Dr. Jordan Peterson wants the world to know that being a man is not toxic. And he doesn’t want us to settle for saying being a man is simply “good.” He takes it up a notch, telling his 2.5 million Twitter followers this week that being a man is “not okay; It’s necessary.”

In a culture where we have allowed the term “masculinity” to be improperly linked to the poisonous prefix “toxic” so they seem to be one word, it is worth noting when powerful voices speak up unapologetically in defense of manhood like Peterson has done.

Peterson simply invites us to look around civilization and “see all the buildings go up.” How did they get there?

Men built them because “men … do impossible things.” He adds it is men who are “working on the sewers; they’re up on the power lines in the storms and the rain.” Men “often literally…work themselves to death” in the service of others.

Dr. Peterson is precisely right.

Yes, men occupy the greatest seats of power in society, the C-suites and political office. But they also hold the most dangerous, unglamorous positions as well. Just as there is a male/female imbalance in community leadership, there is also an imbalance in who does the most dangerous, physically demanding jobs. Good men put themselves on the line every day, and often for very little pay and no public adoration. They do the very ugly, difficult jobs very few women want to do. That’s called “service.”

  • Men fix our cars with their permanently stained oily hands.
  • Men clean out the portable toilets we all use. They mop our floors and pick up our trash.
  • Men manage and maintain sewage plants.
  • Men make sure roadkill on our highways disappear.
  • Men drive the taxis that take us where we need to go.
  • Men don’t think twice about running toward danger to rescue people from burning buildings and gruesome accidents.
  • Men chase down very bad guys on an hourly basis in every major city around the world, risking their very lives.
  • Men plant, grow, and harvest our food in the hot sun, they work steel construction hundreds of feet in the air, and rescue those lost at sea and in the wilderness.
  • Men repair the airplanes we fly in and drive the trains and trucks that bring us our stuff.
  • Men mine the oil, natural gas, and coal we all depend on.

Good men happily and dutifully do all the jobs most women never want to do. And they do them faithfully with little complaint. Men are necessary and we should be thankful for them.

Dr. Peterson adds,

The gratitude for that is sorely lacking, especially among the people who should be most grateful: the social justice bent who are among the most protected and privileged people the world has ever produced.

Men take the things that are broken in society, things we need to live, and fix them. Those who complain the most about men take these facts for granted. As Peterson properly states, “A little gratitude for [what men do] is in order.”

He is precisely right. Be sure to thank a man every day for the necessary work he does as a man!

Additional Resources

The Unique Matter of Manhood

Why Does Manhood Matter

Raising Sons to be Honorable Men

Training Sons to be Confident, Capable Men

Healthy Manhood in Marriage

The Universal Qualities of a Man

Why Manhood is Not Natural


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