The notion of toxic masculinity has been resurfacing in the news of late. Last week it was the ammosexual family of Rep Thomas Massie, posing for a traditional Christmas card picture in front of the tree, along with enough military hardware to annex Ukraine.
“Everyone say, Compensating!”
This is one family where I bet no one ever wanted to bring home a bad report card* or spill their muscle milk. “Jeff, you didn’t finish your meat. Go out there and give me 20 headshots from 250 yards.”
*Bad report card meaning a grade the parents can’t argue or bully into a passing mark.
Back in October, before Rep. Madison Cawthorne was calling women “earthen vessels” meant for child delivery, he gave a speech where he called for women to “raise their boys as monsters,” while decrying the loss of masculinity. This coming from a guy in a wheelchair, it seems like an especially blatant attempt to compensate for his own limitations.
“They are trying to de-masculate the young men in our country because they don’t want people who are going to stand up,” says the man who is permanently seated.
It’s no wonder this guy seems to be in a race with Louis Gohmert for “Dumbest Man in Congress.”
Whether it’s political or social, I see toxic masculinity as the source of a plethora of problems that plague our society. Its footprints are everywhere there’s evil and it all has to do with the male ego, with the notion that a man is entitled to anything he wants and if denied, is within his rights to take it by force. Hence the familiar examples:
· Men who beat or kill women who try to leave them. Or stalk them, threaten them, interfere in their work or career, post revenge porn, and generally make their life miserable. It’s a shot to the ego, so man must make her pay.
· Woman won’t date/sleep with him, she gets the same treatment as one who tries to leave. Must be a lesbian.
· Same with road rage, feeling the need to make someone pay for the effrontery of trying to merge in front of him. “No one gets in front of me, they must be taught a lesson.” Even when so "wronged" in traffic, is it so hard just to vent it and forget it, and just go on with your life?
· Men who are answerable to no one because they know everything. “If I don’t already know it, it’s not worth knowing.” This comes along with the dismissal of any experts of their field. We’ve just had a president with this trait. It would be unmanly and therefore forbidden, to acknowledge that someone else knows more than him about anything.
· That includes the aversion to doctors and medicine in general because it would be a threat to their masculinity to be sick or ailing in any way. “I have no need for doctors because I’m too strong and fit to be sick. Nothing is wrong with me, ever.” The last president thought this as well.
“No one can tell me what to do. No doctors, no lawyers, no wimmen, that’s for damned sure.”
· Hence the Vax aversions, which by accepting a shot would mean that their own immune system is in some way inadequate or flawed. Or they have to appear to obey some pencil-neck in authority. Neither perception can be allowed to happen. That’s all this “Liberty” crap is about… It’s a 5-year old yelling at his mother, “You can’t tell me what to do.”
· Excessive love of high-powered weaponry, as demonstrated in the pic above. It’s not a matter of having a gun or two around the house for protection, it’s having to strap on an AR-15 just to go down to Costco. “Gotta let people know I can’t be trifled* with!” These guys have to have the biggest guns and the biggest trucks, just to make up for the rampant dick fear. If they can even see it anymore over their bellies.
*I apologize, none of these guys would ever use a word like “trifled,” unless it meant shooting someone with three rifles.
· Obsession with the military and especially law enforcement. They love to laud the police department. You’d think that would be taboo, to recognize outside authority, but this is different because the police are loaded with the same kind of guys and they recognize their own. Rednecks with guns are basically immune to the police unless they go and do something in public that can’t be covered up. (And even then, it’s iffy.)
· They never back down, never apologize or admit it when wrong. These things go hand in hand. “I’m never wrong, so what’s there to apologize for?” Along with that is the absolute refusal to compromise. “It’s my way or the highway.” Then when nothing gets done, it’s the other party’s fault. “Why should I give ground when I’m right?”
* Gangland mentality is rife with the same issues. There's no dis too small to avoid payback because ego won't allow it. You can't be seen as a pussy so signs of disrespect are avenged by killing the other guy, along with his family, or burning down their house.
· Persecution of gays in any way possible. They hate gay men for being “sissies” and gay women for turning their backs on men. The whole idea makes them crazy so they’ll back anything from beating the crap out of them, to denying them basic human rights, to not serving them in establishments, to being unable to enjoy a simple TV show, if “one of those people” is on it.
· A complete lack of empathy toward anyone else. “You got problems? Tough shit. Man up and shut up.”
While this kind of behavior is not limited to one political party, it still reads like the official Republican Platform. Or at least their operations handbook. It’s the kind of behavior that’s appealing to people with limited intelligence and reasoning skills, because it’s completely without nuance, along with being highly satisfying. I mean, who doesn’t want to be right all the time, or be the toughest, manliest, proudest mug on the block? Maybe it’s just “fake it till you make it” gone horribly awry.
Maybe someone can describe for me how any of these symptoms make the world a better place? Granted, that’s a moot question because these people aren’t interested in a better world for anyone else, just themselves and their destructive clones.
Is it really too much to be kind or considerate? Can we never put ourselves in someone else's shoes and consider what it's like to be them? Is empathy really such a sign of weakness? Is a reasoned response so painful that it paves the way to thinking with one's nutsack and just blowing up anyone or anything that dares cross you? There are far too many men for whom it is, an alarming number of which have gone into politics.
In Other News…
I have another “Dad Story” in mind but it’s too long to go with this post. Instead, let me tell you about something else.
I got my COVID booster shot last Friday. There were no side effects to report except a sore arm, much like the last two times. In fact, I also took this opportunity to get a Shingles shot as well. (The first of two.) But it was funny because the shot administrator tried to talk me out of getting both shots at once.
I said, “But it’s right there on your website, asking if we want any other shots while we’re here!”
He went on with a long explanation about types of shots and consequences, loaded with medical jargon and disclaimers. I figured, I hadn’t had any ill effects from shots so far, why worry now? So I had him do them both anyway.
I don’t think that was toxic masculinity, was it? I think it was more like stubbornness and reluctance to change plans.
I was hoping to get both shots in one arm, so I could still sleep comfortably on the other, but no, I had to get one in each. But the arm with the shingles shot was much less sore than the other, so I still got my beauty sleep. And like I said, no side effects at all.
I see pictures like this on Facebook, usually with the caption that it looks like Jesus. On our dog, I think it looks more like Kenny from South Park.