This post is not about Simone Biles dropping out midway through the Olympics gymnastics competition. I don’t have an opinion on that since I am still not clear on why she did it and have heard different reasons.
This post is about the amount of praise she is receiving for dropping out. I find this disturbing. The consensus on twitter seems to be that this is the greatest athletic accomplishment of all time. Of course, in 2021 it should come as no surprise that quitting is seen as the peak of glory. Gold medals don’t matter, victory doesn’t matter, teammates don’t matter, national pride doesn’t matter. Only ONE thing matters. The ‘mental health’ of the individual, which seems in practice to mean always doing what you feel like doing.
In reality, Biles may not have dropped out for mental health reasons. But this was her initial statement and the public ate it up like pudding. They praised her for putting emotional wellness above gold metals and antiquated concepts of national pride. They could have accepted the idea with disappointment and understanding. But instead, her withdrawal must be called the essence of bravery and courage. She put herself first. This makes her a hero. No. If we value survival at all, we must get over the idea that tending to one’s own emotions should trump all other considerations.
Things can swing too far in any direction of course and there have been times when the obsession with excellence, winning, national pride, devotion to country etc could be said to have gone too far and crushed the soft parts of the individual.
Once again, this issue comes down to masculine vs. feminine- two principles which must remain in balance. The public is taking a feminine perspective, the role of a concerned mother who cares for nothing more than the well being of her baby. If the baby withdraws & the entire Olympics crumbles to the ground, the mother does not care. What matters is her baby’s happiness. She does not want the weight of the world, the expectations of team and nation, to interfere with this. She wants to keep baby safe in a world of inner joy and nursery rhymes. This perspective on life has its place.
1. If we all care about our own feelings and mental health more than the needs of the group, we don’t survive.
2. We only have the option of making our inner self top priority because someone else isn’t. We have no inherent right to stay at home writing in our journals while other people are grow our food, dig our coal and work in our journal factories. Other people aren’t our slaves and if they do the hard work which enables us to opt out of hard work we certainly owe them a debt of gratitude.
Countless people surely worked hard and sacrificed to get Simone Biles where she is. No matter who we are, people have invested in us. We can’t pretend we have no responsibility to those who fed and clothed us, who created our language, our culture, who built our homes, roads and medicines, who died in war to protect us. We owe an infinite debt to society and those who came before us. How can we receive from every direction and still feel we owe nothing to no one but ourselves?
3. To strive for victory and glory, to sacrifice for team and country is the essence of the masculine spirit. To say the Olympics doesn’t matter, that national pride doesn’t matter, that winning doesn’t matter, is- from a masculine perspective- to say that life doesn’t matter. It does.
Not only do the masculine virtues taught by sports train humans to survive and protect, they also reflect a spiritual dimension of meaning. Goals matter. Achievement matters. Excellence matters. Struggle and sacrifice matter. Being responsible to other people matters. This is where the masculine dimension of meaning comes from and what enables men to evolve spiritually. Without the virtues embodied in sports, men devolve. They turn into scary gremlins. They become a menace to society and will never find inner peace.
Males need to be burdened by expectations and responsibilities. Neither self care nor cuddles will fulfill them. They must push themselves and take risks for something which matters more than themselves. A male who believes that his inner self is the most important thing in life will become miserable. And evil.
So the striving for medals, team and nation is really a spiritual thing. It is symbolic of mind over matter. Of pushing the self to become someone who matters to the collective. Men must kill the inner self so it can be reborn as something greater. It is a process of resurrection that gets turned on its head when the inner self is turned into a god.
And so women’s sports are at a crossroads. What do we want? Do we want our sports to be a place where friendship, fun & fitness matter more than winning? That would be fine with me. I grew up in a competitive world & often felt it had a negative impact upon females. In general, women seem designed to cooperate and collaborate. Many times on the verge of victory I would throw a competition because I just didn’t want to defeat the other person. Winning didn’t seem that valuable. Maybe this is just the way women were made.
Or maybe there are enough martian women who DO want to compete with the same ferocity as men. If so, I am fine with that as well. I love it when females display masculine virtues.
However, regardless of what women decide to do we MUST NOT water down male sports to suit female sensibilities. For all the reasons stated above, men need to excel in masculine virtues. Their health depends on it. Our survival depends on it. It is males possessing excellent masculine qualities rather than degenerative ones which keeps society safe and strong.
If females find male values too harsh, then we can operate in separate spheres where different rules apply. Currently people insist that men and women MUST play the same game. But women find the rules harsh. So we try to change them. When we could just drop out of that man game and play one of our own. But whatever we decide, the male realms must remain intact. Hard & proud. Unadulterated. Our survival depends on it.
Never ever undermine that which makes your life possible. The first law of the jungle.
NOW this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back —
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.