Two conflicting strains of contemporary obsession collided fatally in Parkland, Florida, two weeks ago, when an unstable teenage boy brought a rifle to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 students. The first is guns and what, if anything, should be done about them in a country whose constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. The second is the concept of “toxic masculinity,” the current bugbear of the female social-justice warriors whose brand of “feminism” is essentially misandry writ large. It’s an appalling combination of fear, ignorance, misapplied compassion, prescription drugs, and social mores—and a clear and present danger to American society that we must sort out, fast.
Don’t kid yourselves: by “toxic masculinity,” the latter-day incarnations of the Greek Furies and the Thracian women mean simply, “maleness.” Like all cultural Marxists, the modern feminists have applied the tenets of Critical Theory to the War Between the (Two) Sexes, and have found the male sex wanting in every particular, the force behind every social ill they perceive. Men are responsible for all that afflicts them: their workplace environment, their chances in the dating pool, their economic fortunes; thanks to their uncontrollable concupiscence, men even burden them with children. Every masculine trait, therefore, must be ameliorated by medication or surgery, such as rambunctiousness in young boys; every sign of virility, including strength, courage, and the martial spirit must be stamped out in order to “protect” women. That such a social policy would also mean the end of inventions, infrastructure, heavy lifting, rockets to the moon, and the Golden Gate Bridge never seems to occur to them: men are guilty, and therefore must be made to suffer. Maleness to them is a birth defect.
And what is more masculine than a firearm? To many if not most of the SJWs and Pajama Boys on the Left, the very presence of a firearm in a room is fraught with danger: it might go off by itself. It might have a “high-magazine clip” attached. It might make a loud noise. Worst of all, it might cause an innocent Leftist to pick it up and suddenly experience an overpowering urge to go out and shoot somebody, because firearms are meant to kill people, right? “I couldn’t trust myself around a gun,” you hear them say. As a result, these weak beta-males believe that all men need a gun in their hand to make them feel virile and potent; as usual with the Left, it all comes down to the irresistible sexual impulses that constantly plague them. That a real man feels no more masculine with a gun in his hand than without one never occurs to them.
The mass shooters, especially those who attack helpless schoolchildren and religious worshippers, are hardly exemplars of the masculine ideal. Just look at their photographs: Parkland, Sandy Hook, the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.—these and the others from Columbine to Virginia Tech to the Gabby Giffords shooting are strange, mutant children, generally from broken homes, raised by single mothers, and often on various psychotropic drugs to control their behavior in the absence of a strong father. They are as far from the “toxic” male as it’s possible to get. Real men not only don’t eat quiche, they don’t pick up guns and kill the innocent and the defenseless.
So which is it? Is “toxic masculinity” a real threat to women? Or does the threat come instead from young men who aren’t masculine enough?
It’s a rude question for those committed to the proposition that sexuality is fluid, that what we used to call primary and secondary sex characteristics can be added or subtracted at whim, that there are multiple “genders” and anybody can choose which one suits. At the same time, however, the modern ninny feminists have reverted to parody Victorian status, weak, helpless, and certain that every man is a potential rapist. Increasingly, they demand sexually segregated safe spaces. One might well say to them, get thee to a nunnery, but they’re against organized religion as well.
In short, it’s an insane—call it “toxic”—situation of contradictory counterfactuals that cannot be reconciled. Unable to come to terms with themselves, the SJWs demand that the world conform to them, and they are going to hold their breath until it does. Thus do girls “transitioning” to boys win state wrestling championships against fully female opposition. Thus are bathrooms mandated to be open to all. Thus is a foundational pillar of every society in human history kicked away by Critical Theory, and we are left to deal with the consequences.
Writing in the introduction to her seminal work, Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia famously observed: “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.” She has little patience for weepy feminism, writing recently: “It was overwhelmingly men who created the machines and ultra-efficient systems of the industrial revolution, which in turn emancipated women. But many women seem surprised and unnerved by the competitive, pitiless forces that drive the modern professions, which were shaped by entrepreneurial male bonding. It remains to be seen whether those deep patterns of mutually bruising male teamwork, which may date from the Stone Age, can be altered to accommodate female sensitivities without reducing productivity and progress.”
The Stone Age reference is precisely correct. The standards of masculinity were developed under duress; our sexual differentiation reflects the unique but complementary physical and mental tasks each of the two sexes has been “assigned” (to use a favorite Leftist word), in this case by Nature or God—but certainly not by some conspiratorial patriarchy. The burden of proof to overturn our understanding of the intrinsic natures and functions of the sexes is on the “feminists,” not on traditional society, which after all has gotten along perfectly well without feminists for millennia.
If they keep pushing, however, a lot of very uncomfortable questions might suddenly come to the fore: why are women, minus steroids, physically weaker than men? Why do men dominate both the creative arts and the sciences? Why can’t women read a map, or learn to stow gear efficiently in the overhead compartment? Was female suffrage really necessary, and if so, why? You can already hear the outrage.
And yet none of these questions applies to or demeans all women. There have been great female scientists and writers and artists and performers (but not one great composer). On the other side of the ledger, not a single male has ever given birth to, or nurtured at his breast, a child who grew up to be Mozart or Einstein. The hyper-feminists who demand that more women be given jobs in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) never also call for greater female representation among loggers, roustabouts, wildcatters, and serial killers.
Can it be that the Platonic Form of a woman is really a man? And, if so, what does that portend for modern “feminism”?
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No one believes that Blacks will become a minority in Africa, that Asians will become a minority in Asia, or that it would be a good thing if they did.
But not only are White people expected to become minorities in ALL White countries within a few decades, people actually celebrate this fact.
What’s going on here?
Under international law, imposing conditions on a race causing it to become a minority in its own lands is genocide.
But you’ll never hear an anti-White call it genocide.
Instead, anti-Whites use terms such as “multiculturalism” and “diversity.”
STOP WHITE GENOCIDE!
Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.
Totally off-topic post, but absolutely correct and worth repeating.
BTW, moderators, can’t you block those annoying google-bot ads?
If a half black, illiterate moron can be aggrandized to Presidential status, then women can become gladiators!
Well, Donald Trump now favors seizing guns immediately from Americans and asking questions later, like, are you crazy? or how old are you? And Trump seems to have decided it is good for America to throw the NRA under the bus as he mocked Senator Toomey yesterday, ” you’re afraid of the NRA, aren’t you? I’m not.”
So much for masculinity.
So Trump’s words are fake. Now we agree.
What a dumb comment. You really are not paying attention. What Trump said is that if we feel there is a threat from an individual, seize the weapon and the go after due process. Are you actually advocating that someone like Cruz keep his AR15 while the courts decide if he can have it or not. Really?
what an asinine comment. You provide “due process” after you have seized someones legal gun illegally, with no due process. You are a PERFECT DEMOCRAT.
So, you prefer that we wait until people are killed while undertaking “due process”. You are a PERFECT FOOL.
So you prefer that we throw away the Constitution and let people like Hillary Clinton and James Comey decide who is sane. You are continuing to define what is a good slave but a terrible citizen.
No, you are crazy. Due process is a lengthy process. No one is saying eliminate due process. But, we are saying do not let a threat continue to be a threat while we go through due process. There are plenty of precedents for this. Just for example, if you are arrested you have no right to bail or if you cannot be afford the bail, you just wait in jail until the trial. This is no different.
If this is all too confusing for you, I am not surprised.
Yes, its a lengthy process. Could take a day. Better to let the Gestapo take the guns. You are a moron. And Trump is now holding hands with Dianne Feinstein.
You are dumber than dirt. Due process does not take a day. There would be mental testing, references and complaints to be checked, threats that may have been issued.
You are confused about “due process” and simple authorization to remove weapons from a person. Here is a similar example. Someone calls in on a domestic disturbance. One of the parties has a gun. Do you leave that person alone and in possession of the gun or do take possession of the gun?
How long does it take to get a search warrant. There is no magic time requirement. But then morons don’t know these things.
But that is not “due process” my lad Due process would be determining if there is any reason to deny the person a gun. I keep telling you that you are quite confused.
Well, my lad, letting unknown people declare you a threat and seize your weapons with no process whatsoever is not due process. It is tyranny.
Still confused are ya’.
Still a leftist supporting tyrannical government and trashing the Constitution, are ya?
“Facts not in evidence” – a truly moronic phrasing from the one who wants to waive “due process”
Your argument is exactly what the government used to assault the Waco Koresh compound. And you would support the FBI seizing the guns from the Bundy’s at their ranch and jailing them, all with no due process.
Sheesh, you are assuming facts not in evidence. No one argued that Bundy or Koresh were crazy and likely to go on a shooting spree against innocents. The fact you consider Koresh, Bundy equivalent to Cruz explains why you are logically and analytically impaired.
You prove your asininity. Plenty of people claim the Bundy’s are crazy. They are called Democrats and they are the reason the Bundy’s were under assault. The Florida Sheriff, a Hillary Clinton cult member, would in your world be able to define who gets their guns taken away with a simple “report” of craziness, since you eliminated the triviality of “due process” You are the Poster Child of Stupidity.
You are sadly mistaken in every assumption and conclusion you reach. In spite of the fact I do support removing guns from people who threaten to shoot other people as Cruz did, I am a second amendment support, a Bundy supporter, an opponent of Sheriff Israel, a Trump supporter, and safierce opponent of Hillary. I believe there were enough signs of a potential explosion of Cruz that his weapons should be take away and he should undergo a due process investigation before he gets them back if they taking were shown to be unwarranted.
On that note, you will now be blocked because there is no point in debating a fool and a troll.
You are the one supporting the notion that every intelligent American opposes and which has NEVER been permitted. You sure are proud of your ignorance.
“And what is more masculine than a firearm?”
Fatherhood. Of course, this has been also under attack by the left for decades.
Absolutely! Excellent point!
And the left succeeded in this enough that they basically destroyed the black family…..
How do WE get back to being united? How do WE get back to loving one another? Simple. WE go back to God.
Couldn’t agree with you more !!!
The percipient soldier carrying it.
A few random unscientific observations from a female who earned her living in “men’s fields” before the feminists arrived.
1. Most women do not have men’s aptitudes. BUT that is a generalization that says nothing about any individual woman. Marie Curie was the greatest chemist.
2. Caring 24/7 for infants and young children takes patience, empathy and selflessness, but not necessarily high IQ. Most women do this. Few men can. It is necessary for survival of the human species.
3. On observation, the strident feminazis seem to have contempt for the weakness of their beta husbands. Yet they are busy turning their sons into even weaker males. Angelina Jolie and others are going further and turning their daughters into god-only-knows-what kind of boys
4. Personally, I like alpha males. I want my special one to shower, have good manners, high intelligence and a sense of humor, high earning power and to show appropriate respect for my intelligence and abilities – as I do for his. We are both adults, so neither can command the other what to do and we wouldn’t want to. These alpha males – with all these features and with conservative politics – are not in plentiful supply.
1) My Oppa was a polymer chemist. Member of the Dutch Underground in WWII. Helped invent latex paint. Retired as the dean of Mizzou Grad School chem department. Mentored hundreds of chemists. Curie was certainly great. He will always be greatest to me.
2) Also necessary for survival: Dad who provides for Mom and Kids 24/7 and who makes kids be responsible, take smart risks, and grow up. Most men do this, even simple ones by IQ standards.
3) Almost lost my own marriage that way. Saved it by manning up. Thanks for emphasizing this.
4) Yep. LoveandRespect.com
Don’t know if I would be called an ‘alpha’ male. Met the neatest girl in ’77 and married her in ’78. When decided we were ready for children in mid ’79 and we raised four daughters. One Valedictorian and one Salutatorian and find out fourteen grandchildren to be the cats meow. I worked my up till I was one of four men who took turns (shift work) running a half a billion dollars worth of machine.
But I do know an alpha male. Dad was third wave at Omaha beach. Four Purple Hearts and a Silver Star, and the cute little Arrowhead for D Day. First wave of Patton’s men who broke through to the 101st at the Battle of the Bulge. Two more purple hearts as a Treasury agent. I know an alpha female as well. Missionary daughter who was born in Africa and they raised four children. My heart is full when I consider all of the great men and all of the great women who have moulded civilization. Men and women are different. We are equal, just different. Like everyone else I like to brag about my family, the human family. Included is the house and home where my mom was born.
Thank you !!!
As one of the original feminists (60’s), I can say what I at least was after was a chance at any job or educational opportunity But it never occurred to us (at least to me) that wanting equal opportunity would morph into the screeching sideshow we have now. I, too, am one of the females inclined to “men’s fields” and generally find I have a lot in common with men. That said, I admire the women who are able to care for children 24/7. One was my limit and while he’s turned out to be an admirable man, I admit mothering did not come natural to me.I had to work at it and failed dismally at times. I have the greatest admiration for mothers who are able to care for a brood. I am ashamed and embarrassed at the screeching harpies who pass for feminists these days. They are not us. We do not connect with them on any plane. My husband is everything any woman could hope for in a partner, lover, provider, father and companion. I am fortunate. I can’t imagine those daisies in their pink hats could ever be so fortunate but then again they are not us.
“often on various psychotropic drugs to control their behavior ”
This cannot be restated too often. Big Pharma spends much much much more on campaign contributions than the NRA Political Victory Fund has in its bank account.
The dosing of kids with drugs is the big difference between now and the 1960s-1980s. I was talking just yesterday with my cousin, who has two functional sons in their twenties, about how she felt like she was the only mom whose boys were not on drugs to control ADHD, in other words, normal boy behavior.
And then in adolescence the Zoloft, Paxil, etc. starts.
A big DITTO on that
The common denominator in ALL school shootings, from Columbine to Parkland, has been SSRI’s, aka Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.
WHO protected whom? Oh, right. Toxic-masculinity-imbued guys who treated other people as truly important.
Even back in the ‘first wave’ of feminism which was much saner than the current version there were weird dichotomies. One the one hand they sneered at ‘macho’ behavior (‘toxic-masculinity’ is today’s PC version of ‘macho’) yet often aped that very kind of behavior. It’s only gotten worse.
Great article, Michael. Just one correction: the Shakespearean line you quoted, “get thee to a nunnery,” actually refers to a whore house according to Elizabethan slang at the time of which the Bard make frequent use in his plays.
Call it, “Ye olde inside jokes”
What is more toxic than killing your unborn child? When women stop murdering children in the womb, they can start lecturing me about toxic masculinity.
Hey, we eat quiche, we just prefer to call it “bacon and egg pie”.
Speak for yourself.
Maybe require every teenage boy to read the novel “End as a Man”? Nah, too homophobic, and the Commandant’s speech too “toxic”.
> That such a social policy would also mean the end of inventions, infrastructure, heavy lifting, rockets to the moon, …
It would mean the end of electricity after the major storm in each locale–because women don’t go out in thunderstorm to get the juice flowing again.