Toxic Masculinity

 

The northern corner of New York state that I call home is famous for the rustic beauty of its lakes and mountains and forests, for its pivotal role in the underappreciated War of 1812, and for its long, snowy, and sometimes brutal winters. Being an indoorsy kind of guy with little interest in military history, it’s this last feature that bears most directly upon me.

I’ve been blessed with a robust frame and exceptional physical strength, a product (I suspect) of French peasant ancestry and hybrid vigor. Members of my extended family have tended to be healthy, long-lived, and embarrassingly fecund, which no doubt accounts for the absurdly large number of us. For all that, I’m no longer young. Recognizing this, my grown children decided, a couple of years ago, that it was time I stopped shoveling the new-fallen snow from my 300-foot driveway, a task that always left me sore and winded but that I’ve stubbornly resisted contracting out or delegating. So they gifted me a snowblower.

The snowblower is, without a doubt, the best invention of the past 200 years. I enjoy using it; I’ve just come in from an hour spent clearing the accumulation of the last few days.

When snow is frequent and winter is long, repeated snowblowing of the driveway creates a considerable mountain of snow on either side. There’s a natural tendency for the width of the cleared area to slowly decrease, because it’s easier to run the machine through the new-fallen snow than it is to cut into the older, piled snow along the sides, and so tempting to leave just a little bit more at the margins with each successive clearing. But, unless one is willing to gradually surrender the navigable portion of the drive to the encroaching banks, one must resist this temptation and invest the time in fully clearing, or even broadening, the path with each day’s effort. This must be done continually, lest the bordering banks compress and refreeze into impenetrable glaciers.


We are being hemmed in today by two interlocking but distinct aspects of progressive politics: the gender identity movement, and resurgent racism. Each of these seeks to redefine the boundaries of civil discourse, to preclude criticism of frankly noxious ideas by equating such criticism with intolerance and hate. Each has been largely successful at achieving this illiberal end – certainly within our institutions, and increasingly among the broader public.

A consequence of the radical left’s reinvigoration of racism will be, I’m sure, more racism. It seems inevitable that endorsing discrimination based on skin color must, ultimately, harm those whom it has historically harmed, which is those in the racial minority. As one who condemns racism wholeheartedly, I deplore this foolishness and will continue to call for an institutionally color-blind society. Racism is stupid and ugly, but I can think of no way to push back against it except to call it out and condemn it at every opportunity.

Sexism, on the other hand, is a very different matter. Sexism, unlike racism, is rooted in reality. Sexism actually makes sense.

The gender identity movement is the inchoate fusion of disparate and sometimes self-contradictory things. It combines the nonsensical ideas of gender fluidity with an explicit rejection of the reality of sexual identity itself. It’s a fashionable bunch of horse feathers hanging its hat on a rare sliver of genetic abnormality. It’s silly, sometimes sad, often pathetic, but at its heart is something that’s actually damaging, the continuation of a decades-long effort to obliterate womanhood by turning women into men and denying the real differences between the sexes.

I’m sexist, in that I think the differences between the two sexes actually matter quite a lot, and I’m happy to generalize about men and women based on those characteristic differences. Far from decrying toxic masculinity, I call for more expressions of masculinity – some of which will no doubt seem toxic to many of my sissified and overly sensitized fellow Americans, and some of which actually will be unpleasant and, occasionally, harmful.

There is a place for feminine sensitivity and sensibility, but there’s also a place for masculine insensitivity and boldness. We have too little of the latter, and so we spend a year huddled in fear of a virus that kills mostly the elderly and infirm and represents little danger to most people. We tolerate a year of wanton destruction as petulant brats trash our cities and mock the rule of law. We let ourselves get cowed into pretending that the correct pronouns aren’t self-evident in virtually every case. We accept rolling brownouts and the banning of internal combustion engines in order to calm the thumping hearts of eco-doomsayers who have never been right and are almost certainly wrong now.

Unfortunately, we’ve allowed the nonsense to get pretty deep. There are all sorts of things we’re not supposed to say, all kinds of ideas that are now considered deplorably reactionary and beyond the pale. Reclaiming that space, the space in which we can acknowledge the differences between men and women and begin living our civic life more boldly and fully, is going to require digging into the embankments and pushing back. And that, I think, begins with our becoming a bit less sensitive, a bit more reckless, and a lot more male.

The spirit of America is bold, rough, ambitious, and masculine. It’s time to acknowledge that and reclaim it.

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  1. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I love this post and agree with it wholeheartedly.

    That said, I think you’re misinterpreting the reason young people went along with the pandemic control measures. The young people I know were worried about transmitting it to older people who would suffer and possibly die from it. The young people knew they were not at risk. It was an act of love and charity that I think we should appreciate. :-)

    • #1
  2. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Hear him!

    It’s time to be bold.  And those who dislike it, who tell us to shut-up or try to cancel us, they can expect deterimined resistance.  Those who trade in fear and loathing have no hold on us.  

    Yes, like you, I use my real name.  

     

    • #2
  3. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Great post, Hank.

    Henry Racette: There is a place for feminine sensitivity and sensibility, but there’s also a place for masculine insensitivity and boldness.

    I wonder what these different places might be.  :)

    Maybe one should be in public, and the other in private.  Maybe one should be in a person’s therapist’s office, and the other should be everywhere else.

    • #3
  4. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Profound. Thank you for saying what I’ve been thinking for some time.

    • #4
  5. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Henry Racette: It’s silly, sometimes sad, often pathetic, but at its heart is something that’s actually damaging, the continuation of a decades-long effort to obliterate womanhood by turning women into men and denying the real differences between the sexes.

    This is a great piece, but I’d quibble with this.

    The real aim of feminism is not to turn women into men, but to turn men into women — in other words, to abolish the masculine temperament. Yes, feminists want some of the social prestige that had traditionally been denied to women, and, yes, they want to occupy positions of power and authority. But what do they want to do with that authority and power? Institute therapeutic totalitarianism. Transform the entire world into one massive group-therapy session.

    If feminism were really about masculinizing the feminine, it would’ve produced a generation of hardheaded tomboys (who we could probably use more of). Instead, it’s produced a generation in which both sexes are neurotic, fragile, safety-obsessed, and monomaniacally focused on care to the exclusion of all other values.

    • #5
  6. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: It’s silly, sometimes sad, often pathetic, but at its heart is something that’s actually damaging, the continuation of a decades-long effort to obliterate womanhood by turning women into men and denying the real differences between the sexes.

    This is a great piece, but I’d quibble with this.

    The real aim of feminism is not to turn women into men, but to turn men into women — in other words, to abolish the masculine temperament. Yes, feminists want some of the social prestige that had traditionally been denied to women, and, yes, they want to occupy positions of power and authority. But what do they want to do with that authority and power? Institute therapeutic totalitarianism. Transform the entire world into one massive group-therapy session.

    If feminism were really about masculinizing the feminine, it would’ve produced a generation of hardheaded tomboys (who we could probably use more of). Instead, it’s produced a generation in which both sexes are neurotic, fragile, safety-obsessed, and monomaniacally focused on care to the exclusion of all other values.

    It’s actually both.  Notice that feminists redefined what is desirable for a woman in terms of what is desirable for a man. Women are excoriated if they don’t work outside the home. Look at the portrayal of female character in film and commercials.  All girls are superheroes, kicking the butts of all male comers.  No princesses allowed unless they are warrior princesses.  So basically all female behavior was defined as inferior and submissive and it is implied that we only engage in it because men forced us to.  So we really couldn’t have been happy staying home and raising our children.

    • #6
  7. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: It’s silly, sometimes sad, often pathetic, but at its heart is something that’s actually damaging, the continuation of a decades-long effort to obliterate womanhood by turning women into men and denying the real differences between the sexes.

    This is a great piece, but I’d quibble with this.

    The real aim of feminism is not to turn women into men, but to turn men into women — in other words, to abolish the masculine temperament. Yes, feminists want some of the social prestige that had traditionally been denied to women, and, yes, they want to occupy positions of power and authority. But what do they want to do with that authority and power? Institute therapeutic totalitarianism. Transform the entire world into one massive group-therapy session.

    If feminism were really about masculinizing the feminine, it would’ve produced a generation of hardheaded tomboys (who we could probably use more of). Instead, it’s produced a generation in which both sexes are neurotic, fragile, safety-obsessed, and monomaniacally focused on care to the exclusion of all other values.

    I understand your point, and I’m sure there’s some truth in it. And certainly, both things have happened. But the first step was to tell women to behave like men, to be sexually available and casual. The subsequent transformation of men into timid, overly sensitive creatures is the result, I believe, of women realizing that they really don’t want to be treated the way men treat other men. So now men have to become feminized. Which isn’t what women want, really: women prefer masculine men.

    So I’ll quibble with your quibble, in that I don’t think the goal really was to destroy masculinity, so much as to achieve “equality.” But, since men and women aren’t the same — that is, aren’t equal — that goal inevitably led to unintended consequences.

    Having said that, yes, the destruction of masculinity seems to be the next logical step in trying to achieve the unachievable. And of course, it’s the thing to which I’m objecting in the post.

     

     

    • #7
  8. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: It’s silly, sometimes sad, often pathetic, but at its heart is something that’s actually damaging, the continuation of a decades-long effort to obliterate womanhood by turning women into men and denying the real differences between the sexes.

    This is a great piece, but I’d quibble with this.

    The real aim of feminism is not to turn women into men, but to turn men into women — in other words, to abolish the masculine temperament. Yes, feminists want some of the social prestige that had traditionally been denied to women, and, yes, they want to occupy positions of power and authority. But what do they want to do with that authority and power? Institute therapeutic totalitarianism. Transform the entire world into one massive group-therapy session.

    If feminism were really about masculinizing the feminine, it would’ve produced a generation of hardheaded tomboys (who we could probably use more of). Instead, it’s produced a generation in which both sexes are neurotic, fragile, safety-obsessed, and monomaniacally focused on care to the exclusion of all other values.

    Transgenderism is the ultimate expression of all of this.

    • #8
  9. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Here you go:

    • #9
  10. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    And the Football Team’s attendance will suffer even more.

    Still Not Thoroughly Disgusted by The NFL? What ‘The Washington Football Team’ Just Did to Its Cheerleaders Might Help

    • #10
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: It’s silly, sometimes sad, often pathetic, but at its heart is something that’s actually damaging, the continuation of a decades-long effort to obliterate womanhood by turning women into men and denying the real differences between the sexes.

    This is a great piece, but I’d quibble with this.

    The real aim of feminism is not to turn women into men, but to turn men into women — in other words, to abolish the masculine temperament. Yes, feminists want some of the social prestige that had traditionally been denied to women, and, yes, they want to occupy positions of power and authority. But what do they want to do with that authority and power? Institute therapeutic totalitarianism. Transform the entire world into one massive group-therapy session.

    If feminism were really about masculinizing the feminine, it would’ve produced a generation of hardheaded tomboys (who we could probably use more of). Instead, it’s produced a generation in which both sexes are neurotic, fragile, safety-obsessed, and monomaniacally focused on care to the exclusion of all other values.

    Early on, women in business attempted to emulate male [or more accurately ‘normal’] work patterns, but eventually the workplace was made to change instead. 

    • #11
  12. dukenaltum Coolidge
    dukenaltum
    @dukenaltum

    Feminism was always a nature denying transgender movement from Seneca Falls to today.  Racism will persist if there exist tangible benefits for the Racist and a lack of a transcendent faith in a God that made us in his image. 

      

    • #12
  13. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    BREAKING: Man of French Ancestry Eschews Military History of Long Bleak Winters.

    • #13
  14. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Toxic masculinity cures toxic masculinity.

     

    • #14
  15. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Wait, you live up there and you never had a snowblower?  Yikes, you are hardy, and foolish! ;)  A very good post by the way. Men should not be reticent about expressing their masculinity. 

    • #15
  16. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Henry Racette: The snowblower is, without a doubt, the best invention of the past 200 years. I enjoy using it; I’ve just come in from an hour spent clearing the accumulation of the last few days.

    Down here in the 305 (i.e., Miami and its greater environs), “snowblower” has a whole different definition, brother.

    Henry Racette: Unfortunately, we’ve allowed the nonsense to get pretty deep. There are all sorts of things we’re not supposed to say, all kinds of ideas that are now considered deplorably reactionary and beyond the pale. Reclaiming that space, the space in which we can acknowledge the differences between men and women and begin living our civic life more boldly and fully, is going to require digging into the embankments and pushing back. And that, I think, begins with our becoming a bit less sensitive, a bit more reckless, and a lot more male.

    I keep waiting to have an engaging, mutually beneficial interaction with a SJW, or a Karen, or a LGBTBBQ, or whatever.  I’ma be reckless, I’ll go Uber-male.  Yeah.  Bring it.

    Except it doesn’t happen down here.  Or, if it does, the event is so spindly and picayune that no one notices.  Try bringing that virtue-signaling, “I’m triggered and outraged and feel unsafe” to the 305.  Let me know how it works out for you.  Anyone that thinks they can batter down machismo with accusations of “toxic masculinity” down here will be eating bitter fruit, indeed.

    Plus, South Florida is all about doing business.  Interfere with that, and you will get ventilated–by a leftie, a rightie, makes no never mind.

    Down here, people think that Ron Desantis needs to come out of his shell, a little bit.

    Henry Racette: The spirit of America is bold, rough, ambitious, and masculine. It’s time to acknowledge that and reclaim it.

    Amen.

    • #16
  17. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    It’s actually both. Notice that feminists redefined what is desirable for a woman in terms of what is desirable for a man. Women are excoriated if they don’t work outside the home. Look at the portrayal of female character in film and commercials. All girls are superheroes, kicking the butts of all male comers. No princesses allowed unless they are warrior princesses. So basically all female behavior was defined as inferior and submissive and it is implied that we only engage in it because men forced us to. So we really couldn’t have been happy staying home and raising our children.

    With all this stuff about women trying to take on men’s roles, isn’t it curious that they have made no attempts to enter the fields of garbage collection, sewer work, insect control, pig farming, meat processing, coal mining, septic tank cleaning, iron and steel working, roofing, logging, fishing, auto mechanics, electricians, power line installers, test pilots, etc…  Where are all the women??

    • #17