This comment is from Erik on the post “Open Thread: Men, How Do You Want to Move Forward?“
When I talk about male aggression, I differentiate that from anger. When I practice Muay Thai I use a lot of aggression but I am not angry. I use that same aggressive drive in other things like studying, working, pushing through my own fears and internal resistance, when calling a male friend on bullshit that he is doing to mess up his life, when I react to someone treating others badly etc. None of that needs involve any sort of anger. It is more like a form of drive and strong powerful energy that pushes through resistance and really wants to push through resistance. It is just Yang energy and warrior energy. For a fairly masculine man that energy is more or less his core power and the place from where he naturally lives. A very sensitive, very empathetic man might not recognize it. And many men aren’t able to think in these terms because they have subtly and not so subtly been thought that this is wrong. But it IS key for fairly masculine men regardless when you observe their behavior.
We get into huge problems when we interpret that “aggressive” power as wrong and want to diminish it. What we have done is try to make men more careful and “considerate” and soft in the same way women are. This turns this aggressive drive inward and THEN it does become anger and leads to passive aggressiveness, depressiveness, bad self-esteem, frustration and often random angry reassertions of this energy.