The Man Book: Becoming a Man in the Twenty-First Century

The Man Book: Becoming a Man in the Twenty-First Century

by Steve Clarke

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982207830
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 08/17/2018
Pages: 340
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.71(d)

About the Author

Steve Clarke is a former pilot in the British Royal Air Force with a degree focused on the interplay of psychology and economics in a business environment. He has led and inspired teams of talented men and women to exceed their expectations for many years.

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CHAPTER 1

CONFUSION

The least attractive quality in a man is not femininity — it's confusion.

Karen Lucas Clarke

A Letter to Every Adult Male:

Dear John,

I can hear you thinking: "Wait a minute Clarke. I am an adult male.

Being a man comes naturally to me. How is it even possible for me — a successful, mature, adult male — to be anything other than a Man in the fullest sense of the word?"

I'm sorry, John, but the sad fact is that if you are like many adult males, you are confused about your role as protector, husband, lover, parent, and provider. You are also confused about women and by women: how to relate to them; how to love them; and how to live with them. The confusion seeps into your work life too, where you probably lack the direction, focus, and commitment to be as successful in your job as you could be.

If you doubt me, look around, or better yet, ask all the men you know how their lives are going. My observation from asking that very question is that young men are unhappy, lost, or drowning in doubt. I challenge you to ask yourself:

• Am I happy with who I am and where I am going?

• Do I know where I am going, and how to get there?

• Am I standing in my power as a Man in my relationships?

• Am I realizing my full social, intellectual, and sexual potential?

If you are like millions of other men in the industrialized Western world, your confusion makes it impossible to reach your full potential as a Man. Take heart; you are not alone. You are a member of the man club that grows bigger every day if any of these descriptions fit:

• You feel trapped by your work, family, friends, or location.

• Your reality leaves you cold.

• You have lost your spark.

• Your relationship has no juice but you are afraid to leave it.

• You have no direction and no purpose.

• You avoid relationships because you fear losing your identity.

• You dislike the thought of providing income and security for a woman.

• You are a 30-year old still living with your mother.

• You thought life as an adult was going to be great, but now you know it's not.

If any of these descriptions fit, you are not odd, unusual, or flawed. You are in good company. Almost every young man you know is in the same boat with you.

To become a Man, you must take the difficult first step and accept that you, an adult male with a good job and no shortage of sex partners, might not yet be the Man you are capable of becoming. There is a Man inside you, no matter how confused you are. As I discuss further later, he is your inner Man, and you soon will free him from the prison cell in which you have held him all your adult life.

While the process of becoming a Man is simple, it's not easy. It's simple because you don't have to dedicate a lot of time to the task or pay lots of money to shrinks or counselors. You can continue to work, enjoy sports, hang out with your friends, and date women. You can grow and become a Man as an undercurrent to your normal daily life. Nevertheless, becoming a Man is not easy because you have to grow into the role, which means you must decide that you need to change. You will have to shake offyears of doubt about who you are and where you are going. You will have to replace all those years of shame and blame others have heaped upon you with your own view of who you really are and how you will live your life. Once you are a Man, you will never again say, "It's not my fault. I'm doing what you told me to do. So, don't blame me." Once you become the Man you were always meant to be, you will be playing out your life with your deck of cards. You won't be outplayed by other Men playing their game with their cards — and, quite possibly, your woman.

As soon as you embark on this journey, your friends will notice a difference in you immediately. They may not understand what has happened to you, but they will notice that you are brighter, and more interesting. I have known numerous men who have taken the first step on their journey to become Men, and the change in them is stunning. Some who took that first step found it was too challenging and gave up. If you give up because of the challenge, realize that a Man does not give up because his goal is too challenging.

If you get nothing else from this book, stop worrying about the past or the future. Take joy in the moment — yes, this very moment — and be fully present whether you are pleasuring your lover, or yourself for that matter. Once you are present, you won't be worrying about the fence that needs painting or the report that is due next week. When you are present in the now, your life will become simpler, and so much better. Presence is so important that it has a section of its own later in the book. Here is a start on being present: if reading The Man Book right now is not the best thing you could be doing, please go do whatever it is you believe is better.

I am not going to turn you into something you are not. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. I am going to describe the attributes of a Man, and you can decide how to use the information to set your inner Man free. There is no recipe. I am not going to tell you to "follow this ten-step program" to become a Man. Would you feel better if I told you how to become the Man I think you should be? If you are yelling, "Hell, no!" Congratulations on a good answer.

You already have the tools to become a Man. Trust me; this is not superhero material. You don't need a PhD. You don't need to learn a new language. You don't need to spend a lot of money. There's no age limit. There are no prerequisites. If you are quiet and introspective, you can become a Man and still be quiet and introspective. If you are an all-action charger with a brash approach to life, you can retain all your fire and still become a Man. When you set your inner Man free you will finally become you — the only you who has ever existed. The only you who will ever exist. The world needs Men like you. Become one.

If your life is great, and you have goals and a plan to achieve your goals, and you have strong relationships with male and female friends, congratulations. Keep doing what you are doing. You may already be a Man. Even so, you will find things in this book that will make you a better Man; that struggle to be better never ends. Take a chance, and set offon a journey to your future as a Man. You have nothing to lose.

If you are still with me, focus on being right here, right now! You feel brighter and easier already! You just tested out of Man 101.

Steve Clarke

So What Do You Want to Be? Media Model or Man

In spite of the wide degree of sexual, cultural, and political freedom we enjoy, many adult males are struggling to be authentically themselves. Until 50 years ago, males found out about being masculine Men from other males who were already Men. Now, there are too few Men capable of teaching boys and young men how to become Men. If you search for a role model in movies or on television, you will only become more confused. Movies and TV shows put impossibly beautiful men and women in equally impossible situations, unfettered by the realities of living a life. Unfortunately, if you become beguiled by the way these actors and models appear, your efforts to emulate them will prevent you from being authentically yourself. You will be forever jumping through hoops trying to become them instead of becoming you. Once you realize your effort is doomed to fail no matter how hard you try, you can relax. Keeping up with the Joneses is a terrible way to live; keeping up with the media Joneses is impossible.

Mass marketing shows women in the thrall of men who have applied the right cologne, driven the right car, or worn the right clothes. The message is clear – it's things that make men successful, and if you don't have those things, you are failing. On the other hand, film makers and advertisers show us that women can use their bodies and sex to manipulate and control males without repercussions (most of the time). Fortunately, these manipulations will fail once you become a Man because you will have no need of cologne or a woman with impossibly shiny hair to validate you. Baubles matter not to a Man. It is his character that matters.

Hollywood has capitalized on the rise of newly empowered women by turning gender roles on their heads. Strong women and weak male leads are the new normal. In the last twenty-five years, female TV and movie characters win all manner of fights that, in reality, would get them killed. Xena may cut it in her skimpy outfit, but she would never cut it in a fight. Angelina Jolie, Jodie Foster, Uma Th urman, Sigourney Weaver, Glenn Close, and Demi Moore portray powerful female characters as actually tough, while Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Mel Gibson portray men who are cartoonishly tough — think movies like Under Siege, Rocky, Terminator, Die Hard, and Lethal Weapon. In these movies (all of which I enjoyed), the characters have a comic book feel. They are fun to watch but they are so divorced from reality that they make a mockery out of what being a Man is all about. Gone are the TV characters of old, like Marshal Matt Dillon (Gunsmoke), Rowdy Yates (Rawhide), Sergeant Joe Friday (Dragnet) and the eponymous Kojack, who were fighting for justice as Men. Even comedy shows are not immune. Many involve men who are inept or just plain stupid, while the show's women save the day. It was only a few years between the female klutz in I Love Lucy (1957) and the powerful female leader in The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970).

The move to heroic female roles happened at a time when women in the industrialized Western world were taking a far more prominent role in society as governments legislated equality among the sexes. Unfortunately, what began as a fight for equal rights under the law, soon became a demand for fundamental changes in the character of adult males. Adult males were criticized for their manly traits and were pressed to become gentler, more heart-centered, and emotionally available (i.e., more feminine). It was as if women and the media assumed that males did not have feelings, when the reality is that males feel just as much as females. However, in the same way that wounded wolves hide their weaknesses from the pack, males hide their emotions and wounds so as not to appear weak. This has been a masculine trait for millennia, and criticizing the trait betrays a lack of understanding of masculine biology. For fifty years now, women have berated adult males for their masculinity, and the mass media lost no opportunity to highlight the sins of the masculine (uncaring, unfeeling, unemotional, egotistical, one dimensional, and so on). During that time, adult males lost the guts of their masculinity as the tidal wave of feminism and the mass media squeezed it out of them.

The result was a revolution with — as with all revolutions — unintended consequences. Adult males suffered multiple major setbacks: The media tore down everything masculine. Many males were slow to adapt to the rapidly changing environment caused by the feminist revolution and, as a result, lost their sense of manhood, their dignity, and sometimes their jobs. Any male who complained was branded a Neanderthal. The most damaging effect of these changes was that boys failed to become Men because older Men stopped showing them how (even the older Men began to doubt what appropriate masculinity looked like). Males also suffered in the workplace, as hiring preferences changed to meet gender-based staffing goals.

I am fully aware that men have been fired for harassing or otherwise inappropriately treating women in the workplace. The culprit is usually a predatory senior male using his position of authority to draw a woman into a sexual relationship of some kind. I absolutely abhor such behavior because it has created the false narrative that all males engage in such predatory practices.

Of course, some men do commit violent crimes against women, including rape, molestation, and beatings. What is lost in the sensationalist media coverage is that these crimes are committed by a tiny minority of men. Therefore, I am going to focus on non-criminal men and let someone else deal with the criminals and predators. As a result of the feminist revolution, males have grown ever more confused. The confusion I am referring to causes many men to feel unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and even lost. If you have ever had thoughts like these:

• Nobody wants to be with me.

• Women are crazy.

• I never have enough money.

• I have great plans, but they never seem to work out.

• I'm a loser.

• Is this all there is?

• My work sucks, my life sucks; what is the point.

• I give everything I have, and it's never enough.

• I have no idea what I want to do or where I want to go.

• My boss doesn't like me, my girlfriend doesn't like me, I don't even like me.

then you have probably fallen victim to confusion. If that is the case, then you are like many men who are no longer anchored to a reality they can understand. For them, reality moves like a shifting fog as they are pushed wherever the wind blows them. Because they don't know what they want, they never find it. Because they don't know where they are going, not only do they never know when they have arrived, where they actually are never feels right either. Scorned by the media and by women as misogynistic, oafish, or clueless, men seem to have no idea where to go or what to do if they ever arrive. These men are not stupid. They are well aware that their lives and their relationships with women are unsatisfying. They even know they have no direction, no purpose, and — if they don't sort themselves out — no future. If they ever had a train, it lies cold and rusting, its fire snuffed out long ago. Under attack from all directions, their performance, manliness, and energy level are all targets for their critics. If you ask them, they may tell you they hate women, their boss, or their government (maybe all three) because they have to blame somebody for their confusion. Is it any wonder they give up?

If any of this seems to fit you, it's not your fault. Please let that sink in. Roll it around in your mouth, and say it out loud. Then feel the truth of it in your body. It's not your fault because nobody ever taught you how to be a Man. Repeat, and scream it out:

It's not my fault because nobody ever taught me how to be a Man!

Make no mistake though. It will be your fault if you do nothing about it now that you know. So what is it to be a Man? Are Men supposed to be soft and gentle or strong and tough? Should they be tender and heart-centered, or should they fight to protect their families, friends and way of life? Should they be singularly focused on a mission (a masculine trait), or should they be diffused and unfocused (a feminine trait)? For decades, feminists have required Men to shoehorn their behavior into a revised model of masculinity, and it has not worked. Many males under 50 years of age lost sight of their naturalness as their masculinity slowly seeped away. Paradoxically, as adult males yielded to the feminist demands, women have grown more dissatisfied with them. If you need confirmation of this, just ask women how they feel about the men in their lives. All the women I know who are in a relationship with the man they thought they wanted (i.e., because he was kind, gentle, heart-centered, and emotionally available), are dissatisfied with him because what these women really needed was a relationship with a Man. Sadly, as my real life example below shows, young Men are few and far between.

Audrey is a wonderful young woman, beautiful on the inside and the outside. She is intelligent, beguiling, and witty. She would have no trouble attracting a Man, if she could find one. I asked her why she was not with a Man, and she said, "Introduce me to one who is not attached already. I don't know any." Audrey is not looking for a perfect Man; she just wants a Man who is single and available. Of all the adult males I know, I could not think of one who fit the bill. Audrey's inability to find a Man is a fact of life for millions of other women too. This book is an attempt to give Audrey — and women like her — a chance at finding a Man.

Where Are the Men?

Where have the Men gone? Have I imagined their disappearance? I looked for the answer everywhere — from practitioners, online, in books, in seminars, and in workshops dealing with males in general, and their relationships with women in particular. I hosted discussion groups (Salons) that focused on sex and relationships. There is no doubt that Men are hard to find.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Man Book"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Steve Clarke.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Important Cautions, ix,
Acknowledgments, xi,
Late Addendum, xv,
Introduction, xvii,
1. Confusion, 1,
2. How Did We Get Here?, 13,
3. Myths vs. Realities, 25,
4. Man, 47,
5. man, 77,
6. More on Rites of Passage, 89,
7. Set Your Inner Man Free, 97,
8. Feminism and the MCP, 127,
9. The Battle of the Sexes, 135,
10. The Pendulum Swings, 143,
11. Story, 161,
12. The Brotherhood of Men, 171,
13. Relationships, 193,
14. Dating 101, 201,
15. Female Genital Anatomy, 223,
16. Pleasuring a Woman, 235,
17. Sex and Romance, 245,
18. How Interactions Go Wrong, 273,
19. The End, 297,
20. Exercises, 301,
21. Resources, 311,

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