The Military and Subsidized Masculinity

Military

I was talking to one of my friends on the phone the other night when he brought up that he was considering joining the military. Considering that I was in the military for a short period not too long ago, I guess it’s understandable that he would seek me out for a second opinion.

What was most interesting however were his reasons for wanting to join. He said that he “wanted to work for the government,” he currently does not have a job and not a lot of prospects, and most of all he “wants to do/see some real shit,” though he also clearly stated that he doesn’t want to really fight or kill anyone. I asked him what branch he was considering, and he was more or less indecisive and currently does not really know or care much at the moment. He also said that he wants to “be the real deal, like in Ranger school or Airborne.” He is also 32 years old and a very laid back guy.

I more or less tried to tell him that he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone but himself, and that if all he cares about is receiving certain certifications or training (i.e. marksman, martial arts, etc.) that he can always do that on the side as a hobby or hobbies while securing himself in other ways.

This conversation, more than anything, did get me thinking about the military in general and going back over many of the reasons and motivations for joining in the first place. Most people on the surface try to play off the PC angle of “Patriotism” and “serving your country.” The truth, however, is that those things have more to do with the marketing than the product itself.

The fact of the matter is that most guys go into the military because they have little to no other choice or options.

The 3 most common reasons I observed for recruits going in were either:

1. To support their family.

2. To help pay for various/student loans

3. It beats working at McDonalds or any other entry level job.

I went into the military just a couple weeks after my 21st birthday, and I honestly thought that I would be one of the older guys there. Surprisingly, I was one of 3 guys under the age of 23 in my platoon and one of the youngest out of our entire company. We had a number of guys in their  30’s and 40’s and even one guy in his 60’s. The majority of men there were in the 23-28 age range though. Typically the guys in this demographic (particularly the younger ones) had one common thread among them; a need to somehow “prove themselves.”

Basically, what these men were looking for was a clear and concrete path from adolescence to maturity, from boyhood to manhood. As I have noted before, this is basically what the entire Manosphere is about, more or less.

That’s all fine and dandy on the surface, but when you really start to think about it and read between the lines, it starts to get a little disturbing. Considering that anything the government does or buys or pays for is done with tax dollars, taxes paid for by we the people, the military industrial complex, at least from the average person’s perspective, is really just a way of paying our young men into adulthood, of buying them masculinity in a way.

It of course goes beyond that, however. Spend a little time in any of the “neighborhoods” on a decent military base and everything screams of rigid, lifeless, and subsidized. It’s almost like a higher form of welfare.

I particularly want to stress the age demographic of the men going into here however. Using my time in the military as a proxy, the average age of men going into basic were about 23-28, with 25 being the median. The average male life expectancy in the U.S. is about 76.

These men’s lives are about 1/3 over and they’re still desperately reaching for some way out of their extended adolescence.

The way it used to be in this country, you could have a good job by 15-18, be a “pillar of the community” and at least somewhat respected or taken seriously, possibly get married and have children and bada-boom, you were a man and free to roam the earth as a full-fledged adult. Now we have hipsters and foodies, proudly displaying their “minimalist” lifestyles of welfare and coffee shops.

The friend I mentioned at the beginning of the article was 32 years old, that’s even farther down the line to be grasping for this kind of stuff.

We’ve become a nation of boys and bitches.

Speaking of bitches, do not deal with any woman who is/was in the military or is considering joining. These women are merely being honest about how manipulative and usury-like they are. Take heed of their display and run away, as they will use you just the same.

Advertisements