In our society success is being the richest man, alone, in an office at the top of the tallest building.
The concept of success is very definitely defined in relation to masculinity. It is at least conflicted in relation to women, and at worst impossible. It may be impossible for a woman to stand within our society and say fully and purely “I am successful.” Or, it may be automatic. Much of the literature dealing with misogyny postulates the male drive to success as being a compensating mechanism for the inability to give birth. So fertile women would then be the default success state, and all the rest of us are fighting for a chimera.
But as a man, concern with happiness is self indulgent. Being compassionate is emasculate — while being unable to put on a public face of compassion is surely impolitic, for a man to fail by over-assertion is more forgivable than to fail by showing mercy.
To be betrayed by your friends is to be foolish — the fault is on you not them. You are not really supposed to have any friends.
To be betrayed by your woman (and, really, if you are a successful man she is “your” woman) is to be cuckolded. To be beaten by a woman in the marketplace is emotionally linked to this primal humiliation.
All these relationships exist to move you up that staircase. At the end of that is a table surrounded by men (and maybe some women who don’t really belong there, who everyone knows don’t really belong there, who feel deeply when they get home and when they are alone and when they are not misrepresenting themselves to further the cause of women that they do not belong there) And he must look at those men and know that they are not his best friends, who are those who he would choose to have around him, but his worst enemies.
And if he is committed to his success then he will have emasculated all of those men, and he will have isolated himself from their advances. No one will have his ear unless he has his hand on their throat. And then, sitting alone on the balcony of his building and looking out over the city, looking down on everything and everyone, no one will have anything to say to him. He has beaten them all, he is the winner.
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