On Protectors and Predators
On this blog, Supertradmum has been very helpful informing all of you, her readers, of the three divisions of male psychological development: Protector, Predator, and Peter Pan. I truly believe this three-fold division that the path of male development can take reflects a profound truth about the male mind, and I see this truth both in my life and in the world around me. This concept can hardly be overstated! It is vital to both men and women, particularly youth, to understand these categories, as it is never too late or too early for men to begin submitting to the perfect will of God in their lives and living as authentic men, Protectors, who have Our Lord Jesus Christ, His wonderful foster father Saint Joseph, and Saint Peter to model themselves after. All three were Protectors, Our Lord being so preeminently. We as men need women to encourage us in this endeavor, as mothers, sisters, and most powerfully, wives, have an incredible affect on us, changing us, becoming a part of us and how we think, just as Our Lady is intimately united to Our Lord.
In light of this truth, Supertradmum has graciously allowed me to write on this subject on her blog. I have in mind a two-part series, focusing on the particular classes of Protector and Predator. I have one particular Protector who I have met in my life that I would like to share with you as a model of how it is possible to live as a Protector in the West even today. That is my second topic, however. In this post I want to make note of a profound fact regarding all classes of masculine psychology, particularly the Predator: Societies, depending on their orientation to the Truth who is God, and their alignment to His will, will influence the formation of men toward one class of psychology or another. Take Christendom for example. Classically, Christendom in the West has taught men the essence of what it means to be a Protector: Responsibility, Duty, Chivalry, Protection of the Weak, the Honor of Women, Self-Mastery, General Virtue, the Art of Controlling one’s Strength, and masculine Self-Sacrificial Love. All of these factors play into what makes up a Protector, and they were thick in the air of Christendom for almost seventeen-hundred years. This didn’t make every man a Protector, but it did influence the development of them, and the man who accepted the Truths inherent in Catholic society did, to his degree of acceptance of these graces, develop into a Protector. The West has come a long way in a bad direction over the last century, however, and has retreated from masculine Christian ideal to a sort of decaying rot that is stuck somewhere between the dying embers of a Christian civilization and an unvirtuous pagan one. The West is above all things weak and milquetoast in our day, fostering neither strength controlled by the will working toward Virtue as is the Christian ideal of a man, nor all-out cruelty and bloodshed as often occurred in the Roman Empire, but rather, promotes a limp, irresponsible child of a man. In short, Western Civilization produces Peter Pans today. It positively excels at this dismal mission.
Contrast the state of our society today and its past with the state of the Islamic culture that is spread out through various countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. This is very important to take note of, as it may very well be a prophetic fact that will influence future events. Islamic society is a society that has not become weak and milquetoast in its outlook. Whereas Christendom in days of old influenced men toward the role of Protector, Islamic society has always influenced men toward the role of Predator. Islamic society, where it exists in its fullness, has lost none of its potency in fashioning men into hardened Predators who rule their women, their families, and their societies without the Gospel Ethic of peace, gentleness, and honor that tempers the steel edge of the Catholic man’s soul. Just as in Christendom, Islam’s ability to shape men traces ultimately back to religion, which has always been in human history the single most powerful influence on society. In the Qur’an, the sacred text of Islam, there is a strong emphasis on conquest, strength, subjugation, and power, without the restrain which Christ places upon these attitudes in the Gospels in Christian Ethics and the balance which emulating Him brings to men. The document, as well as the religion, is oriented toward aggression, and this is echoed in fundamentally Islamic cultures. The Islamic society still encourages the development of boys into Predators, and this is unfortunate, since the West fell away from the Catholic encouragement of boys to grow into the Protector role.
I pray that the West rediscovers this common sense regarding the formation of men, the critical role that religion plays, and the danger still posed by the strong society of Islam. It is vital that we rediscover our identity that we have always held in the past, of authentic Catholic manhood, which develops Protectors who lay down their lives for their wives, their families, their communities, and their Church, in small ways and in large ways. As Saint Irenaeus said so perfectly, “The Glory of God is revealed in man fully alive.” We need men who are fully alive, not laid waste by the malaise of a Peter Pan mentality, or trapped by the false attractiveness of the Predator attitude, but men who are willing to first master themselves, and then pour themselves out on the narrow road of Virtue. It is only in this self-mastery and total self-giving that men can be fully alive, and conduits of Our Lord’s Life, in His Passion and Resurrection.