T Nation

Father to Son


An interesting piece I came across on my travels round the web, written by the always-enterprising Anonymous. Can't say I agree with everything here but there's some truth in it. Reminded me of one of TC's spiels and thought it might draw a crowd here


An article from a father to his son.

Your legacy: Many of the words below are not pretty truths. They are a legacy built on the bones of millions of men who came before. Men who toiled, fought, failed, succeeded, loved, hated, served, sold out, betrayed, laughed, cried and died. And each placed a stone in the edifice of masculine service that raises you to the height on which you now stand. Look around; you have the wisdom of millions of great men to serve you if you can avail yourself of it. By accepting and integrating the harsh, ugly, unfair truths about men and about the world, you equip yourself to deliver the joyful, uplifting, fair and pretty and worthy gifts to those around you.

If you want people to respect you then treat people with respect.

If you feel like a fool at least once a day, you're probably doing something right. Don't be afraid to be a jerk.

If you take 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your life, as if you caused it on purpose, then you will never lack for the personal power to do the things you want to do.

If you are to avoid the fate of being blown around like a scrap of paper by society's currents and culture's winds, you must choose a good place to set down your roots as a man. Choose well. Even a gigantic oak can be brought down by a powerful wind, so if you choose to try to stand alone, the winds of culture and society may stunt you or bring you down. Would that serve you, your family, or society? Consider that a tree among its brothers, branches and roots intertwined, can remain standing where other trees would fall. Even the rain that turns into a flood cannot remove its roots. The result is a sheltered place where a life and a family can flourish.

Hold trust in your life as a property of your own character, not as something that you grant or withhold dependent on the behavior of others. Making your trust dependent on the behavior of others is a crass form of manipulation, it dis-empowers you and others. It will result in strife for you and all around you. Yes, you will get hurt and screwed a few times, but you will have personal integrity that is beyond reproach. Extend trust because you are a trusting person, and for no other reason. Withdraw trust only when events, not attitudes, warrant it. Seek the company of others who hold trust in the same way, and educate your other companions in the true values and functions of trust.

Never be a trick pony, disporting your emotions on demand. If you don't have the self-control to make the proper choosing of your own for processing your feelings, then why should you be trusted as a man? General Tommy Franks, a man I admire, says that you sometimes have to defer your feelings until you can afford them. If you don't have the strength of character to resist the demands of society that you be 'sensitive' on society's terms, then why should you be trusted with something more important than your feelings? Processing your emotions freely and effectively in your own time serves you by allowing you to dump your baggage and be effective as a man on a higher level, serving society in noble ways that otherwise you could not.

If you credential yourself as a 'sensitive' man by publicly disporting your feelings, you may earn a certain shallow trust from people who don't matter, but you won't be widely trusted in important matters. Society is always looking for men they can trust, but you betray that trust when you engage in a public orgy of weakness and fault. Bring your strengths to your service. Share your passions freely, but keep your baggage in the baggage room until cleaning day - and schedule those days frequently.

You don't get 'fair' - solid men know this. They advance anyway. 'Fair' is what powerful, noble men deliver to those around them. Whine about 'fair' and you place yourself in the company of victims.

Never become the man she wants you to be - when you become the man she wants, you have let her down and hurt her - she won't want you anymore as she'll know that you do not have a strong sense of self, and she'll know that she can't trust you. If she ever says "what happened to the man I met..." then you'll know that you sold out the man you wanted to be. Nothing is more tragic for a man. She'll trust you more if you unswervingly follow your own lights. She might not like you, but she'll respect you and that respect is more essential.

Don't give a woman what she demands in order to make her happy. Happiness is an inside job for her and you can't deliver it. Don't accept responsibility for what isn't yours. By giving her what she demands in the hope that it will make her happy, you are holding her accountable for her desires. When she inevitably finds out that her 'heart's desire' does not satisfy her, she'll blame you.

Give her what you want to give her to make her happy. If it works, then great! If it doesn't work, then you have gathered important information that you need to know, and you are free to move on.

You are entitled to your feelings. Your feelings are never wrong. Do not discuss, elaborate, justify, or explain your feelings to a woman. Do not give her the opportunity to make you wrong or confuse you (and you will get confused if you think you can open your mouth here) - this is an area where women are the acknowledged experts - they know feelings much better than men do. You are at a natural disadvantage if you allow yourself to open your mouth. You get two words to explain your feelings and that is sufficient - after two words, actions will demonstrate your feelings.

Women invented words and are more skilled and effective in their use. Pick battles you can win and don't fight dishonorable battles that will cover you in shame. Don't engage in a battle you are certain to lose, so don't try to battle women with words. You will lose, even when you 'win'.

Don't make demands of your woman - a man making "demands" of a woman does not have a clear sense of self or character. A man acting on masculine principles makes demands only of himself. A woman does not have much that a man truly needs until he has established his base of masculinity, and as a male you have no absolute need for anything a woman can give you.

Men have a natural fear of women for a very good reason. Men seem to have almost a natural, selective compulsion (or a deep enculturation and education) to place their emotional well-being and self-esteem in the hands of women. Perhaps this comes from our early dependence on our mothers. The hardest task you can choose for yourself will be to establish your manhood, your self-esteem and your self-worth on the foundation of your own choosing. If you do this, society will scream 'betayal!' because you have removed yourself from the feminine reward system that controls you and have become your own man. But nothing else equips you to serve society on a higher level. And it makes you deathly attractive to most women!

If you become a member of the Epiphany-of-the-Week club, keep it quiet - it's no big deal to anybody but you.

Do your grieving on your own schedule, not someone else's. You're not a trick pony, you're not a dancing bear, and the world needs your strength, not your 'sensitivity'. When the time is right, release your grief or your other feelings freely. You seek and choose the proper time and place.

Do not try to solve her problems - she'll end up resenting you for it. Women love their problems and they don't appreciate it when you break their favorite toys by 'solving' them. Tell her 'I don't know' or 'don't you have a girlfriend you can ask...'

Many people say that violence never settled anything. Heinlein reminds us that, historically, the exact opposite is the reality. Violence has settled far, far more issues than any other factor in history. If you are to be fully a man, walk a peaceful path and be a peacemaker. But be trained and be mentally prepared for violence (physical or otherwise) when it overtakes you. Sometimes, you will not be the one to move to the final resolution - the decision will be made for you by someone else and you must be prepared - you may not be allowed to choose the time or the place - it will be now and you must be ready to apply violence in a vigorous and final manner.

Never argue with a woman. You will always lose (even when you win). You will hurt her and betray her trust in you. Walk away. Go to the gym. Go have a beer. Tell her you will be back, but go away until she can sort out her feelings. Your help in resolving a woman's feelings is not required nor desirable. A gorilla cannot perform brain surgery; likewise you cannot resolve others' feelings.

Don't try to control any aspect of a woman's life. If you feel the need to control her, you're with the wrong woman or more likely, you haven't taken care of yourself as a man.

If someone tells you that you need a shrink, you probably don't - you probably need the fellowship and commitment of a few good men. Good, effective healing is risky and professionals will not take the required risk with a patient because their license is always on the line. A circle of good men has no license and nothing to protect except the fortunes of those men standing there at that very moment - you will find your interests better served by the men. A circle of good men can accomplish things that a professional therapist cannot. A state licensed shrink could lose his or her license for helping you the way the men can more effectively and quickly help you. The men can tell you if you really need a shrink.

Women are much smarter than men - five times smarter at least. You will never out-think a woman in a personal or a professional relationship, so bring your strengths to a relationship with a woman, not your weaknesses.

Share your strength, humor, joy and steadfastness with your woman. If she craves to attend your pain or your wounds, then engage in those physical activities which will produce suitable pains and wounds for her to attend. Don't betray the deep, loving trust she places in you.

Don't try to hold a woman accountable for anything. If she is not held to account by her own integrity, then find suitable company elsewhere.

Indecision is your only enemy. Decide right or decide wrong, but decide. You can always correct, but it's much harder to restore the trust lost through indecision.

Women live in the world as it should be - a world that is always fair, equitable, just, peaceful, gentle and happy. Your primary advantage as a man is your ability to deal with the world as it frequently really is: unfair, unjust, violent, brutal, dirty, ugly and bloody. I've often considered that man's task here on earth is to make the world safe for woman's dreams. That may be very close to the truth. Inure yourself to peaceful ways. But know how to be a fighter. Know how to hit the X ring.

The men who had to defend the walls of the ancient cities did not get to choose the time and place to fight. They ran from their sleep and their hearths when the enemy arrived, not when they felt like going. They either fought well, or their families died. The point is this: you may not get to choose the time and place of the call - you will have to perform when the call comes. Prepare.

Having personal power (sometimes the power to do violence) and using it to do gentle, good works is nobility. Using your personal power to afflict others is evil.

Your woman will encourage you to share your fears and trials with her - indeed she will insist this is required in order for you to have an intimate relationship with her. She'll threaten you, (even threaten to leave you) if you don't share your fears and weaknesses with her. She doesn't really know it, but she's instinctively testing you to see if she can trust you. But if you share these things with her, she will feel betrayed and she won't trust you. She'll leave you anyway. Don't betray your woman's deep, loving trust in this manner.

If a woman makes you right, even when you know you've been wrong, you've found a woman worth spending some time with. When you're with the right woman, you can do no wrong. When you're with the wrong woman, you can do nothing right.

When your heart desires the things that society ridicules, you are probably getting closer to your own truth and should listen very carefully. Society today frequently discounts the roles and values of men, but that should not prevent you from developing in the direction that your heart dictates.

Remember that man has evolved for a couple of hundred thousand years without all the things the TV experts tell us we need today. Most of the new 'techniques' for relationships, raising children, and getting along in society are worth what you paid to learn them - close to nothing. Rely on what's historically proven and what your deepest heart tells you works.

The most obscene word in the known universe is the word 'entitlement'.

Know how many doors any room has.

It's easy to look around our society and conclude that men have gotten a raw deal from society - all sorts of 'special interest' groups from women and feminists to racial groups to students tout their special needs and their special afflictions, and give reasons why they deserve different or better or special treatment from society. A man takes what he gets and shines anyway. Sometimes the best way you can help a man is to teach him to vigorously oppose his own victimhood or weakness.

Being a true man carries a price. You will find that embarking on the journey of manhood goes counter to more than half of what you were taught in your young life. You will have a lot to 'unlearn' with great difficulty and huge emotional barriers. You will quickly earn the animated hatred of the politically correct who work hard to scorn everything you stand for. You will be ridiculed in fashionable circles. But with true manhood comes a self-respect that few men know. You will possess the deep, abiding, enthusiastic, trusting love of a woman that other men will envy. You will know the joy and excitement of a real relationship with children. Very little about the world will puzzle you. You will know exactly where you stand in the regard of other men. It's a journey that's worth the patience, the mistakes and the price.

Men and women naturally hold each other in a small amount of contempt. Don't feel guilty when you feel some contempt for a woman. Don't take it personally when a woman expresses contempt for you.


Yes, that poor oppressed white man, how can he ever hope to succeed in life under such tyranny and injustice.

I'll shed a tear for him now.


Thanks for posting this - an interesting read.

Over the last 6 months or so Ive been coming round to this way of thinking. Im not saying I agree with everything here but in general the world needs men to be men. Since we climbed down from the trees men have had clearly defined roles then bang all of a sudden - metros!!

On one extreme you have men who deny and 'swallow' their emotion and on the other you have the sissy/'fag'/metro types who think its awfully modern to be in touch with their femminine side and talk about feelings all day. I try to be in the middle - yes I have emotions, this is a good thing, life would be dull without them but I'm not gonna dwell on it - theres training to do and beer to drink and tits and ass to chase!!

Just my train of thought there.....

I will re-read this a few times when Im more awake!!


All joking aside, that pieces strikes me not as "Father to Son", but as "Old Immature Guy to Young Immature Guy." The whining about trivialities and the dime-store psychology throughout is simply nauseating.

Following the advice given about women practically guarantees you'll never enjoy a long lasting relationship.


Just beautiful! Been looking for something like this for a while.

Thanks for sharing!


Good post.


Sage advice in light of our current society.


I?d be interested to know what parts of this are so unbearably wrong!

Consider the gauntlet thrown...



Hell yeah.


Plenty of good advice that I fear young guys are never going to hear from someone older.


Here goes:

[i]"Do not discuss, elaborate, justify, or explain your feelings to a woman."

"...women are the acknowledged experts..."

"Women invented words and are more skilled and effective in their use."

"Pick battles you can win..."

"...don't try to battle women with words. You will lose..."

"A woman does not have much that a man truly needs..."

"...no absolute need for anything a woman can give you."

"Men have a natural fear of women..."

"Women love their problems..."

"Never argue with a woman. You will always lose..."

"A gorilla cannot perform brain surgery..."

"Women are much smarter than men - five times smarter at least..."

"You will never out-think a woman..."

"Don't try to hold a woman accountable for anything..."[/i]

I could go on, but my cut and paste finger is getting sore.

Now, do I really need to point out what's wrong with all that crap?

The whole thing is set up in a "men vs. women" frame of mind. The entirety of it is from and adversarial point of view. It seems to be written as if men and women where two Pokemon cards with standard abilities and weaknesses. Come on, give me a break.

Every woman, just like every man, is an individual and as such, they all differ from each other in opinions, principles, personality and so on. Laying out a set of "rules", especially a set as stupid as these is completely ridiculous.

Are men really so lost and confused that they need pre-digested guidelines to know how to build a relationship? The article reinforces that stereotype all the way. Men dumb but "real and aware", women smart but "fake and out of touch."

Give me a fucking break. Maybe if you're a pimply-faced 14 years-old virgin who's only talked to women in Sears catalogues and centerfolds, you might feel emboldened by this article. I really can't see any adult being impressed in any way by that tripe.

If it was written in a humorous manner, it might be somewhat entertaining, playing on the clichés and stereotypes. But it's written in a serious "Wisdom of the Ages" tone. I've seen more wisdom in a carrot.


Oh I don't know Pookie, I think there are some things in there that even YOU can learn from:

Having personal power (sometimes the power to do violence) and using it to do gentle, good works is nobility. Using your personal power to afflict others is evil.


Well, if only one young man reads what I wrote and realizes that there's no "secret step-by-step recipe" for a lasting relationship, and thus doesn't fuck up all his dealings with women by being a simplistic retard who'll then wonder what he's doing wrong, I think that'll qualify as "good work."

More praying, less trolling. Thanks.


Glad to hear that you are changing!



I think it is good advice ,like any thing nothing is best 100% of the time


A day when I don't do, try, read or learn something new is a day wasted.


These are the things that bothered me too, his feelings of inferiority towards women.

However, he is smart enough to see that he is not able to beat women on their own turf and that society wants him to be effeminate, which I believe to be a problem.

I will use the thing with the Pokemon cards, because I believe that is exactly how it is. I would have used more words though and genetic programming would have been used in every second sentence...

Men are so lost and confused that they no longer know how to be MEN and this is why they no longer know how to build a relationship.

He is talking about being a man and that starts by not automatically jumping through some hoops to get some pussy.

Cliches and stereotypes exist for a reason, more often than not they work!

I?ll see if I can start a thread in the "sex and the male animal" categorie, which probably contains some of the same thoughts but by using different pictures and words.


Beat women? Turf? Can everyone stop seeing relationships as battles and wars? What the fuck, man? No wonder people have trouble if the only way they can see living with a woman is as "sleeping with the enemy."

And that "society wants men to be effiminate" is crap. We make up society, each and every one of us. If some guy wants to be effiminate, who cares? Do you carry yourself as you think society wants you to? If so, the problem is yours, not "society."

Sometimes the whole transcends the parts that make it up. Whether it's a Pokemon analogy, or reducing everything to genes, neither theory accurately reflects reality.

Identical twins share identical DNA; yet in life, they differ in many ways. How does your "everything is genes" theory explain that?

So there's only one way to be a man? 3 billions identical copies of a standard model? I'm not sure if you're arguing for or against the advice given in the article...

It might be an even better start to consider women as human beings, and not just sperm receptacles.

What you're describing it not a real man, it's a real dick.

They often have some kernel of truth as their base, but they're called clichés because they're overgeneralizations. Painting every member of a group with the same brush never works.


I agree with this, and being a "young guy" (17) I know plenty of people who need to hear something like this, me included.

I'll agree with pookie that most of these are crap. I think part of being a man means standing up for what you feel, and "never argue with a woman. You will always lose." IMO is crap.
No man should let himself lose what he feels only because his feelings are different than that of a womans.

Overall, I think there is more to be learned from this article than there is to be ignored. And I feel that anything with one sentence of good advice is worth reading at least once. Then again, part of being a man (or woman, for that matter) is realizing what advice to take and what to disregard. I think most people mature enough can distinguish between what to take and what to disregard.

Pookie, of course there is quite a bit to disregard in this article, but I have a feeling you'd be lying if you said you didnt think ONE thing in this article wasnt good advice.


Why not just listen to Tom Leykis and follow his advice?