Once again we see an example of a MAGA Republican explaining why white, heterosexual, Christian men are the most marginalized group in this country.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said on Monday:
“The left wants to define traditional masculinity as toxic. They want to define the traditional masculine virtues – things like courage, and independence, and assertiveness – as a danger to society.
“Can we be surprised that more and more men, after being told for years that they are the problem, that their masculinity is the problem, are withdrawing into the enclave of idleness and pornography and video games? …
… “For centuries, lovers of freedom have praised these qualities as the highest standard of masculinity. This is not to say that women do not own them. But it is to say that these virtues are the bright side of the aggression and competitiveness and independence that psychologists, no less than philosophers, have long observed in men. Self-esteem and independence are strong points when used to protect and empower others. ”
Josh Hawley says more men today watch pornography and play video games because their masculinity has been criticized. pic.twitter.com/R0eXdRSYNT
– Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) 1 November 2021
Hawley’s remarks gave rise to firestorm within Democratic ranks and feminists of all genders (or no gender), with Twitter burning almost to the ground as the real left reacted.
Most noted that Hawley associated traits and character found in any gender, or no gender, depending on one’s views. Others have pointed to the irony in Hawley which says that the “bright side” of aggression and competitiveness, “long observed in men” has also long been defined by men and judged from a man’s point of view. Moreover, being a man does not make an expert on “men” or masculinity:
If Josh Hawley is an expert on masculinity, I would like to take a few minutes to share my thoughts on quantum physics.
– Jason Kander (@JasonKander) 1 November 2021
The MAGA lament that the left is trying to dehumanize society is nothing more than another attempt to keep everyone “in their place”, mean women at home or at a typewriter, gays in the closet, Black Americans submissive and immigrant unwanted, while the white man enjoys his birthright on top of that.
As many have backtracked on Twitter, Hawley’s call to return to the celebration of masculinity is much more a demand that women return to their “traditional” place in society, one in which women are inferior, judged by their attractiveness, not valued for their intellectual ability or drive and – more generally, not a seat at the top, wherever decisions are made.
It has cost many brave, assertive and independent women to drag society to where it is today and there is still a long way to go before we can look at our daughters and say, “You can do anything,” without knowing it secretly will be more difficult. But feminists of every gender will not allow Josh Hawley, nor his definition of masculinity, to stand in the way.
Some on Twitter used Hawley’s statement to put Hawley back in his place, a joke from a serious senator
Josh Hawley claims that pornography and video games are associated with men’s diminished masculinity.
This is funny because I watch pornography and play video games and I have never once questioned my masculinity.
– Jo (@JoJoFromJerz) 1 November 2021
Jason Miciak is a political writer, with writer, writer and lawyer. He is originally from Canada, but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, for which he is becoming increasingly grateful every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the shores of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic who cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also enjoys studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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