Suck It Up

On one hand, stoicism can be a masculine virtue.  When you’ve got a job to do, you take care of it.  Bitching is for wimps.  Sometimes life sucks, so you roll with the punches and make the most of it.  “Suck it up and drive on” like they say in the Army, even when you’ve just found out you have to fill in your nearly-completed foxhole and start digging all over ten feet to the right.

On the other hand, you’ve got to stand up for yourself.  There are folks in this world who will take every advantage of you if you let them.  Sometimes your way is the right way.  If you don’t point out what’s wrong, nobody’s ever going to change it.  Men are supposed to speak up, to take charge, to call it like they see it and fight to make things into what they should be.

I would argue that one of the biggest challenges for the modern male is knowing which virtue to call on when.  There are times when complaining is entirely counterproductive, there are times when not complaining will cause you to be exploited.

The men who have the easiest time navigating this are those who had strong fathers themselves.  If dad is properly leading his household, son subconsciously picks up on male hierarchical cues.  He gets a sense of when he should shut up, when he should push back, and when he should figure out a workaround.  Furthermore, he sees an example of leadership to emulate, for he learns to follow his father in such a way that trains him to one day lead himself.

Unfortunately, far too many young men today never have this opportunity.  The head of their household is likely to either be a woman or a feminized male, punishment is either non-existent or absurdly draconian.  There’s no way to really learn when it’s time to “suck it up” or time to rock the boat because the adults in his life either don’t give a damn what he does or just want him to become a nice little drone.

So the barbarian Alphas learn to complain about everything all the time, aspiring betas learn to do the opposite.  “Suck it up” is the perfectly appropriate course for all men to take under innumerable circumstances, but of the masculine virtues I listed at the top, it’s also the one that can most readily be used to keep a man under control.

We don’t like complaining, and this is being used against us.  When something rotten comes our way, we feel like we should be strong enough to handle it without whining to the whole world about it.  I’m not supposed to bitch about the legal climate, my girlfriend playing that damn song again, or the state of modern women.  Women can afford to be that way, but I’m a man.

So not unlike the gift of chivalry that became an obligation, our noble desire to “just shut up and take care of it” keeps us from even finding out about many of the injustices that hold us back.  We suffer in silence, whether it’s because of a breakup, divorce, we can’t find a job, or we hate the job we have.

If we complain, we’re called wimps, pussies, and ungrateful that such a high percentage of top CEO’s are men.  Sometimes a man stands up for himself, sometimes he turns the other cheek.  However, we’re told to turn the other cheek always by the very forces that slap us.

Saul Alinsky dedicated his Rules for Radicals to Lucifer, and this is Rule 4 epitomized:  Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.  We need to recognize that if our virtue is being used against us.  Thus, we’d better find another virtue, for virtue that enables vice to thrive is no longer virtuous.

I’m not saying we should ever become victims, nor should we fail to be grateful for so many of the things in our lives that are going right.

Nevertheless, although “sucking it up” can be the right thing to do, sometimes you’re duty bound to speak up for yourself, your God, and for the sake of other men who shouldn’t have to suffer like you have.

Not only is it right, not only is it heroic, once you learn how to do it right, chicks dig it, too.

They love a man who’s in charge, and you’ll never be a leader if you’re willing to “suck it up” when you shouldn’t.

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19 Responses to Suck It Up

  1. I hate when virtues are overused and abused. Or when someone cites a case of abuse to say you should overuse the opposing virtue.

    I just listened to an hour and a half of a priest saying that because society today in the US has misused and overused Justice without a sense of Mercy, that the Catholic Church should take on the role of Mercy and let Justice be taken care of by the State. He cited democracy leading to vengeance and retribution as the reason why.

    When I called him on it, and said that all his stance is doing is giving up the fight, refusing to teach Justice to people, and saying that because a majority of people are fallen, we should be merciful instead of Just…. well, he just back tracked and repeated his stance again.

    I think I was the only one in the room pro-death sentence. The whole thing was an emotional appeal made after citing facts to appear legitimately rational before riling up the troops.

  2. Didn’t get back on topic before posting, sorry.

    I meant to say that this method, facts, emotions, riled troops, and shaming the minority is how most virtues are abused. And they are done so every day. Men have a rough time of it, even if they know what the virtues are and how to follow them. To not know them, or not have the ingrained ability to follow them?

    I think thats one of the worst modern spiritual and mental tortures a man can face in our society.

    • I’m big on mercy.. as we are all sinners, but I also understand it’s to our detriment that the Church would abandon the notion of justice. For Christians I believe we should keep in mind “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19. And ultimately we must fear Him, we know Justice is His.
      It would help to understand in what way you mean “justice”, if it’s justice so that we can keep perpetrators away from others so they cannot influence them or do damage, I’m all for it. We have a duty to protect virtue. The Church shouldn’t allow evil to run rampant and risk it influencing others. But in what way does your Priest mean justice? That the Church must punish? I’m confused about this. Mercy is also so, so important.

      • He was first claiming that the church has no place sentencing people in criminal law. Then he was saying that the state has a distorted view of justice that is closer to vengeance and retribution, and that to counter this the Church should hard line and go all in on mercy, without preaching justice at all.

        To me, Justice and Mercy are tied together. You must have the power to enforce Justice to have any claim of administering Mercy. Otherwise it is a simple capitulating of defeat, while calling it victory.

        For instance, the Priest brought up that Jesus Christ shed his blood for us, so why should we have to use the death sentence and spill further blood? The church is there for the Mercy of people’s souls.

        On the first part he’s conflating the salvation of someone’s soul with the punishment their body receives. I pray for God to have mercy on killers souls, and hope that they convert, baptize, or confess before death. But I still think they should be put to death. The two are not in conflict, because by destroying someone’s flesh I do no harm to their soul (as long as the death is quick and relatively painless).

        And on the other hand he’s already admitting that the Church has lost the battle for Justice – already claiming that America’s Justice is all, as I said, retribution. If you have a mob of angry, vindictive people, shouldn’t you start teaching them the correct concept of Justice before the concept of Mercy? I don’t know that you can really understand the second, without the former. And putting yourself into the hands of people that self admit they want no part of your mercy, and claim to know more of you on Justice, sounds like a loosing fight.

        His whole ‘argument’ was an emotional trainwreck with no sense of rational thinking behind it.

      • infowarrior1 says:

        Mercy is always paired with Justice. At the time of the passover God struck the Egyptians in their 1stborn in judgement and hence redeemed the people of Israel from slavery.

        Likewise Christ endured the full fury of the wrath of God who is holy,holy,holy. Hence through his death and resurrection we live through faith.

      • Okay I appreciate both your replies to me. Thank you. I don’t think I have much clever to offer to this, maybe my views don’t make much sense but I’ll offer them anyway. I always learned that this type of attitude was especially important –

        ” Do not lose your temper with those who sin. Do not have a passion for noticing every sin in your neighbor and judging it, as we usually do. Everyone will give an answer for himself before God. Especially, do not look with evil intention on the sins of those older than you, with whom you have no business. But correct your own sins, your own heart”. (St. John of Kronstadt)

        Of course I understand Justice in the sense of, if somebody commits a crime he must go to prison. Or everybody else would suffer for it if he didn’t. But I still pray God will have mercy on the person. I believe the Church should have that kind of stance -it’s common sense. But what is this punishment(going to prison)? God is the one who will really repay and give justice. The sentencing we give in this life is merely precaution to ensure the safety of others, and also give a chance for them to contemplate their wrongs and repent. I guess they are tied together..but maybe because I am a woman, I value mercy more.

      • But there you go.. that’s my view, I value mercy more. And that’s a woman’s stance, I guess that’s why it’s only correct we do not have a feminized Church, because from a rational view point, I understand justice/precautionary measures have their place.

  3. Emma the Emo says:

    Great post. You summed up what I’ve been thinking about for a while.

    I sort of err on the side on not saying anything. Maybe I should complain more. Lately, something really stange happened, like I got gaslighted, so I have nothing on that person. Lesson: if a person seems “off”, vaguely difficult to talk to, and you just have a bad feeling about them at the first meeting, your 1st impression is probably right and you should get away from them.

  4. infowarrior1 says:

    Proverbs 25:26
    Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

  5. earl says:

    “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

    I wish I could do this to my enemies…but they have no rules unless it suits their interests.

    • Martel says:

      But they do claim that they have rules, so you can call them on those. This includes Black Knighting, and treating women who claim to be equal exactly how you’d treat a man.

      • earl says:

        Any rule can be bent and any rule can be broken.

        The question is do you know what rules they are using?

      • Martel says:

        There’s what they think they believe, what they say they believe, and what they actually believe. None of these are necessarily the same.

        You can surmise the first and third (and may even be right). The key is to use the second to point out any contradictions between that and any chinks you observe in the first and third. This calls their contradictions to the fore.

        In most cases this will make them feel uncomfortable. If done properly, it might even get them to change.

      • earl says:

        Or if done properly…they will go on the defensive and start to attack something about you.

        Which is how most women beat men in arguments. When the man is right…they go straight for the heart to get an emotional response out of you and get you on the defensive. Stay on topic and don’t deviate.

        Bill Burr said it best…when a woman does that, just know you won the fight. Take a knee and run out the clock.

  6. earl says:

    On most matters…I don’t complain. However if I’ve been wronged…I’ll let the person know about it.

    For example: My boss will tell me I have to do extra work at my job. I signed up for the place and have to be prepared for that. Complaining is not a good thing. The weather is bad…well I know this place has bad weather once in a while and I have to deal with it.

    I ask a girl out and tell her a specific time. She shows up late. She is disrespecting my time and I address it. A guy disrespects my authority because he doesn’t like me or the position I’m in…I make it known I won’t tolerate that.

  7. I love this post, it’s great. Stoicism is important to get through trying times that we cannot change. But it’s also seriously overused as an “excuse” or when the consequences for speaking up are threatening. But civilization was not built by men who were only “stoic”, it was built by men who were go-getters and refused to not be heard. Stoicism is a virtue, but you are right, “virtue that enables vice to thrive is no longer virtuous.” – That’s a wonderful saying. I wouldn’t even say stoicism is purely a masculine virtue, I’d say for the most part women must learn to be stoic, and men should be encouraged to speak out against injustice. If all the men are forced into stoicism I believe we will truly see the collapse of society, if the only men who are not stoic are the “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.
    I’m way too stoic.. but I cannot say it is a virtue, it’s a personality trait, and me calling it “stoic” is being way too kind to myself – actually it’s passivity. That’s great, to keep harmony, but we also don’t want our men turning in to women. That’s why I encourage men to speak out. Why are all the people who actually have something decent to say encouraged to be “stoic”, yet the assertive ones are(majority of the time) the ones who talk rubbish?

    • Martel says:

      I think some of the more masculine associations with stoicism stem from our instinctive knowledge that we’re not supposed to show weakness. We’re told not to cry when we’re hurt as kids. A soldier on a landing craft streaming towards the Normandy coast may want to bawl his eyes off, but he knows he can’t, he’s got to stay focused.

      But in the case of the soldier, what’s about to happen is set; he’s going to hit that beach no matter how much he wails. Other times, complaints might actually alter the course of events.

      Some men have been trained to underestimate their own power, so they’re less likely to speak up to try to change things. Instead, these guys focus on not showing weakness. Thus, they shut up.

      There’s a way to calibrate this, to know which to do when, and it’s best learned from a father who has a clue about it himself.

  8. Btw I’d also like to say, you guys must have a LOT of patience. Men are certainly not encouraged to be stoic here, and we actually believe Cyprus to be the birthplace of “Stoicism” , the founder believed to be Zeno of Citium. (Though admittedly, it’s debatable), and Greece likes to claim they are the fathers of Stoicism. Anyway.. when I go UK and see the liberal nonsense people like to talk, even I- a woman – find it a little difficult to be passive!

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