A common dogma of the red pill is the idea that indifference, not hate, is the opposite of love. In a similar way, it is important to understand that the opposite of masculinity is not femininity, but stagnancy.

Masculinity and femininity are different sides of the same coin, complementing each other and existing harmoniously in nature to keep our species and countless others alive. Comparing them is apples and oranges, and thus doesn’t advance the discussion on masculinity in any substantive way. There are hordes of men who do not possess feminine features or qualities, but who are the antithesis of masculinity.

A man who dislikes his current relationship, job, or city should take heed and consider this, and double down on his reflections if his discontent is so severe that it’s interfering with his everyday life.

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Recall the story of Sisyphus, the ancient Greek King who was punished for chronic deceitfulness by being forced to roll a large boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down. He was cursed to repeat this action forever. In essence, he was banished to an existence of brutal purgatory. This fairytale has very troubling implications in the context of 21st century contemporary masculinity.

A story of stagnation

Three or four times a year I visit some family in a small town in the Midwest, not far from where I went to college. While I largely enjoy the visits, (as family should be paramount in every man’s life) something makes me progressively more uncomfortable each time I take the trip.

Throughout my casual daytime and evening walks, I recognize people not seen in months or years, but whom I remember distinctly. They are usually people I didn’t care to see ever again, for their overt stagnancy both troubled and repulsed me. By definition, stagnancy means showing little or no sign of activity or advancement.

I see the same individuals working at the same gas station jobs they’d worked at eight years prior, long before I had learned game, quit multiple jobs, and traveled the world with a backpack. It was distressing that while my landscapes had changed a hundred times over, they had not expanded their horizons at all, and were still mired in such meaningless work deep within the confines of their comfort zone.

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Not only were the full time, tenured employees still there, but I often saw familiar customers I’d run into during my own stops as a local years prior. They hobbled into the establishment in their fleece pajamas, still paying for their soda and chips with their food stamp handouts—the exact same thing they were doing seemingly centuries ago. Experiencing a real life déjà vu like this was a surreal experience, but for all the wrong reasons.

Even worse was visiting the department store where I worked my first job as teenager in 2005, to buy a pair of sneakers. Within ten minutes I saw multiple “lifers” who I knew were already on anti-depressants a decade ago, presumably for their emotional discontent with their lives even back then.Who can blame them, after all? A long term career in retail is a fate worse than death.

I tried my best to avoid talking to these people, and I was relieved they didn’t notice me. Another universal red pill truth maintains that you are the average of the five people you spend the most amount of time with. It should come as no surprise that seeing this stagnancy on such a consistent scale among the local population prompted a sense of severe small town blues in a matter of a few days, having been surrounded by people who literally hadn’t moved an inch since I went through puberty.

The effect it has if you allow it to consume you

Hypothetically, someone might ask why I care at all. In the same way we don’t care about feminists on a personal level, there was an interesting social observation at hand. The expressions on those faces had also not changed. It was a look of dread, struggle, and resignation to their mediocre fate, most of all.

In Stephen King’s classic “Under the Dome,” residents of a small town in Maine are shut off completely from the rest of the world by a transparent barrier trapping them where they stand. Unfortunately, we now live in a culture where people do this to themselves willingly. One family member makes her home in a small town of 35,000 people, many of whom by the midpoint of their sheltered lives have never been on an airplane, or branched out and attempted to learn one of the other 6,500 active languages in the world today. This total absence of self improvement is the opposite of masculinity.

To be clear, the 45-year-old gas station clerk might very well be a good or hard working person, but does his restocking of soda coolers and cleaning of slushy machines with a toothbrush 260 days a year not make him a modern day Sisyphus?

We all know it can be lonely on the dark side. A little sense of camaraderie while we resist societal traps is the reason we all flock to these sites and forums, but I’m afraid we’re largely in this for ourselves. Most people you’re forced to interact with quit on their mission years ago.

As we continue to fight feminism and its dangerous sister afflictions, we ourselves cannot remain stagnant in the world of video games, pornography, or pointless weekends at overrated clubs. Defining our own personalized “great struggle” as a man is hard enough, but one undisputed fact is that stagnancy is one of the things thing that can stop us in our tracks.

Read More: The Opposite Of Manliness