“Toxic masculinity”

“Tyler” on Slate writes Men Aren’t Monstrous, but Masculinity Can Be. It’s pretty short, so I’ll just go through the whole thing.

While bent over locking up my bike in Chicago a few years ago, I heard the all-too-familiar sound of a wolf whistle. I turned around to get a look at the jerks accosting some woman on the street, only to realize I was the one who was being cat called. A man passing by from behind had seen my long curly hair and tight jeans and mistaken me for a woman. When I turned around to face him, he was shocked and started apologizing profusely. In so many words, he was saying: ”This is an unacceptable way to behave toward a man.” And we both knew, if I were a woman, there would be no apology.

This is the double standard at the heart of masculinity: Men are taught to regularly say and do things to women that they would never say or do to other men, that they would never want men to say or do to them. That is not due to some timeless “male libido” driving their behavior. It’s because masculinity is founded on the myth that men alone are rights-bearing persons and women are subordinate, passive, second-class beings who either need the protection of or deserve to be subjected to men.

The author “claims” that men are taught to “wolf whistle” women.

I seem to recall that back in the day when husbands and fathers were not getting divorced they would teach their kids to be kind and respectable youngsters who treated women in a chivalrous manner.

I wonder why the incidence of wolf whistling has gone up, with the advent of no-fault divorce, almost all mother custody, and fatherlessness.

In a recent New York Times op-ed, however, writer Stephen Marche uses some outdated Freudian ideas about sexuality and gender and the recent explosion of allegations of sexual misconduct to argue that male sexual desire is inherently brutal and oppressive. Thus, there’s no use, as Marche puts it, in “pretending to be something else, some fiction you would prefer to be.” So, feminist ideas are practically useless. The only fruitful thing men can do to respect women as equals is repress their natural urges.

In truth, the very problem with masculinity Marche describes in his op-ed is too much repression: The rules governing masculinity require men to be stoic, to repress virtually all of their emotions (except anger). This leads many men to severely underdevelop their own ability to analyze and communicate about their own feelings. Our culture, not men’s nature, has enforced this emotional repression.

Indeed, every man can think of at least one experience where he was punished for failing—whether intentionally or accidentally—to obey the dictates of these masculine rules. I remember a playground game where my friends and I would re-enact scenes from Disney films. I volunteered myself for the role of Ariel from the Little Mermaid. She was the protagonist and, it seemed to me, the best character to be. My peers bullied and teased me for this failure to obey the rules of compulsory masculinity for weeks afterward, and “Ariel” became a standard go-to insult in arguments.

This policing of masculinity is the reason why the vast majority of fist fights I’ve witnessed between men were preceded by trash talk in which the men called each other “little bitches” or “pussies.” The worst thing a man could be accused of being is feminine, since femininity is, in contrast, just another word for weak, passive, and fit to be dominated by other men. (This kind of masculinity is not just responsible for misogyny then, but for homophobia and transphobia too.)

This is the kind of masculinity that also teaches men they don’t have to ask permission to act on their sexual desires. They’re supposed to take charge and have no reason to respect women’s autonomy. This is what feminists mean when they say sexual harassment and assault are about power, not desire. It’s our culture, not our libidos, that shapes the way men act upon otherwise healthy, run-of-the-mill sexual desires. In itself, there is nothing inherently brutal in a man who is sexually attracted to a woman he works with—no more than there would be if a woman desires a man she works with.

Again, fathers taught boys not to do this; they taught discipline and self control. Emotions were not repressed but controlled, and men act out of honor and dignity.

You tend to see the type of behavior the blogger describes in the most reckless and violent populations, which, not coincidentally is composed by a vast majority of single mothers. It’s scientifically proven, as we’ve discussed time and time again.

But there is a difference between discreetly (or silently) deriving pleasure from someone’s presence, on the one hand, and imposing one’s desires on that person, especially if they’re unreturned or unwanted. The difference here, as the feminist philosopher Sandra Bartky puts it, is the difference between healthy eroticism and rituals rooted in toxic ideas about masculinity.

If a man wants to act on his attraction, or sexual urges? Here, communication, the very thing modern notions of masculinity train us away from, is key. Genuine communication is a two-way street; it presupposes that both participants have an equal right to withdraw from the interaction or decline an offer. Men already understand this to some extent, because this is how men typically behave in interactions with other men.

So, relating to women as equals, as genuine peers, doesn’t necessarily require repressing desire. Instead, it requires coming to terms with the fact that masculinity trains men to have great difficulty recognizing women—or, indeed, anyone that presents as feminine—as persons, as agents, as authoritative and worthy of respect, and then making an effort to see and treat them that way.

In 1945 only 24 percent of Americans thought women should be allowed to hold jobs outside the home. In that same year, 25 percent of Americans thought there were often good reasons to pay men and women different amounts for doing the same kind of work. But by 1993 that number had dropped to 13 percent—and women’s workforce participation rate had doubled.

In 1987, 30 percent of Americans said they agreed that “women should return to their traditional social role of remaining in the home.” In 2012, by contrast, only 18 percent said this. Thus, it’s no surprise that in the past 20 years, the number of dads who stay home with children has dramatically increased and men in general are spending significantly more time parenting their children. Masculinity and femininity are changing quickly, and both men and women are the better for it.

The typical dig at patriarchy.

Instead of calling for repression, we should stop punishing children and adults for failing to obey the unhealthy dictates of masculinity—men need less repression, not more. That this would make for a less violent, sexist (and transphobic) world is reason enough to see it as a worthy goal. But, so, too would it free men from a great deal of anxiety, self-hatred, pain, and loneliness.

A few years before my own experience with a catcall, I saw a young woman walking down a Chicago street with a milkshake in hand. A man watching her pass by shouted, “Titties!” at her. Without skipping a beat, she turned around, threw her milkshake at him, and continued on her way. Those of us on the street chuckled in admiration as the man stood dripping from head to toe with chocolate milkshake.

Was this a man overcome by brutal sexual desires he needed to better repress? I don’t think so. This was a man who needed a wake-up call that the woman he was shouting at was a person, not an object for him to dominate. Maybe the #MeToo moment will be just that for a lot of men, and we should consider ourselves lucky not to get our wake-up call served up so icy cold.

“Tyler” — if he is a man at all — has been brainwashed into believing some false narrative of masculinity.

At the hands of feminism, families were ripped apart and destroyed. Boys grew up without fathers. Discipline, honor, and respect were thrown to the wayside. Chivalry was killed. The consequences of this are men that are more violent, sexually aggressive, and lack self control.

Then you get articles like this. This form of masculinity that is violent, sexually aggressive, and lacking self control is instead blamed on the “vestiges of patriarchy” and that “we haven’t done enough” to eradicate masculinity as a whole. Talk about circular logic.

The very negative consequences that feminism and liberalism have caused are blamed on the very structures that prevented that behavior in the first place.

It’s crazy, and they’re crazy.

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19 Responses to “Toxic masculinity”

  1. If the writer is a Man, he’s weak-willed and lowly in rank. And I’d highly suspect that milkshake story is false. Which is exactly why this was in Slate. They operate wholly by inverting Good & Evil, so it’s absolutely no surprise they wouldn’t understand anything.

  2. Vasilli says:

    ‘Tyler’ on Slate’s posting also comes with a generous serving of advertisements for women’s apparel and fem dating tips click bait. I’m confused to who ‘his’ target audience is…

  3. purge187 says:

    “The very negative consequences that feminism and liberalism have caused are blamed on the very structures that prevented that behavior in the first place.”

    By the same token, many of the Left-leaning media types who are now being accused of sexual harassment were idle and oblivious as the laws therein were expanded. I highly doubt that each and every one of them is guilty of each and every thing they’ve been accused of, but you get fleas when you lie with the Feminist dogs.

  4. fuzziewuzziebear says:

    I agree. This had to be written for feminist readers. That he goes on about street harassment, which is something they like to cite but I never see, is a good clue. Stuff like this just stirs up more hate in women for men.

  5. Bee says:

    Basic good manners. You politely ask a woman if she would like to join you for lunch. You tell a woman you are going out for coffee Saturday morning and ask if she would like to join you.

    The media and Hollywood elites exposed in the recent accusations were not sophisticated enough to politely ask for a date.

    I never gave a woman that was not already my wife a sex toy. I never showed up to a business meeting wearing an open bath robe. I never groped a woman. The problem is not “toxic masculinity” or “men”. The problem is a small number of men who are jerks. Many of these jerks are college educated liberals.

  6. elspeth says:

    We are friends with a couple (now devout Christians) who were very active in the NY theater and acting scene when they were younger. They told us that the perversion (including pedophilia), harassment, and casting couch stuff has been an open secret in NY and LA for decades. That all this faux outrage is just the next step in criminalizing any kind of sexual behavior that might offend women.

    Unfortunately -or perhaps, fortunately- for leftist men, they are getting the brunt of the very thing they enabled both actively and passively. That they somehow thought that they would be given a pass because correct politics is ironic.

  7. Tyler is obviously a homosexual or a woman writing as a man. Locking bike story? Bullsh1t. Milkshake story? Bullsh1t. Volunteering to be Ariel? Are you effing kidding me? Heterosexual boys of any age don’t volunteer to be mermaids. Ever.

    The worst thing a man could be accused of being is feminine, False and a give away the writer isn’t a man. The worst thing a man can be accused of is cowardice.

    Masculinity and femininity are changing quickly, and both men and women are the better for it. Only idiot leftists think this is true. I’m pretty sure they’re are studies stating that people (Americans especially) are less happy overall than ever before. Why are 25% of women on psychiatric medications? (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/women-and-prescription-drug-use_n_1098023.html) Don’t tell me it’s toxic masculinity.

    But, so, too would it free men from a great deal of anxiety, self-hatred, pain, and loneliness. Masculine men don’t feel these emotions on a daily basis. Well, maybe some anxiety, along with frustration and confusion. Men are told to make bricks without straw… or clay. “Go out a be a contributing member to a society that hates and despises you. It’s your duty as a man.” WTF? No slave has a duty to his “master”. Only to himself in trying to escape his bondage.

  8. rocko says:

    Ironically, I think women are also displaying this form of “toxic” masculinity nowadays, through things like drinking too much, sleeping with too many people, men and other women, fighting, being verbally abusive towards others, sexually harassing others, even in the way they look, i.e., tattoos, piercings, short haircuts, etc. Yet women are celebrated for these behaviors.

  9. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    When the context of sex changed from marriage to desire and then to consent, things were bound to get fouled up. That is what happens when one tries to change God’s design.

    Women freed from “the shackles” of marriage were at liberty to follow their muse, aka tingles. Turns out many women like the tingles that “bad boys” provoke. When Resposible Randy observes that Harley McBadboy gets the girls he tries to emulate his bad boy ways. But surprise the girls don’t like his tingleless good boy persona. His attempts are seen as unwelcome. In this day in age that equals harassment. If only he would wait till Susie Hotstuff has had her thrills and aged to the point of hitting the wall, then his interest would be welcome along with his nest-egg.

    Toxic masculinity is not the fruit of patriarchy, but of feminism’s validation of hypergamy, the displacement of proper sex in marriage to fornication and the devaluation of masculine virtue.

    Oh, and there is no equality. It is a myth wrapped up to sound like a virtue. Men and women are different, not equal. Viva la difference! There is no way Suzy Hotstuff wants Harley McBadboy if he equal to Suzy, no tingles for the fem-boy.

  10. Dying 2 Live says:

    Dave Chappelle said it best: “Chivalry is dead…and women killed it.”

  11. earlthomas786 says:

    ‘The worst thing a man can be accused of is cowardice.’

    He’s probably too dense to get what calling a man a ‘pussy’ means.

    Yes being called a coward is much more embarassing.

  12. @ Elspeth

    That is not particularly surprising.

    The left has always aimed at tearing down Judeo-Christian morality. Those who do not believe in morality will commit the most heinous of crimes.

    Yet, sadly, these crimes will still be blamed on the things which prevent such things from happening in the first place.

  13. @ Kentucky Headhunter

    Good point on not “feminine” but “cowardice” being a thing men fear. Even Jesus proclaims that cowardice is the worst thing:

    “Therefore everyone who [z]confesses Me before men, I will also confess [aa]him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever [ab]denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
    – Matthew 10:32-33

    Both men and women are more disillusioned in this “progressive” world than ever, yet this is only seen as evidence that more “progress” is needed.

  14. Daniel says:

    @Jonadab
    You’re definitely on to something.

    When Resposible Randy observes that Harley McBadboy gets the girls he tries to emulate his bad boy ways. But surprise… His attempts are seen as unwelcome… that equals harassment.

    “Tyler” on Slate says that communication is key. He thinks a man should politely explain to a woman that he desires her. Of course she’ll reject him, and he should show respect as she withdraws and declines his offer.
    When this strategy never, ever works, what will a man resort to? He’ll try to emulate the “jerks” who get the girls without asking. If he tries it at work and it fails, it’s sexual harassment.

  15. earlthomas786 says:

    Responsible Randy can’t be Harley McBadboy. What Harley has on Randy is that he is emotionally appealing to a greater group of women and he most likely has a better radar on picking that up than Randy does. Harley has seen it enough he recognizes it, Randy has had hit or miss at best with more misses than hits. Randy needs to focus on the woman who is showing signs she’s emotionally turned on to him rather than just going shotgun on the bit and trying to get any woman out there because he thinks that’s how it works.

    Harley may not be the best leader of men, he may not be the richest, smartest, or best looking…Randy would probably beat him at a lot of aspects in life…but he has something that emotionally appeals to women Randy just doesn’t have.

  16. Daniel says:

    Yesterday’s Harleys are getting older, balder and fatter. The women that once succumbed to the turn-on sometimes regret that they did so. Decades later they are jumping on the me-too bandwagon for some attention.

  17. Novaseeker says:

    Tyler is just another “nu-mael” type, really — the fact that he was mistaken on the street for a woman is telling (and no, Tyler, it isn’t due to your long hair, you must also have a womanish frame and physique as well, because almost no men are mistaken for women on the street, long hair or no, back exposed or no). He, being effeminate and atypical, resents masculinity because he felt (feels) excluded by it, so he lashes out at it. That’s all this is, and that’s obvious from what he has admitted about his encounters on the street.

    Trouble for someone like Tyler is not very many people care for feminine men — heck, even the gay community doesn’t care much for “fem” men, it mostly strongly prefers men who at least look and act masculine.

  18. Pingback: Conservatives still don’t get it or don’t want to | Christianity and masculinity

  19. lmiller says:

    Sadly feminism has ushered us into a new age of mental deprivation. In order for a boys’ mind to develop properly, he must have close contact with a father/father-figure. If he doesn’t, the net result is homosexuality/ gender identification issues/ extreme promiscuity. Extreme promiscuity is evident with the rise in assault allegations, and it is undeniable that homosexuality and gender identification issues are on the rise.
    Feminism has deprived the mind of the young man of knowledge of how to behave, act and control himself. By removing the father figure they have damned millions.
    These issues I have mentioned are examples of incorrect mental development. In fact, brain-scans have identified that homosexuals have a consistently different brain structure to heterosexuals.
    Feminism is the scourge of the century, and maybe now we will begin to realise why such evil people support it. Handing fodder to their master, the devil.

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