The past two months have proven that toxic masculinity is the Progressives’ purview, while real American men still get the job done no matter the risk.
In the late 1960s, the appropriate term of art for men who hadn’t seen the light was “male chauvinist pig.” Feminists applied this moniker to men who refused to recognize Second Wave feminism (equal pay for equal work and equal opportunities). As feminism morphed into trying to control male sexuality in a world that had abandoned old-fashioned codes of conduct, the term switched to “sexist.” The focus was no longer on equal pay for equal work and equal opportunities, but had switched to a focus on sexual harassment in the workplace.
The 1960s and 1970s war on sexism had a great run. Millions of trees died thanks to voluminous HR binders regularity workplace conduct, a whole industry of compliance coaches was enriched, and law firms seized upon compliance as a reliable income stream. Eventually, though, most men began to wise up and stopped grabbing women or making unwanted sex a quid pro quo for workplace advancement. By the 1980s, the focus shifted from concrete harassment and assault on the job (with the later being a criminal act as well as a tortious one), to the intangible standard looking at what the so-called “reasonable women” would consider to be a hostile workplace.
Decades of training and litigation against chauvinism, sexism, and hostile workplace-ism have done their job. The biggest part of the bell curve of American men has been trained not to discriminate against women in the workplace, not to expose them to unwanted sexual advances, and not to create a hostile workplace.
You’d think the Progressives would celebrate, but that would mean you think that they’re interested in improving women’s lot, rather than maintaining power over America’s social dynamics. With the latter as their true goal, Progressives needed a new target. With men avoiding past behavioral sins, Progressives have shifted from blaming egregious behavior to blaming men for merely existing.
Yes, the fact that you are a man is toxic. Just by being you, you offend and crush women. You sit wrong, you speak or speak-up wrong in meetings, you explain too much . . . you’re just too, too male, you disgusting, bullying creature, you!
One of the results of this war on men qua men, is the feminizing of the most recent generation of young men, especially those from America’s self-styled Progressive elite. Here’s a concrete example: When I’ve visited my little Bookworm’s obscenely expensive liberal arts college, which is 63% female, the men I saw (a sampling of 30-40 on a small campus) were not traditionally manly. All gave off a vague bisexual or gay vibe.
Having thought about it, I’m pretty sure the gay guys actually were gay. I have a suspicion, though, that those who appeared bisexual were, in fact, young men who have been trained away from appearing manly. For example, they all end their sentences as women do, with upward inflection or uptalk. That is, even when making a declarative statement, their inflection rises at the end of the sentence, making it sound like a question.
When something shocks or surprises these young men, they press their hands to their cheeks as women do. They gossip as women do. And they engage in social spats as women do. That is, we’re not talking the hierarchical jostling that’s typical of men; instead, what I saw was “mean girl” behavior from young men. There is no toxic masculinity of campus because there is no (or very little) masculinity on campus to begin with.
Separate from the damage done to young men, what Progressives failed to realize with their full frontal attack on masculinity itself is that, when you clamp down on ordinary male behavior, you end up with a subterranean, festering, oleaginous, potentially explosive mass of truly toxic behavior. This hidden behavior is going to be at its worst in those communities that make the loudest noises about how evil such behavior is: Hollywood, with Progressives in Washington, D.C. a close second. [Read more…]