Masculinity Is Appealing, Manhood Is Better

Return Of Kings’ focus is the return of masculine men. But there is dissent about what masculinity actually is. Men of all kinds write about women, guns, sexual conquest, and politics. ROK has something to infuriate and delight any man, but it’s hard to sort through.

So lets shove aside the clutter and get to the core of the matter, starting with masculinity. What is it? What does it look like? Can we measure it? Where does it come from? Pretty soon we’re diving right back into the same old pile of dreck we just shoved aside. Let’s not.

I submit that we need something bolder and simpler than mere masculinity. We need a return to manhood.


Manhood is the sum total of the characteristics of a man. To a child, manhood looks like daddy. To a woman, manhood is strength and security. To a young lady, manhood appears dangerous, risky, but compelling in some strange way. In an elder, manhood shows as composure, patience and wisdom. To a community, manhood is honesty, trust, and leadership. In a warrior, manhood is strength and discipline in peace time; fierce courage in battle. Manhood is singular but takes on many forms.

Manhood isn’t learned, it’s grown. Something or someone outside of himself is necessary for a boy to achieve manhood. He doesn’t do this on his own.

The progress of a male baby from infancy to manhood hits many obstacles. Some get further along than others and many never make it at all. The failures become mere adults, great big boys. Others are stalled out partway along but no longer moving: part man and part boy in a large body. This is confusion!


As he approaches manhood, a boy often experiences a defining moment where he leaves his childhood behind and becomes a man. Call it red-pilling if you want, but it’s more of an epiphany.

For me, this occurred around age fifteen on a wet horse as a cold driving rain turned into blowing snow while we climbed up beyond the timber line. The horses had ice in their manes and snow dusted the mules. Night was coming and I was cold. With many hours ahead before we reached camp, I was in trouble.

My dad was further back, behind the pack mules, and I could just make him out as I turned to ask for help. Only after he told me he had already given his foul weather gear to my younger brother did I see that he was shivering violently. I turned back and I knew that I had to tough it out alone. Dad had already given his all. It was up to me, and I was ready.

Since then, I’m rarely without proper gear and I’ve never forgotten that moment. I’ve since shivered myself after giving gear to a woman or child, because that’s what men do. That’s who we are.

In the closing pages of Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage are these moving lines:

He felt a quiet manhood, non-assertive but of sturdy and strong blood… He had been to touch the great death, and found that, after all, it was but the great death. He was a man.

Not every man experiences such a sudden transformation, but men know the difference between what they were and what they are.

The process of obtaining manhood is mysterious and clouded, but the end result is obvious to everyone. Nobody can grant manhood. No one issues certificates of completion. Manhood is simply observed and accepted. It’s easily recognized by anyone who cares to look.

Uh-Oh… Now What?

But what is so easily recognized is not so easily faked. Males who grow up without achieving manhood try to act the part.

You know them. They’re confused. They go this way and that and get nowhere. They have no compass and are unpredictable. They talk loudly about their exploits but they’re stagnant. They’re lions around women and children, pussy cats around men. Their kids sneak around behind them. Their women laugh at them. They want to be seen as real men but they’re clueless. They think their manhood is between their legs.

Thinking about the journey from diapers to manhood hearkens back to what I wrestled with years ago as I tried to understand how one obtained spiritual righteousness. I was distracted by outward stuff crowding out the solution. Eventually, I learned that spiritual righteousness doesn’t come from righteous acts (religion), but from a relationship with our Creator.

The journey to manhood is like that. It’s a mystery if you try to force it, but it comes naturally if you let it happen. Both spiritual righteousness and manhood are easily and often faked, but the genuine is obvious.


So I submit that the journeys to manhood and spiritual righteousness are similar. Both require a relationship with the Creator for success, but at different times. The journey to manhood requires a relationship with the Creator for completion. Spiritual righteousness requires it at the beginning.

One whose journey has stalled out will go nowhere until that relationship is restored. And this makes sense. How else could manhood be achieved, except through the One who created man in his own image? If full manhood is to be restored, it’s going to start with this relationship.

Read More: The Importance Of Mythology To Manhood

29 thoughts on “Masculinity Is Appealing, Manhood Is Better”

  1. This has been talked about a lot but the lack of rite of passage rituals in the west is what essentially killed manhood.
    You have to be tested by nature to be a man, unfortunately we’ve strayed away too far. Most don’t even know how to make a fire or chop log.
    Manhood test nowadays is making money, lifting heavy weights, being sexually liberal, but in the comfort of a secured society.
    Security can sometimes be detrimental to manhood as the protectionist and improvisational skills of a man becomes obsolete.

    1. In a South American tribe, to be considered a man, you have to put your hands in a box full of bullet ants. Bullet ants are known to have the most painful sting of any known insect. Bullet ants are named as such because being stung by one is said to feel like being shot. Boys as young as 12 are expected to undergo this ritual. Not just once, but a total of 6 times I believe before he is accepted by the tribe as a man.

      1. I’m brazilian… I’ve lived with the brazilian indigenous peoples for a bit. They say that ant bites take away laziness. When they see a lazy man or boy they sometimes say: “That one there needs to be bitten by some ants” lol.

    2. I would say for men in the West, first learn how to change a flat tire on your car. Then learn to change the oil. How many men don’t know how to do these simple tasks is astounding.

  2. Manhood is simply the realization that you yourself must be the source of your ambition and be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals.

  3. “They’re confused. They go this way and that and get nowhere. They have no compass and are unpredictable. They talk loudly about their exploits but they’re stagnant. They’re lions around women and children, pussy cats around men. Their kids sneak around behind them. Their women laugh at them. They want to be seen as real men but they’re clueless. They think their manhood is between their legs.”
    Life under a single mother in a nutshell. I can’t help but feel embarrassed when I read this part because this used to be me. The stuff I used to do to prove I was worthy is so cringe-inducing that I still try my best to forget it even happened.

    1. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed. Most men in feminised Western society are a bit (or a lot) like this. The important thing is to face our inadequacies honestly and do something about them. Self-improvement, I believe, can occur at any age. Being unflinchingly honest with ourselves is an important aspect of masculinity.

    2. At least your single mother raised you an provided for you, took care that you were fed and clothed? Where was your father at this time? How come you don’t blame the parent that was absent and had plenty of better things to do than caring about his offspring, but the one who stood by you?
      Male gratitude.

      1. Well people do react differently when their spouse betrays them. And if it makes you happy, his entire life is ruined. In fact so much, that he went from Atheist to practicing Jew (why he chose that, I do not know) because he saw that as his only way to continue living.
        Sure my mother provided but it wasn’t worth the depression and suicidal tendencies that came with it while she spent the weekends slutting around in whatever night clubs she went to. I am grateful though that I am out of that life and I hope she enjoyed her time because she’s already middle-aged now and no grandkids to look forward to (last time I checked at least).

      2. So how do you know his single mother was the saint you describe? My father was raised by a single mother and she was far from that, but a mentally and physically abusive drunk and junkie. My dad and his 5 siblings are deeply damaged by her “care”, even now that she’s years dead and they’re all senior citizens.

      3. In my case, he was dead, my mother is a widow since 2004, and she did a terrific job raising us red pilled, she is the most conservative and anti-feminist woman that you can meet. She was raised old-fashioned in a family of 12 in Mexico. So GTFO.

      4. Not him, I do blame my father as well. But knowing my father, I know that without my mother around life would have been easier for my whole family. My mother was the disastrous weak link who pushed my father away.

    3. I for a moment looked deep inside myself when reading that part, and wondered “could that be me?”
      I doubt it, but either way – from this day forth, I vow to never become or succumb to that state.

  4. Interesting article. I’m curious to know if the anecdote the author shares is related to a hunting trip. I had a similar experience at a similar age in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. No pack animals, just me and my frame pack. Like the inexperienced young, dumb-ass I was, I set out from camp without sufficient gear. I didn’t head the warnings of my father and the more experienced members of the party. Long story short, I got lost and spent the night along a rock face with a small fire and a few bags of trail mix. Probably the longest night of my life.

  5. A ROK article that gets back to the roots of ROK. Excellemt piece.
    When it comes to youth theee days, at least in my neck of the woods, they are either getting back to the roots of hunting, fixing shit, competing (and getting bloody doing it) or they’re yuppies who have no idea what it’s like to get a little dirt under the beautifully manicured nails. I’d like to think this is a beginning call to arms for males anymore. The hyper partisan crap that is PoundMeToo and other identity politics I think is backfiring at a grassroots level. Even heard women talking about how if this shit keeps up women will find themselves thrown back 60 years.

  6. After reading this I have to say that I honestly don’t know what distinction is made between masculinity and manhood, why it is valuable to make such a distinction, or how manhood is achieved. The implication of the writing is that men sacrifice themselves to be men. There is some truth to that but it is more nuanced.
    Rites of passage for manhood are wildly misunderstood. Most throughout the world do not happen as a singular event but are continuous across many years.
    If you genuinely want to know what manhood is read Manhood in the Making and The Way of Men. If you want a modern take on manhood read up on neo-masculinity. There are other books that offer more definitive explanations of manhood in the modern era that do not move the goal post to allow weak betas to parade as men.

  7. Jared: You picked up on that quick. There wasn’t space to develop the masculine/manhood thing further. Maybe another time.

  8. Like slaves, Americans beg for their chains.
    The elites tell Americans that they don’t need freedom and Americans nod their heads and agree that they don’t need freedom.
    Has anyone noticed the elites create a problem and then offer a solution?
    The elites say North Korea must be invaded because they torture and have nuclear bombs, but no points out that the US also tortures and has nuclear bombs. No one wonders if another war will add to the US debt, increase refugees, or lead to terrorism.
    The 1% says the minimum wage must be increased, but no one questions if higher minimum wages will slow the economy or increase prices.
    Our overlords say sodas must be banned because sodas are unhealthy, but no one mentions that no one died from drinking sodas 20 years ago.
    The ruling class says a wall must be built to stop illegal aliens, but no one thinks that the US used to have open borders. No one wonders if a wall will be used to keep Americans in, not to keep illegal immigrants out.
    The 1% says airbags must be added to cars, but no one mentions that airbags kill people.
    The elites say we must have electronic voting machines, but no one wonders in electronic voting machines can be hacked.
    The 1% says companies must have bailouts to prevent a recession, but no one mentions that the economy will recover without bailouts.
    The ruling class says doctors must have licenses, but no one wonders if regulations increase health care costs.
    Our overlords says guns must be banned, but no one points out how will you protect yourself without a gun.
    The globalists say protests must be banned, but no one questions how can people resist tyranny without protesting.
    The ruling powers newspapers must be shut down to prevent fake news, but no one wonders if the government would tell the truth without a free press.
    The 1% says carrying cash or depositing less than $10,000 in your own bank account must be illegal to prevent drug use, but no one questions how can you live when everything is a crime.
    The elites say drugs must be banned, but no one points that alcohol prohibition led to more crime.
    The ruling class says Fascism and Communism are the American way, but no one mentions that the US fought Nazis and Commies in the past.
    The 1% says that we must have a trade war to help the economy, but no one mentions a trade war made the Great Depression worse.
    Our overlords says we must buy car insurance, but no one wonders how many drivers have a vested interest in crashing their cars.
    The ruling powers says we must have food stamps, but no one mentions that private charities can provide welfare.
    The elites say that the US must close mosques and have TSA groping, CIA torture, kill lists, and NSA wiretapping to stop terrorism, but no one points out that the US has a Bill of Rights.
    The 1% says we must have pilot licenses, business licenses, driver licenses, and fishing licenses, but no one points out that there was a time when people could fly, run a business, drive, and fish safely without state permission. No one says documents can be forged and officials can be bribed.
    Americans are so enslaved now that patriots who warn about the dangers of tyranny will be slammed for criticizing the beloved overlords of Americans.
    Americans are such enslaved zombies now that they will say they live in a free country while they get sent to the concentration camps and climb into the ovens.
    Every country has the government it deserves.

      You are quite right. If you have lived out of choice for 20 years outside the Western Hemisphere as I have you realize how little any of the garbage matters.

  9. Very important article.
    Reminds us that God, and the Fathers, are the source of force, source of meaning, source of joy.

  10. in my opinion you have achieved manhood when your presence alone gives confidence, courage, and a feeling of security to those who are familiar with you.

  11. RED PILL REALITY- In the ‘New Society’ now forming all around you there will be
    NO masculinity, manhood, independence or self-sufficiency allowed. The Already-Here 5 and 6 G technology provides such omnipotent control that every square centimeter of the locked-down continental US can be instantly destroyed with a click of a mouse.
    Thinking that your ‘manhood’ is proven by running away from TimesUp-MeToo Insta-Thots in order to kill sickly animals in a dying, yet off-limits, forest is even more pathetic than jerking to the brown shemales of the latest Hollywood propaganda.
    When World War 3 begins this year and the US loses its economy and millions of its citizens a supplantive system will appear with such power that no form of action or thinking will be permissioned,.. or even possible.
    Rites of passage imply there is something worth attaining at the end. This technically never existed; and is absolutely no longer true.
    There is no ‘discovery of self’. There are no ‘goals’. There is no growth unto strength and wisdom.
    You will be neutered.
    Monetarily, opportunistically, and sexually. You will look around you and there will be no women, there will be no edible food, there will be no air to breathe. You will be unable to think clearly or physically move your body. Your motor functions will be hampered and unreliable. You will have no property or self-chosen purpose. Any deviation from your assigned function will result in severe repercussions up to the level of clinical death, but not to complete death.
    The ‘game’ of constantly improving yourself to ‘win’ the ‘cis-masculine’ sire-stud gigolo option of servicing a dark, fat pig princess (who is neither male, nor female) will no longer be an option.
    You will not be capable of any personal satisfaction or achievement, nor will your mind even consider the notion of ‘individual identity’.
    You will have no characteristics that separate you from the remaining suppliants. The technology that is already interwoven with your damaged DNA will have higher value than your life in itself.
    Eventually you will sacrifice your soul and spirit without even a moment’s pause.
    Welcome to your ever eternal Hell.

    1. Someone who truly gets it…
      Soon the only way to real freedom is living in the jungles of a 3rd world country and trying to survive there.
      People who have grown up poor, unable to find work because they have no connections or many years of higher education in a system that tests kids and young adults for their ability and willingness to submit to condescending petty dictators aka teachers, or getting an apprentice wage so low that they’re reliant on government handouts where hostile manhating femnazis try to come up with reasons to prevent you from having shelter and food so they can meet their quotas know this first hand.
      I can boot strap myself living in a 3rd world country offering basic services or spending half a decade in poverty to become employable as a programmer, but in the west not a chance and then I’m still a slave.
      True freedom can only be found in nature these days, but it comes at the high price of a very likely early death.

  12. There are always three kinds of man in the world.
    1.Those, who make it happen,
    2 those who watch it happen
    3 and those complainig all their life, what happened to them.
    As a German guy after the last elections I belong to No2 with exception of my family.

  13. “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover” by Robert Moore & Douglas Gillette, and related works provide a much better picture of manhood even if it is from Jung, a figurehead for (((psychoanalysis))); men are more mature if they developed positive aspects of the four boy archetypes during boyhood, and later had a ritual initiation to shatter the boy mindset, so that they can guided to the four mature man archetypes by wise men.
    Many men now have maturity gaps, because of no equivalent healthy initiation process (hazing/gangs/military are not a healthy equivalent), resulting in inadequate/immature behaviour as adults; I’ll spotted some of these defects in myself since the material made me aware of them, however I am loath to use suggested (((psychoanalysis))) or religion to try and address them, so we need practical methods, not just empty words, like “be a man” and “achieve stuff” without the foundations to support this.
    Females have similar archetypes and probably need similar help to become mature women too, but obviously fewer get this now, so many have maturity gaps too, as is obvious now e.g. bitch/slut labelled clothing, other vulgar clothing/props, and other irresponsible behaviour.
    Apparently females instinctively shit test from various angles to separate fully mature men, from lesser men, so game faking by lesser men can be detected and rejected, especially by fully mature women, because a lot is based in the subconscious of males and females, which can’t be easily faked/fooled.

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