Why are men so cruel? Why do they need to prove their manhood?: The consequences of training our men to fight

When John Beverly returned from Vietnam with posttraumatic stress dis­order, the men at work reinforced his suffering. They popped milk cartons, broke beer bottles, and even set off fireworks to see his reaction. He became so anxious he could no longer hold a job.88

Why do some men do this? Men who taunt each other are instinctively training each other to become protectors. How? No one wants a protector who could be scared away by taunting; so, over the centuries, young males went on search and destroy missions to discover each other’s weaknesses. Once they found a weakness, they would try to destroy the boy by taunting him – picking at his weakness until the boy either sank or swam. If he sank, he had failed to prove himself a man. What does "fail to prove himself a man" really mean? It means he couldn’t protect women and children because he’d be too worried about protecting his own weaknesses. Women who sensed this wouldn’t marry him.

Our desire for men to be our protectors has left us with police brutality, the military mentality, and the Mafia – all associated with men. How can we wonder why men are not tender when we use them as tenderizer (that which makes something else lovable and tender)?

When men play the protector role in wartime, their wives usually become more balanced while the men usually become more out of balance. When World War II produced Rosie the Riveter, for example, "Rosie" symbolized the female energy, the ‘riveter" the male energy. The jobs women took gave many women the opportunity to balance their female and male sides. Their husbands, however, were forced to intensify the male side of themselves. For many women, then, war created a psychological balance while pushing men psychologically out of balance.

War itself might lead to a physically amputated leg, but many a vet would suffer that in a minute to recover the intimacy his psychological amputation has cost him with his wife and children. One reason we have books like Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Lore Them is because our taxes pay men to hate and men’s income pays women to love. The piper plays the tune we pay the piper to play.