Liberalism shames masculinity
The radical left takes on a sinister reconstruction project
Any woman could tell you that a good man is hard to find. Some men don’t measure up to what a woman wants them to be. Some are coarse, profane, mean and other bad things. But most men are none of those things, and even bad apples in the right hands can become an appetizing applesauce. Besides, as almost any woman would ask, where’s the alternative?
Nevertheless, there’s a growing campaign on the left to denigrate men and something called “toxic masculinity,” cited as a menace to women, to the republic, to mankind, and all the ships at sea. A growing number of colleges and universities, which lately have become a source of a lot of toxic things themselves, are force-feeding young men the radical feminist nonsense that “masculinity” is at the root of everything bad.
Students at Gettysburg College, a private Lutheran school overlooking the famous battlefield, who “identify as male” are required to watch a simplistic, distorted documentary on the aggressiveness of manhood and sit for a lecture by “campus leaders” about the harmful effects of “toxic masculinity.” The film, called “The Mask You Live In” by feminist provocateur Jennifer Siebel Newsom, teaches that the “three most destructive words” a boy can hear growing up are “be a man.”
And not just at Gettysburg College. Many schools across the country — including Dartmouth, Duke, the University of North Carolina, Claremont and Vanderbilt — have set out to “purge” male students of toxic masculinity. This dread disease is blamed for sexual violence, “body shaming,” domestic violence and the “hypermasculinized sporting culture,” even massacres of small children.
A class at Dartmouth, according to The College Fix, an online news site that closely follows the news on the campus, identifies toxic masculinity as having encouraged the mass murder at the Pulse nightclub last summer in Orlando, Fla. Male students at Duke and the University of North Carolina are encouraged to immerse themselves in studies of “violent masculinity,” and to discuss “healthier masculinity” and something called “gender fluidity.” Duke wants its male students to reflect on patriarchy, male privilege, rape culture, pornography, machismo and “the language of dominance.”
There’s nothing wrong with discussing any of these subjects; discussing controversial and unhappy things is why young men — and women — go to college in the first place. But there’s a well-founded suspicion that such classes are meant not for learning, but for indoctrination. The campaign, promoted by the savagely discontented and slavishly abetted in the magpie media, is meant to deny everything we’ve learned over the centuries about sex and the malefemale relationship. Gettysburg College does not even speak of male students, but of students who “identify as male.”
The human male knows better. The suggestion that “masculinity” is a cultural creation is only marginally relevant to reality. “You can see a lot by watching,” as the great baseball philosopher Yogi Berra famously said, and anybody who has watched little boys at rough-and-tumble play, taking risks that frighten their mothers and indulging a fascination with machines and gadgets, rather than dolls, understands that such little-boy behavior is rooted in biology.
The feminist writer Christina Hoff Sommers cites an experiment that found that female monkeys preferred to play with dolls more than male monkeys, who preferred toy cars and trucks. “Are male monkeys captive to a ‘guy code’?” she pointedly asks.
She cites another study of sexual differences by researchers at the University of Turin in Italy and the University of Manchester in England “that confirms what most of us see with our eyes, that women tend to be more sensitive, esthetic, sentimental, intuitive and tender-minded, while men tend to be more utilitarian, objective, unsentimental and toughminded.” More masculine, you could say. Professors at distinguished institutions of learning might think they can erase nature, but if they try they should pack a good lunch. It will be an all-day job.
Feminine frustration with men is natural and inevitable. Men can be stubborn, obstinate and unyielding. This can lead women to think and say foolish things. When radical Islamic terrorists inflicted one London massacre, Bette Midler tweeted to her friends and followers: “More sorrow and grief at the hands of madmen in London. Men and religion are worthless.” Hillary Clinton spoke not long ago at a Planned Parenthood rally where stiff drinks called Toxic Masculinity were served. She complained that “men are doing everything they can to roll back the rights and progress we’ve fought for so hard over the last century.” That she was deprived of the presidency by a man who celebrates toxic coarseness (and a husband who was a toxic womanizer) no doubt makes her think so, even as under her feet shards of glass falling from broken ceilings litter the landscape.
James Goodman, a freshman at Gettysburg, demonstrates just how stubborn, contrary and hard to transform a man can be. “I got absolutely nothing out of the experience,” he says of the tutorial, “other than a headache.” Just like an angry wife at bedtime.
There’s a growing campaign on the left to denigrate men and something called “toxic masculinity,” cited as a menace to women, to the republic, to mankind, and all the ships at sea.
Suzanne Fields is a columnist for The Washington Times and is nationally syndicated.