Lib­er­al­ism shames mas­culin­ity

The rad­i­cal left takes on a sin­is­ter re­con­struc­tion project

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Suzanne Fields

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.

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