The Culture War for Masculinity

In viewing the female anti-feminist movement, it is mostly a metaphorically thirsty movement dominated by their their fear that contemporary feminism will castrate the metaphorical testicles from men. Joining them are choruses of various conservative movements. Most offensive to me personally are those of my coreligionists who emphasize a Christian masculinity. Forgetting the gender politics of all of this, it is positing that the normative, morally, correct position is that men with softer masculinity, nerds, and the other clades of not so macho men are unethical and immoral compared with their jockier and more mahco counterparts.

There may be some validity to the argument that geniune manhood should be revived in the sense of chivalry, honor, courage, duty, and virtues like that but the overwhelming emphasis of their rhetroic is not to be gentlemen of honor and duty but to not be pussy nerds. They sound like stereotypical 1950s football bullies screaming “wussy” at their victim. Their ideal men would seem to be “Biff” from “Back to the Future” and Christian Grey. The men these movements want are not men who use their masculinity to defend the powerless, their bravery to defy the powerful, and whose virtues may be embodied in men of both soft and hard masculinity, they are men of stereotypical masculinity.

The virtue of manhood should not be defined like that. If they are a manly jock storming Omaha Beach or a meek geek working a sliderule at Los Alamos in The Manhattan Project, they are both soldiers equal in valor and equally deserving of honor. The best virtues of manhood are not whether someone has degrees of dominance or outward strength but whether they have the character and resolve to embark on their duties to their community and their fellow human. Yet, the great question is why their definition of masculinity is so simple and unsophisticated. Not only is their version morally and ethically wrong but also really stupid. They’re using the least abstract definition of manliness ever. Not chivalry, just steroids.

The reasons are many but foremost in my mind is the Lerner & Simmons study from 1966 and the consumerist lust to have instant gratification and indulgence without sacrifice. The former is a cognitive bias that translates roughly into “karma, in the pop culture and Western sense, is real” and says those who lose in life deserve it. It is pure evil. It is a cognitive bias which disdains the weak and prefers the strong. It is when the screeches of the Valkyries drown out the choirs of the angels. The second is the basis for the female pro-masculinity, anti-feminist, movement which is basically rationalizing their biological urges as normative ethics. In recent years, male protagonists of their major chick-flicks have conformed ever more to the platonic ideal of their dream man. Because of that and their increased belief in their own victimhood whenever they dont’t get what they want because the pop culture gives them self-help psuedo-psych advice to that end. They feel they have a normative, deontological, right to the masculine boy-toys they want.

Another reason is that culture wars are fought in soundbites and for the hearts and minds of the lowest common denominator. Fox News is not going to extoll the nuanced virtues of a refined gentleman. They are going to scream in the dumbest monosyllablic words the chorus to The Village People’s “Macho, Macho, Man”. When I say “Refined gentleman”, I, of course, refer not to the socioeconomic status of anyone but the character of someone. It does include edcuation and culture but any middle and many a lower class person can avail themselves of the resources of our culture to roud themselves into an Aristotelian citizen. Nothing about Tucker Carlson’s ideas about masculinity sound like the Boy Scout Oath or some noble code of chivalry and they mostly just amount to screaming about the “pussification” of our society.

The culture war over masculinity reminds me of Dr. Frankenfurter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. A man who, in his extremely gay sadomasochism, wanted to create the most manly man who looked “blonde hair and tan” They want the platonic ideal of a man in the dream of gay porn. Most of them are quite homophobic and would not like that but they want the manly men of gay pornography. They don’t want a gentleman of service, honor, and duty, they want a roided-up, football player, described by The Village People’s “Macho, Macho, Man”. That’s not Mr. Darcy from “Pride and Prejudice”, that’s not Prince Charming or a fairy-tale prince, that’s not a Boy Scout who lives by the Boy Scout Oath. What they are fighting for and doing is a ridiculous self-parody.

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