Male Psychologist on Jerry Seinfeld’s Longing for ‘Dominant Masculinity’

Male Psychologist on Jerry Seinfeld’s Longing for ‘Dominant Masculinity’

Jerry Seinfeld attends SiriusXM's "Unfrosted" Town Hall at SiriusXM Studios in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 30, 2024. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Juliette Fairley

Juliette Fairley

6/3/2024

Updated: 6/4/2024

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Although TV sitcom star Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t believe he is the epitome of “dominant masculinity,” he’s calling for its return.
Mr. Seinfeld told Bari Weiss on her May 28 podcast “Honestly with Bari Weiss” that he would like to embody traditional masculinity even though he views his comedy career as childish.
“Yeah, I get the toxic thing … but still, I like a real man,” Mr. Seinfeld said.
Examples of who Mr. Seinfeld perceives as a “real man” include John F. Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, Sean Connery, and Howard Cosell.
But being famous isn’t the best exemplar for defining a “real man,” according to men’s psychology specialist Dr. Brian Tierney, who prefers the term “confident” or “integrated masculinity” over “dominant masculinity.”
“When there’s a public aspect, there can be an image of power that can inspire men to be bold, brilliant, and to take risks. But in order to really be able to comment about whether they’ve actually done this integration of confidence and humility, you have to look at their home life,” Dr. Tierney told The Epoch Times.
Dr. Tierney has been facilitating men’s groups for 25 years and teaches men how to develop positive “dominant masculinity” by integrating confidence and humility.
Without humility, Dr. Tierney believes men risk being toxic.
“Toxic masculinity does not make other people feel good, whereas confident or dominant masculinity has the potential to have humor, to be in [a] relationship, and to actually make people feel good,” he said.
Dr. Tierney is also an adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
Former kickboxer Andrew Tate brought allegations of toxic masculinity to the forefront of the global zeitgeist after he was arrested in Romania in December 2022, along with his brother, Tristan, over allegations that include rape, human trafficking, and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women.
Mr. Tate, who drives fast cars, poses with guns, and smokes cigars, has been criticized for saying women aren’t good drivers, belong in the home, are the property of men, and should bear the responsibility when sexually assaulted.
“Most of the guys I counsel aren’t raging on their wives,” Dr. Tierney said. “They’re guys who are stuck in isolation and don’t know how to connect with their emotions.”
Neither Mr. Tate nor Mr. Seinfeld responded to requests for comment.
Dr. Tierney added that many men struggle with exhibiting their masculinity, and the capacity to be courageous is the true definition of masculinity.
“They put up stone walls,” he said in an interview with The Epoch Times. “They don’t want to fight, or they fight too much.”
Mr. Seinfeld also said on Ms. Weiss’s podcast that he missed the hierarchy that previously existed in society.
A book published in 1982, titled “Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States,” determined that the patriarchal social construct began to wane with the rise of female wage labor.
“When it comes to the hierarchies, money, work, and the complexity of encountering a woman in the home, it’s just so complex that men get lost in their minds,” Dr. Tierney said.
“With men and a lot of people, there’s often a big split between thinking and feeling, and as power became equated with thinking and talking, we gradually, over many, many years, became divorced from feeling,” he added.
The presence of women in the workforce became more common after the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted in 1938, which outlawed fixing wage orders based on age or gender.
Dr. Brian Tierney prefers the term "confident masculinity." (Courtesy of Dr. Brian Tierney)

Dr. Brian Tierney prefers the term "confident masculinity." (Courtesy of Dr. Brian Tierney)

Dr. Tierney has noticed that, despite co-ed work environments, men continue to exercise their confident or dominant masculinity on the job but tend to isolate themselves within their families.
“Inside the home, there’s a castration thing going on,” he said.
To discover or reclaim their masculinity, Dr. Tierney advises practicing martial arts and participating in cold water exposure events.
While plunging into a cold sea or lake increases humility, martial arts requires integrity, discipline, focus, and perseverance.
“In martial arts, you’re going to come against someone who’s stronger than you, and you learn how to deal with that impotence psychologically,” Dr. Tierney said. “Unconscious impotence is foundational to toxic masculinity. In order to go through that and keep coming back to martial arts, you have to be in contact with your humility because you’re not going to dominate everybody.”
Women can help by encouraging their male partners to bond with other men.
“Hanging out with other men in an environment where the integration between humility and power is nurtured [is] fairly rare,” Dr. Tierney added. “Often, they end up being spiritual and religious groups because they nurture depth. Singing can also get your feeling function going or go to a poetry reading group.”
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Juliette Fairley

Juliette Fairley

Author

Juliette Fairley is a freelance reporter for The Epoch Times and a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Born in Chateauroux, France, and raised outside of Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, Juliette is a well-adjusted military brat. She has written for many publications across the country. Send Juliette story ideas at JulietteFairley@gmail.com

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