Published on April 28th, 2009 | by Mike0
Weapons and Manliness
A common way manly men become so manly is by going out and killing something. As men we have the ability to use our awesomeness to develop new ways of doing so. We’ve evolved from swinging big sticks around and throwing rocks to launching missiles half way around the world. But is this manly? In this article I will answer the question, “what is the manliest weapon?”
I’ll start with the obvious choice: The gun. Guns are pretty manly right? Wrong! Guns are not manly. No gun is actually manly; rather, it is the man who knows how to use the gun which is. People who use pistols use them to murder, mug or intimidate those who are more lightly armed than they are or completely unarmed. This is completely counter-manly. Of course, some guns and their uses are not so bitchy. Snipers like MCpl Rob Furlong of the Canadian Forces, who killed a man from a range 2,430 meters, Vänrikki Simo Häyhä, who killed over 500 soviets without the use of a scope or GySgt Carlos Hathcock, who is rumored to have fired a bullet through the scope of Vietnamese sniper before he could fire first did manly things, but it is important to remember that they are manly, the guns they used are not. The gun is ultimately a man crutch.
Next up is the bow and arrow. Is it manly? Possibly. The bow and arrow exist in many forms. The Welsh invented the longbow, the Japanese invented the yumi and the Chinese invented the crossbow. When the English invaded Wales, the Welsh were armed primarily with their longbows. Of course, Wales stood no chance of defeating England, but still managed to inflict a devastating number of casualties. The English later used the Welsh longbow themselves. The longbow was easily capable of firing arrows which could pierce through a man’s armour. The bow changed as technology evolved. The crossbow was invented which later lead to the ballista. Yes, advancements in technology lead to better and easier to use weaponry; however, these advancements seem to have an inverse correlation with how manly the weapons are. The easier a weapon is to use, the less kill is required which makes technologically inferior weapons such as the bow and arrow a more manly choice of weapon by contrast. In the Second World War, Lt. Col Jack Churchill lead his men into battle armed with a bow, arrows and a claymore. The fact that everyone else had a gun and he was killing them with technology millennia older made him the manliest of any soldier during the war.
Melee is quite clearly the manliest form of combat. The sword is associated with every kind of manly warrior from the samurai, to the gladiator, to the knight and of course to Jack Churchill. The katana is such a manly weapon that one single sword would take months to build. Every katana made reflected how manly the blade smith himself was. The samurai revered it and considered it to be a part of the man who carried it. The spatha was basically a giant dagger that could have a blade up to 40” long. Roman warriors and vikings carried the spatha into battle. These swords were not only used for cutting and stabbing, but bludgeoning. How manly do you have to be to carry a big, heavy, bladed club into battle? Pretty damn manly.
At this point, I know what you’re thinking. What weapon could be manlier than a sword? How about a weapon that isn’t even a weapon? If you get attacked by a mountain lion, you probably won’t pull out a sword. You’ll grab whatever is handy and club the thing with it. Jim West used a stick he found on the ground to club an attacking mother bear to death. Anything can be a weapon in the right situation. It only took half-man, half-monkey people living in caves to figure this out. To them a big stick was an animal killing weapon. If these men couldn’t figure this out, they would simply die. To the average man facing a fat, drunken, Tapout-wearing UFC fan, a beer bottle or pool cue might just be what’s available. Because our societies’ laws say we can’t carry around swords or spears in our day to day lives, it may be necessary to adapt. Through this adaptation some of the manliest weapons are conceived. Imagine you’re a farmer and you’re banned from owning a weapon. There are two manly options. You can just say “fuck you,” get yourself a sword and start chopping or you can use another attribute that makes men men: intelligence. This is how the sickle became the kama, sticks for aerating soil became sais, horse bridals became the nunchuku and crank handles became tonfas. In the modern age this idea is still being applied. Takayuki Kubota decided to make a weapon out of something absolutely inconspicuous, keys. His invention of the kubaton, basically a piece of metal with a key ring, meant that you could carry a weapon anywhere. Californian police were instructed by Kubota on how to use it to subdue a suspect.
So what is the manliest weapon? Man! Consider all the manly things mentioned in this article and think how manly they would have been had they been done by hand. What if Rob Furlong had thrown a 2,430 meter punch or a samurai went into battle throwing knees and elbows at his enemy or if Jack Churchill defeated the Nazis with a vicious flurry of jabs and right hooks? The lack of weapons and technology in a fight can ultimately make a man even manlier. This is because if you take away his gun or knife, you make him fight smart and effectively. When you have no weapon, there is no room for error. Because of this, every move a man makes is strategically designed for survival and it is in a life or death situation in which a man truly shows how manly he actually is.
In the end no weapon is actually manly. The man who carries the weapon also carries the testosterone.