way of life.

    With the acceptance of gay marriage under more and more state laws, some courts are beginning to recognize polygamy by extension. I need to write an entire post about this issue. Perhaps polyandry will appeal to the hypergamy crowd.

    I disagree that choosing or rejecting monogamous commitment is indicative of strength or weakness. IT IS AN INDIVIDUAL CHOICE. And we need to respect each other’s choices as to way of life.

    I do oppose your superior attitude regarding the old guy making sandwiches. You don’t know that he isn’t happy doing what he’s doing. Remember, there is something far worse than being alone: Being in a physically and emotionally violent relationship like my mother-in-law endured for years or being a couple who tears each other apart for half a century because they don’t believe in divorce (several examples in my own family).

  6. Oh, there’s so much goodie here. Honestly, I’m glad you’re going to read more about the manosphere and get back to us about it. This is interesting.

    After my divorce, I starting reading everything I could about the differences between men and women and realized I had been a complete idiot. I thought my husband and I were basically the same with different plumbing. Duh. All I knew was that I was unhappy and disappointed, but I never understood what a horrible wife I’d been to him.

    Nobody teaches us this stuff. We learn or we don’t. We seek to be loving, committed adults or we don’t. We do the personal work that’s needed to get our own shit out of the way or we don’t. We look for a partner who’s doing the same sort of work or we don’t. All we can do is keep peeling the layers back to get to the core.

    1. Yes. We had identical experiences. It took a long time for me to get it together. Thank you for your support. 🙂

  7. uneffingbelievable

    Very informative post. I support everyone’s right to their opinion and I like that Rollo promotes NOT getting married to his like-minded brethren. No one should ever “dabble” in marriage. If one goes into it suspicious of their partners motives, the marriage is doomed.

    I’m sure the Alpha/Beta theory is true in some instances, but this made me snort with laughter! I would bet that the majority of married women would rather have sex with their husbands than wild porn sex on the side. The problem is that being ignored, sneered at and lied to does not get most women hot. So many married men act like overgrown teenagers – sullen, sneaky, dismissive, nasty – then complain that their wives never want sex. Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: no one wants to fuck their teenage son. (I hope.)

    Ehem. It took me 17 years to wake up from my marriage coma and to realize that when we were standing before the minister, I said “I do” and when he said “I do” what he was really saying is “We’ll see”.

    1. I don’t think I could ever think about women as these guys do, but I’m definitely going to read more to try and understand why they are as they are.

      I want to believe it’s not hate. That I’m missing something. We’ll see.

  8. Ahh, Matt. So you’ve stumbled on the manosphere. I suppose it was only a matter of time.

    There’s a lot of valuable information out there. Especially for men who want to keep their marriages alive with heathen, sheet ripping sex, even after 20 years of marriage.

    But this guy? I know this guy. I tutor him. He never got laid in high school and won’t get laid in college. He won’t get laid until he gets very successful. Then he will take his revenge on the women who spurned him by writing this drivel.

    Knowledge is power. Read the reviews.
    Here’s my favorite:

    “Leave books to possessors of knowledge who care to filter their work by standards not only of academic intellect, but profound understanding of content.”

    Look at this guy’s misogynistic tweets. This was last night:

    44 y.o. spinster to her GFs: “What happened to good men? Rollo where are the Nice Guys?’ “Back in your 20s where you left them”

    Spinster? Is that even a thing? Who TWEETS that? So cruel. I waited a LONG time to get married, and believe me, I would hardly have characterized myself that way.

    The RIGHT kind of woman, the one YOU want to marry (and I think I know, based on your blog) does NOT exercise hypergamic selectivity. She’ll look for her equal. Look up hypergamy, for fuck’s sake.

    “Forms of hypergamy have been practiced throughout history, including in imperial China, ancient Greece, the Ottoman Empire and feudal Europe.”

    So unless you plan on moving back there, where the “spinsters” reside, put this book DOWN.”

    Maybe this book is useful for men with low self esteem stuck in bad relationships who need to find their way out.

    But you, my friend? YOU are not a pussy. You’re on the right track.

    Explore the manosphere.

    If you want to understand the alpha/beta world from a respectful man who wants marriage to WIN, try here:

    I respectfully submit that you may need a little Alpha in you. Get some.

    Then go find her.

    1. Thank you for the link. I’m very curious about all of this stuff.

      I’m never going to be misogynistic. It’s not who I am.

      But most life philosophies have merit. And I probably have something to learn from these guys. We’ll see.

      Thank you for saying hi. 🙂

  9. I stumbled into the manosphere 8 months ago and my first impression was that this is a reaction against feminism which can be just as ugly & hateful in its own way. What I don’t understand is how this reaction then devolves into an effort to get laid by playing women and scheming (“game technique”). Especially since the manosphere overlaps with a lot of conservative blogs that generally decry the decline of social mores. So it makes no sense to me honestly.

    Btw there’s a funny blog that makes fun of the manosphere, “manboobz–” they can be harsh but some of the entries are hilarious.

    1. I can’t lie. A lot of what I read there stings.

      I experienced first-hand, much of what they say typically happens in marriage.

      I’d like to say they’re all a bunch of morons, but I can’t.

      I don’t like how they talk about women. I don’t like how they treat women. I will never do those things.

      But just because aspects of what they do make me uncomfortable doesn’t mean I can dismiss everything they believe about gender dynamics in marriage. Not yet, anyway.

      We’ll see. I have a lot more reading to do.

      Hope you’ve had a good weekend. Wishing you and your family a very merry and blessed Christmas.

      1. I’ve read a fair amount of manosphere stuff & they have a lot of interesting things to say… but they lose me when it comes to exacting revenge on women by getting laid as frequently and meaninglessly as possible. At the very least they should call it for what it is… horny guys looking to get laid by psychological deception and trickery, instead of wrapping it up in convoluted social theory.

        As far as your wife’s supposed hypergamy, on the surface it looks like she was hypergamous but rich guy was not, in fact, rich. She may simply have fallen for a con artist (not that this excuses anything she did).

        And as far as women supposedly wanting to be dominated, I’m not so sure. Women want to feel loved, protected, and treasured, but relationships are infinitely complex and the dynamics and enjoyment of dominance go both ways.

        A very, very merry christmas for you too!!!

  10. Self esteem. That’s all any of this is. Self confidence. And confidence comes with being able to see the world objectively. Therefore being able to adapt within that world. Being able to thrive.

    Guys who feel dominated by women and react by focusing all their effort on sleeping with them have no self esteem. They’re not triumphing over womankind by giving them a taste of their own medicine. In fact they’re not even “beta” men. They’re “delta” men preying on “delta” women. And the “alpha” women who reject them will still always reject them. The “beta” men are the ones with enough confidence to not even play these games.

    Objective, confident people don’t care about rejection. They don’t dwell on it. And chicks dig confidence.

    1. They do dig confidence. 🙂

      Appreciate your take and you making time to weigh in on this. Thank you!

      Happy holidays, sir.

  11. Uh, yikes. I’ve not heard of the manosphere and maybe I should google them before responding too unjustly but they sound like a load of emotionally castrated douchebags who would slip something in my drink while I wasn’t looking. *sigh* and that’s why we carry weapons in our fancy little handbags.
    I like your take on the world and on men and women. Don’t change, or I’ll know it’s their fault and I will be forced to hunt them down and avenge your humanity.

  12. What Rational Man and his followers fail to mention is that back in the wonderful time when women’s hypergamy was well controlled, Beta males still lost out to bigger, stronger, more cattle owning Alpha males and didn’t get laid much then either.
    Life is unfair!

  13. This is truly a great post, and, dare I say it, a work of art. I’ve read a lot of manosphere literature, and for a few minutes there they had me, but I simply couldn’t truly see through their eyes and thus buy the bullshit, because my sole purpose in life is not, and has never been, to have sex with as many women as possible before rigor mortis (sp?) sets in.

    But I think it’s EXTrEMeLy important to understand WHY the manosphere exists at all.

    In a nutshell, western culture ( in its current form) teaches us to have impossible and unrealistic expectations of life. This is caused by popular media and the commodification of pleasure. We are bamboozled into believing that a good life is a life filled with constant romance, infinite sex, fast cars and the envy of your drooling peers. Yet we forgot that just a few thousand miles away, people are just happy to have clean water to drink.

    Life is not a movie or a Calvin Klein ad. Stop buying the bullshit. Be happy that you have a hot shower on a moment’s notice, that cholera isn’t a concern of yours, and that a person, ANYONE, cares about you at all.

    If we were truly wise, we would all find someone to hold and never let them go, appreciating their LOVE for the LOVE itself, and not for some commodity you perceive them to possess.

    So stop getting all bent out of shape about not getting laid enough. You have a fridge full of food and a Sony DVD player, so shut the fuck up you pathetic whiners.

    1. Love this comment. Full of immense wisdom and gratitude. I can’t thank you enough for writing it.

  14. This is so horrid its laughable. Honest man, each mambie-pambie-pablum you endeavor to construct is just too easy to deconstruct — and *I* don’t even know a fraction about that which you criticize. But I *do* know better. You’re willfully ignorant and a shadow-boxer. Therefore Matt — do NOT change. Please keep your “faith” (Haha!). I relish the thought that you will reap what you sow.

    1. Thanks for reading.

      Good luck doing your thing. I hope you find fulfillment there.

      Edit to add:

      If you believe something strongly, don’t you owe it to the world to explain why? I respect very much that you believe opposite what I do about how to treat people.

      Why don’t you help people and explain it so they can have better lives like you?

      I always want to learn. Always. If you have something, I hope you’ll share.

    2. TarzanWannaBe’s ‘name’ says it all.
      Matt is right- it takes emotional and mental and physical toughness to show restraint, discipline, and to be a GOOD parent.
      It only takes the emotional maturity of a 13 year old to run around doing whatever makes you feel good and blaming the opposite sex for your faults.
      TARZAN? He was an imbecile that needed a smart woman to teach him how to be human. Maybe WannaBe will one day realize how great this metaphor is for his construct.

      1. tarzanwannabe

        Your response is to attempt a personal attack of my online name?

  15. I subscribe to Christian principles when I’m not saying “fuck you very much.”

    Literally laughed out loud at my daughter’s swim practice. First time today. Thank you very much.

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Matt Fray

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