Tag: masculinity

One Man’s Response

 

Recently fellow Ricochetti @Sawatdeeka wrote a lovely post, here, that enumerates a few of the things she enjoys about being a woman. She wrote her piece while I was sitting at my desk, staring at my screen, trying to express my frustration with the sad state of manliness in our culture and the problems that spring from it. My own post was taking on the quality of a rant. I’m not averse to penning rants, of course, but I’m really not in a ranting mood at the moment, and so it wasn’t coming out just like I wanted.

Though we were in a sense both doing the same thing, Sawatdeeka did what she did better than I was doing what I was doing. And so I decided to try to say what I wanted to say in a positive way, rather than a negative way.

Training Young Heroes in the Present Crisis

 

I just finished teaching military history in a homeschool co-op. The last day was devoted to the topic of masculinity: what it is and how it relates to war. At the last minute, I tore up my notes and rewrote my class plan in response to some reading I found.

The students were 11 boys, ages 13-17.

The old plan started with a discussion of courage based on a reading from Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, which gives a fictional account of the Battle of Thermopylae. We had previously covered Christian just war theory and I thought a bit of pagan philosophy would be an interesting contrast.

Zuby, rapper, musician, podcaster and author, stops by during his whirlwind tour of the United States. Son of Nigerian immigrants, he talks about his upbringing in Saudi Arabia and the UK, and the perspective on the world it offered him. He and Bridget cover the role of masculinity in today’s society, why the concept of “thought crimes” is so chilling, the rise of secular religions like “wokism” and climate change activism, and the idea of a moral panic void that must always be filled. They discuss the biggest issue of political polarization: that it shuts down the conversation, how if they were both actually grifters they’d be killin’ it right now, and the importance of having perspective and gratitude. Check out Zuby’s website here.

Full transcript available here: WiW64-Zuby-Transcript

Member Post

 

The ‘staches are back! Movember is a charity raising money for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and the high incidence of mental health issues and suicide among men. I recently joined my company’s team in the cause and it got me thinking a bit about how we talk about men’s health. The news media, the chattering […]

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How Lame Is Our Awesome God?

 

“When He rolls up His sleeves / He ain’t just puttin’ on the Ritz” must be one of the least promising ways to begin a worship song ever. Nobody rolling up their sleeves is “puttin’ on the Ritz.” The rolled-up sleeve-position used for manual labor is the opposite of the sleeve-position used for an old-fashioned fancy night out. And yet, that’s how Richard Mullins’s best-known song, Awesome God opens. Mullins himself considered Awesome God something of a failure, remarking, “the thing I like about Awesome God is that it’s one of the worst-written songs that I ever wrote; it’s just poorly crafted.” And yet it’s a song many of us remember fondly. Why?

To be fair, the lyrics get better from there: “There is THUNder in His footsteps / And lightnin’ in His fists.” Although not by much. Awesome God alternates patter in the verses with an expansive chorus, and the patter is hardly scintillating prose, much less verse. (“Eden” rhymes with “be believin’” — really?) The patter does, though, address themes often left out of “Jesus is my boyfriend”-style worship songs. God as Judge. Sin and its wages. God as God not just of happy, shiny, fluffy things, but also of the storm. And, when the song is sung at proper tempo (no slower than Mullins himself performed it), the rapid-fire, syncopated sixteenth-note patter creates an effect that surpasses its individual words. Especially when the worship leader delivers the patter in a half-snarled, half-whispered mutter, as if he’s letting you in on the secret of something dangerous — which he is: Aslan’s not safe, after all, just good. Notice I called the worship leader he. That’s important. Awesome God is made for a masculine musical delivery, and the difference between liking the song and hating it can simply be the difference between having learned it as masculine and driven, or crooning and wimpy.

That Type of Guy

 

The only thing wrong with masculinity is its absence.

This is not a popular position, but it’s true even if the cultural surrender class would have us believe otherwise. Oppose them, because they’re dangerous. Men by nature are as God designed them: Capable of frightening strength, coupled with a capacity for tenderness. The perversion of either asset creates something foul — a monster on one hand, the paralysis of inaction on the other. Nobody needs that type of guy.

I’m grateful for dangerous men when they’re using that power in defense of something. Soldiers are dangerous; so are the guys willing to holler “Leave her alone” at an abusive man from across the parking lot. Stepping into a volatile situation can get you shot, or beat up, or embarrassed. It’s much easier to keep quiet, maybe pull out your phone and call the cops. That might be a good rule of thumb — Don’t be a hero, they say. It’s the safe way to go, but I appreciate fierce men because the world needs heroes, and heroes are not always safe. In fact, we need them to be dangerous.

Josh Schollmeyer, co-founder, and editor of MEL magazine, talks with Bridget about the meaning of modern masculinity in a changing world, constructively channeling your rage, and how kids movies are more traumatizing for children than adult movies. They also cover Josh’s years working in a lumber yard to learn the value of hard work, how he got access to Hugh Hefner’s private scrapbook collection when he was in college, and how learning to be fine with being humiliated is a crucial part of success. Josh covers his years working for Playboy, how he tried to be an agent for change but was also complicit at a time when the brand was giving in to its worst impulses, and how the chip on his shoulder over the events that forced him out of Playboy became fuel for his drive to succeed. Now with MEL, Josh discusses figuring out how to talk to men in the wake of #metoo and that one of the big problems he sees is not just a battle of the sexes, but that men are not talking to each other.

Member Post

 

Remember not so long ago when companies, with their advertisements and television commercials, just wanted to sell you some laundry detergent, or some aspirin, or a car, or any of a multitude of various and sundry products which most Americans needed or simply wanted? Oftentimes they would employ humor or even (gasp!) pretty girls to […]

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Celebrating the Man Who Showed Me What It Means to Be a Man

 

My dad died Thursday. That’s a sentence I’ve been thinking through over the last couple weeks, but I’ve never wanted to say.

Just under a month ago when they took him to the hospital with stroke-like symptoms, that was bad enough. It got worse when we found out that it was a brain tumor. We thought we could fight it at first. Yeah, it would be hard, but we could do it. But as time progressed and complications amassed, it came to the point where treatment options fell off the table one by one, and all we were left with was palliative care. But even through that, dad was still himself. Sure, the tumor caused him to lose the use of the left side of his body, but he didn’t lose his personality.

After he had been airlifted from West Palm Beach to Halifax1, his first request was for a bucket of KFC. And even on his last full night, he got my sister to pick up an appetizer platter from Boston Pizza2. He was still telling jokes to us and laughing at every one we told him. He was thanking the doctors and nursing staff at every chance he could get, even to the point of sending my mom to pick up pizza for the nurses. And he took every available opportunity to lean in for a kiss (or six) from my mom.

The Very Idea of Masculinity is Under Attack

 

Masculinity is being attacked on a theoretical level, one where it barely manifests itself.

A few days ago I was reading an article about men’s workout clothing. Specifically how the market for high dollar designer gym gear had grown exponentially in the past several years. Nike, Under Armour, Lululemon, and GAP have all released men’s lines of fashion-conscious workout clothes and are apparently raking in the cash. There were many quotes surrounding how many men are now caring more about their appearance while they work out.

Gillette Is Not Wrong

 

Is the new Gillette razor ad a radical feminist attack on masculinity – the commercial embodiment of a woke sensibility? I was prepared to think so. But having watched it twice, I find a lot to like. The ad has been panned by some conservative commentators. With all due respect, I think they are falling into a trap. They seem to have accepted the feminist framing. Feminists see culture as a Manichean struggle. It’s women versus men. Women are benign and men are malign. For society to progress, men must change. We must extirpate “toxic masculinity.”

Understandably, this rubs conservatives the wrong way. I’ve risen to the defense of masculinity many times myself. But is the Gillette ad really “the product of mainstream radicalized feminism—and emblematic of Cultural Marxism,” as Turning Point USA’s Candace Owen put it? Is it part of “a war on masculinity in America,” as Todd Starnes argued on Fox News?

Conservatives stripping off their coats to get into this brawl are like the man who, seeing a barfight unfold, asks “Is this a private quarrel or can anyone join in?”

Member Post

 

We heard a lot of talk about “pajama boy”, and how the concept of manliness is under attack. I’ve read stories of honeymooners diving the ocean, and how one newlywed husband looses his life defending his bride against a shark attack.  I’ve read other stories of men rising to the occasion, especially with the 9/11 […]

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Member Post

 

A few weeks ago we discussed the existential threat to masculinity that is the “Gamma Male.” Today we receive news of yet another creature with male-like characteristics. Enter: The “Mu Male.” (Not be confused with this.) For reasons which will soon be clear, the name fits. Beyond those, this guy at least attempted something dangerous (if […]

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Hillary, Donald, and the Gender Wars

 

hillary_clinton_donald_trumpThe greatest failures of the past generation concern men, women, and sex — and there could not be two more awful representatives of what has gone wrong than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton delights in presenting herself as a feminist icon – but she is weighed down by the weaknesses of feminism and can boast few of the strengths. The weakness is her itchy trigger finger on accusations of sexism. She’s playing in the biggest of big leagues yet reaches for the sexism charge with dull predictability. If you criticize her cattle futures deal, the Clinton Foundation, her email server – anything – she or her minions will protest the double standard. One of her followers, Lena Dunham, published a list of words that ought to be forbidden when discussing Mrs. Clinton. They included “shrill,” “inaccessible,” and “difficult.”

Clinton uses feminism the way she has used people, ideas, and institutions throughout her long career – merely as instruments of her own advancement. When it’s convenient, she is the feminist role model. When her husband is being accused (accurately) of sexually harassing a cavalcade of women, she becomes the Wife Enforcer. The women who accused Bill Clinton were “trash,” she assured the world. Monica Lewinsky was a “narcissistic loony tune.”

Why Don’t Men Go To Church?

 

4444852856_41d891db05_zIt’s been a controversy for a few years now, and it seems that at least one huckster is always selling a book on it: it looks like men are checking out of not only school and careers, but church too.  I can personally attest that I felt better about Christianity as an apostate.

When my other half decided to go shopping for a church, the men I met at some of the prospective houses of worship made me want to threw up a little. My God, what a bunch of worthless weenies. Seriously, it was like looking at a pet that was mangled in some farm equipment and just won’t mercifully die. You want to love it, but you’re physically repulsed at the same time.

Our present church merely annoys me, so it’s tolerable. I can occasionally get down with the sermons. But they harp on about why I should give them money an awful lot. I go to the traditional service, as I like the old hymns more than the homoerotic love songs for Jesus and, for whatever reason, I like the company of older men better. I generally listen to the choir — which is really good — and then half-listen while I tune out and think about my week. The church does run a mission for men to hang out with school kids and provide a masculine influence in their lives. I may sign up for that when I get out from under traveling for work, and grad school, and all the other responsibilities that come with being the Atlas that keeps the world up.

Bask in the Crazy: Radical Feminism

 

The bulk of a conservative’s time engaging liberal arguments is best spent addressing their most pointed and nuanced positions. But we should occasionally revel in liberals’ worst arguments and fringe elements. Today we smash the patriarchy in manly fashion.

There is trouble in the locker rooms of the Iowa Hawkeyes football team. You might assume this stems from their inability to win a national championship in more than half a century, but you’d be wrong. No, the trouble is the color of the visiting team’s locker room.