I remember a story a friend of our family told me when I was maybe 11 or 12 years old. He was a young adult at the time, and was (I assume he still is) one of those people who seemed like he could do anything he wanted. He was tall, athletic, funny, and had a natural way with people. He had traveled around Latin America and Spain and had lived in both places for short periods of time. The story I remember was about the running of the bulls in Spain*. He said that young men would decide they were going to run with the bulls to demonstrate their courage, but once the bull was loose some would try to climb the barricades to join the spectators. When they did this they were pushed back by the men on the other side (I think he said the police), who would tell them:
You wanted to run with the bulls. So run with the bulls.
The important part of the story is this wasn’t done with malice. The men pushing them back had no animosity for the frightened young men they were pushing back into harms way. They were helping these young men complete what they set out to accomplish. There is also a frame of mind here which men have (or should have) about finishing what you start, and living up to your boasts.
I think this story will resonate with most men reading this blog, because it captures the way men tend to see the world. I’m also guessing that to many women the actions of the men pushing back will seem like pure cruelty.
I’m sharing this story because I’ve thought of it fairly frequently recently while reading in the manosphere. I think women could better understand men’s reactions to a large number of the issues discussed here by understanding this perspective. I think this colors men’s reactions to the complaint of withdrawn chivalry for example, or even the Lara Logan situation.
The attitude this story represents is part of what I think defines being a man. Since feminism has taught us to not see men as different than women, most men have probably internalized this as what it means to be an adult. However, while men are being taught that it is essential to finish what they started and accept the consequences of their own choices (and boasts), women are often taught to be frivolous so as to never be unhappy, and to reject adulthood. One of the more frustrating parts of feminism for men is finding out that most women never really intended for men to take them seriously on it, at least on the hard parts. Often men find this out only after it is too late.
I’m sharing this story to help men and women both understand each other a little better. Women can benefit from understanding that men think this way, and men can benefit from understanding that very often women don’t, so we shouldn’t assume they do.
*I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the story. Either way the basic lesson is true whether the parable itself is.
Image by Bernard bill5