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Why the Right is obsessed with masculinity It desperately clings on to patriarchal stereotypes

No wonder men are feeling overwhelmed (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Image)


December 10, 2021   6 mins

A few days ago, a friend and I were sitting around, tallying up the fates of the young men we used to know; we’re not from the same town, but we are from the same rural part of Kansas, the kind of place where kids spend most of their time dreaming of getting out. Despite the small populations of our respective towns, the number of guys we knew who are now either in prison or dead is alarmingly high. He told me about some overdoses; I mentioned some crimes committed. We both remarked that he and I would be seen, by progressives, as being disadvantaged — him being gay and me being a woman. But here we are, while our peers have been taken by suicide, fentanyl or the prison industrial complex — all of them straight, white men.

Men are slipping, by just about every marker of measurement. Deaths of despair are on the rise, suicide and homicide rates are up, and more men are delaying marriage and the establishment of a family. Twice as many men have addiction disorders as women. As Missouri Senator Josh Hawley declared at the National Conservatism Conference last month: “American men are working less, getting married in fewer numbers; they’re fathering fewer children. They are suffering more anxiety and depression. They are engaging in more substance abuse.”

According to Hawley, bad things are happening to men because bad things have happened to masculinity. “Can we be surprised that after years of being told they are the problem, that their manhood is the problem, more and more men are withdrawing into the enclave of idleness, and pornography, and video games?” In his mind, it is not stagnant wages that cause men to feel demotivated at work. It’s not crippling student debt that convinces young men to drop out of university. It’s not the legacy of Purdue Pharma’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin fuelling their addictions. Taking his lead, perhaps, from popular masculinity influencers like Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux, Hawley blames men’s problems on the fact that nobody respects manliness anymore. It’s the feminism, stupid.

Josh Hawley’s constituents in Missouri are among those hardest hit by these issues. The state has, for example, a raging meth problem that’s largely overlooked by the mainstream media. Hawley is responsible for many men like those I grew up with. He should be interested in their complex realities. But, like the self-help gurus he emulates, the senator mystifies. He might be able to accurately describe the state of affairs, but he misdirects men on both its roots — vaguely blaming “the liberal left” — and what to do about it. He wants a “a revival of strong and healthy manhood in America”, but isn’t clear about what that actually that means.

Hawley’s tactics makes sense for the guru — after all, if they were able to solve your problems, you’d have less reason to buy their next book or listen to their next podcast. Some feminist grifters similarly tell women that their problems stem solely from “the patriarchy” or “misogyny” while also shrugging about what exactly to do about it. But this approach is particularly objectionable coming from a politician, especially a United States senator. Hawley is in the position to materially improve the lives of the men he is supposedly so concerned about, but he would rather obfuscate.

Hawley suggests, for example, that men are not marrying because, “The Left is telling America and its men, you’re evil.” But the real issue is class. In surveys of single people, the reasons given for delaying marriage (or partnership, for people whose goal is simply co-habitation) and childbearing are almost always economic. Marriage has become an elite institution, with highest rates among the people who are already best off — the white, the able-bodied, the most educated, the most financially prosperous.

In search of maximum support, Hawley always stays quiet about which “social issues” he’s blaming for the “deconstruction” of the traditional family. But reading between the lines, his finger is pointing at feminism and gay rights. Both criticise the concept of the nuclear family, for the way it makes the rights granted to couples and parents exclusive to those legally married. Hawley’s is a misdirection I recognise. He’s appealing to people like my uncle, who had difficulty finding stable work due to his lack of a formal education. His wife was a nurse, a traditionally underpaid, strenuous job. They blamed feminism for all social ills.

They played Rush Limbaugh almost continually; I remember first hearing the word “feminazi,” as a kid, in their house. They didn’t see feminism as a movement that fought for her rights as a working woman — which, given that by the Nineties the movement’s focus was more on lifestyle than class concerns, was as much feminism’s fault as their own. People in my town saw women and gays demanding the right to organise their own families in the ways they saw fit, and interpreted it as a threat to the integrity of their families.

In the past that Hawley is harking back to, the man earned a living wage outside the home and the women raised children. You can see why he’s able to blame feminism for the end of an era. Women, the story goes, were radicalised by feminist thinkers who urged them to seek fulfilment through career and financial independence. This flood of new workers, competing with men for jobs, drove wages down — undermining the male breadwinner.

But the truth is, it was the inflation of the Seventies, and the danger of poverty it brought with it, that drove wages down and therefore women to work. Many mothers got jobs out of necessity, not choice, because their partners’ salaries were no longer enough to support a family. Perhaps the men who lost their breadwinner positions felt attacked, but the alternative was usually debt and destitution. And feminism was the result of this change, not its cause: entering the workforce, women found they had to advocate for fair pay and for the removal of obstacles to advancement.

Hawley ignores present-day economic conditions, too. The stresses that families have experienced during the pandemic — from the struggles of balancing working from home with parenting, to difficulties in getting adequate healthcare — don’t get a mention in his speeches. It’s the same tactic conservatives have often used: arguing for traditional family structures — and even incentivising them, through coercions like tax breaks and public condemnation — while refusing to listen to the practical reasons people are unable or unwilling to participate.

The other institution that used to support masculinity until, according to Hawley, it was subject to “liberal attacks” is the military. In a 2019 speech, he condemned the progressive criticism of American military intervention, saying, “it also regarded America unilateral action as something to be avoided, even a danger,” as if this were a completely misguided belief.

It’s easier for the Right to romanticise the so-called manly virtues instilled by service — discipline, solidarity, and courage — than it is to admit that serving in wars has left thousands of men traumatised. And that many of those men have been abandoned by their governments to deal with that trauma on their own. More than one of my high school classmates has come out of the military only to find himself too damaged to work full time. Their patriotism and sense of duty — fine things, yes — have been manipulated so that they die not for their country, but for oil and capital.

Gays in the military, the feminist critique of male aggression, leftist anxieties about imperialism: all of these have been blamed for the marginalisation of military service as an integral part of the masculine identity. But the truth lies elsewhere. America’s failure to unflaggingly support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq isn’t a comment on the terrible lack of patriotism in our nation. It’s not a sign that our armed forces are going “soft,” as figures like Representative Dan Crenshaw have suggested in their statements railing against a “woke” military. It’s happened because we’ve seen through propaganda, and have stopped believing that young men should die because the Republican party created illegitimate allegations of atrocity and invaded a nation under false pretences.

Blaming progressivism for men’s problems, then, is an attempt by the Right to let itself off the hook. But it won’t do much good. Ideas about masculinity change because what helps a person thrive in one era is going to hurt him in another. If women hadn’t entered the workforce, men and their children would have starved; if soldiers continued to be seen as a masculine ideal, there would’ve been continued support for forever wars.

But masculinity influencers are fixated on the past, on “tradition”. While Hawley mostly just waffles on about the old, more sensible ways of doing something, his one proposed real-world solution to the crisis in masculinity was to bring back manufacturing jobs. Every politician since the Eighties has promised and failed to bring back well-paid manufacturing work. Hawley must know it isn’t going to work. Globalisation makes it impossible. The world has moved on. We can’t go backwards, but the political Right has failed to find a way forwards.

And so it fixates on the “manliness” of men, as many politicians have in times of crisis. Hawley speaks like a YouTube influencer, but he’s part of a long tradition that includes everyone from President Roosevelt to, well, Benito Mussolini. The trouble is that, because masculinity is something that is defined and measured by action, there’s always a sense that the men are simply not doing enough. You can always do one more rep at the gym, kill one more enemy on the battlefield, work one more hour before you end your day. No wonder men are feeling overwhelmed.

Men should be allowed to set aside the burden of ruling the world, for the sake of everyone. Instead of fixating on turning men back into some patriarchal stereotype, the Right should be helping them get jobs and quit drugs. When I think of the limited or derailed lives of the men I was raised with, I don’t just want them to regress into the structures and lifestyles that drove their fathers and grandfathers to drink, or hit their kids, or work so much they were never around. I want something better for them.


Jessa Crispin is the author of three books, most recently Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto. 

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Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
2 years ago

Oh dear, this is so Clue Less it is hard to know where to begin.
I know let’s begin with these two maxims:
“Women expect to be protected.”
“Men know they are expendable,”
In chimpanzee society the job of the males is to defend the border of the troop’s food-bearing land: to protect the females and their baby chimps. The males are expendable. Of course if all the males get killed, the females just get assimilated into another troop.
I was talking with a female acquaintance last week, and she complained about a “toxic” male at work. She complained to HR and they did nothing. See? She expected to be protected.
Because men are expendable, a wise society makes a big fuss about the sacrifice of males in war and in the working world. This is what our feminist friends call “patriarchy.”
When things go wrong in our modern society, the males get expended, and the women find new protectors.
E.g., the women in Berlin in May 1945. While the men in the defeated Nazi army were in cages, the women in Berlin found themselves the highest status Red Army officer available as a “partner.” Of course, later on many of them signed up as “GI war brides” and sailed for America.
In the end there are men and there are women. If the men are not expended and the women are protected there are children. If the boy children are not expended and the girl children are protected then there are grandchildren. Otherwise oblivion.

Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

I wanted to say ‘this writer has no clue about men and humanity and society, but you said it first.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
2 years ago

“ Oh dear, this is so Clue Less it is hard to know where to begin.” Alas, this says it all.
The entire article could be characterized as a (not so thinly) veiled attack on “toxic masculinity” – a concept that has been rammed down the throats (no pun intended) of little boys since the knee-jerk hipsters became ascendant in the culture (see eg The War on Boys by Christina Hoff-Sommers).

Also, this author takes a uniformly materialist (crypto Marxist-Professive-hipster) view on society – economic conditions explain all problems. But, Hawley (and Peterson) are right – it is a cultural war of IDEAS with which we have been assaulted, lo these 60 + years, that, among other things, points to straight white males (and their culture – also known as Western Civ)! that is the ROOT CAUSE of all evil : “HEY HEY, HO HO, WESTERN CIV (and, etc. )

In short: “ Oh dear, this is so Clue Less it is hard to know where to begin.“

Galeti Tavas
VS
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

10,000 years ago the first settled towns formed, and about 100 years ago physical labor began to get taken by machines on a local scale, and about 40 years ago physical work became pretty small in the total of jobs, and now physical work is for unskilled migrants.

Men were made to work hard. 1-2 million years of our development….

‘Idle Hands are the Devils Workshop’. The less intelligent men (and that is half of them) are just not cut out for this world. If young men do not burn off their energies from work it builds up in them – and they will turn to anti social or self destructive ways. This is how we were designed. (I do construction for a living – I could write endless articles on Men, Hard Work, Construction, and older men mentoring young men in the workplace (like say on construction sites – this civilizes young men)…. and society and the insanity of letting mass unskilled migration as it has idled out less able, but strong, young men – that is the biggest reason the old friends of the writer are in jail on heroin.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

P.S. the writer likely has fallen for the insane theory that men and women are the same buy raised differently. This is Untrue – they are completely different mentally and psychologically, as they are physically and sexually.

Women do great with sedentary and being non-physical for much of their work, they were formed to keep busy and watch the kids and stick around the household.

Men were designed to do hard work, and to fight when needed.

They are these very powerful, and violent, animals. They are having a bit of trouble becoming house cats instead of the ratter/mouser farm cat they evolved to be.

Cheryl Jones
CJ
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I totally agree and I think it’s the great crime of the modern world not to recognise that

Madeleine Jones
Madeleine Jones
2 years ago

Men are constantly told about their ‘internal misogyny’ and lectured about rape culture. Feminism gets blamed, not because its easy, but due to the once-vibrant movement morphing into utter drivel. I have no clue why (some) feminists act oblivious to the power they have.
The author brings up war and the trauma men go through. Whilst some have a ‘buckle up boys, there’s no crying here’ attitude, this is not true for all men. I love poetry, cinema and fiction; most of the moving works of war literature are done by men. There’s an unfortunate implication with ‘if we get rid of masculinity, there’s less trauma.’ Not a fan of this. If we want men to decrease drinking and drugs, maybe giving them a sense of responsibility and purpose is a start.

Karl Juhnke
KJ
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago

Maybe showing men some respect and love might help. The feminists have been bed fellows of the patriarchs since it first emerged.

Madeleine Jones
Madeleine Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Karl Juhnke

Yes, showing men respect and love would help. Especially young men – they need to know they matter.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago

Well said Madeleine.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

The author rather lost me at the beginning by stating “while our peers have been taken by suicide, fentanyl or the prison industrial complex — all of them straight, white men”. The young men I know, and I know a reasonable number as I have sons in their 20s, are not involved in any of these, although I do know less destructive drugs are in fairly widespread use by that cohort.
What undoubtedly has declined or been changed has been the sort of fraternal societies that used to be widespread. Working mens Clubs have declined. Rotary has become less male dominated and the number of Masons has declined as have many other fraternal societies. These provided a source of fraternal comradeship and support to men. Younger men are, however, not coming forward to join in numbers sufficient to replace members who have died or resigned. They are viewed largely as old fashioned and uncool and feminine disapproval of male societies also inhibits the young from joining.
These sort of societies provided a purpose beyond work or consumption to men as well as fraternal support. It is not just women who want to get together without the opposite sex to talk about what interests them.
Many young women seem much less tolerant of men wanting to have an evening with their mates and without their wife or girlfriends around, while thinking nothing of having a girls night out.

Madeleine Jones
MJ
Madeleine Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

All good points – I’m a 27 yr old woman who has very little experience with dating, but is now quite interested in it after I lose quite a bit of weight. Been thinking alot about courtship & dating.
Hypothetically, if I date a man and he wants a night out with their friends or even a LOTR marathon… go right ahead? (as long as you watch the extended editions with me sometime, lol) Not everything needs my presence for it to be fun or valuable for someone I care about. I’ve noticed on sites like Meetup is a total absense of male’s only events. This is a shame.
We need more men’s clubs and friendship groups, but we also need the men in those circles mingling with women outside. I’ll give you an example on Youtube: Benjamin Boyce, a social commentator, frequently has livestreams with two friends: Wokal Distance and James Lindsay. That’s male friendship. But each of those three are not opposed to having livestreams or conversations with women, like Helena or Little Apostate. Sure, they have their own bonds, but they don’t act removed from everyone else. Rotary and work clubs never really did this.
I have noticed a trend among young women to judge a man’s friends. But when the men does the same, he’s labelled possessive, narcissistic, abusive, etc. It’s really not cool – and many young men are awkward around friends AND women.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

Wokal is a gem, his strawberry > strawberry slurpy analogy for simulacrum is just genius. I think Boyce is great too his “conversationalist” schtick sounds pretentious but in practice the youtube conversations are often fascinating, in particular he has a a whole series on detransitioners.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

Yes balance is what is needed, and those Rotary Clubs and Masonic Lodges that thrive do tend to put on events where members can invite wives and girlfriends and friends generally.
I think you are right that women tend to be happy to be critical of others particularly men but much more sensitive about anything critical coming their way. One of the features of fraternal societies where women are not involved is a lot of good natured mutual ribbing and mockery takes place that most women would find horrifying. Men, or at least non-woke men, tend to be a lot more tolerant of well-meant teasing.
I must say I am pleased to be married and not having to explore today’s dating scene. I wish you luck in your quest to find someone decent. At least you have sensible opinions on your side.
PS thanks for the introduction to Boyce I shall look his stuff out.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jeremy Bray
James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

Taylor Swift’s ALL TOO WELL! The song is brilliant, the video excellent, but she portrays herself a needy, cloying, selfish immature (she was 20 turning 21 in the song/movie), nutter.
Truly waiting for some standup comedian to take this on–very fertile ground. I have some ideas if anyone is interested!
Taylor is a very talented singer-songwriter, a business genius, but a deeply flawed and seemingly unhappy person. Her politics are also woke.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

I like watching the Critical Drinker, Sargon, Dankula and others have little online get together talking about movies, beer, politics and gaming. I’m a woman but I like men. I don’t want or need to control them or for them to be like me. They’re fascinating creatures LOL

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Agree. there is a very definite double standard. Men having men-only spaces and hobbies are ‘sexist’ and exclusionary. Women-only spaces are not seen that way at all, presumably under the basis of ‘safety’ (although the assault on them by radical trans activists is disturbing). I encourage my partner to go out with the boys and do stuff without me. We need time apart avd he needs a way to let off steam in a way he can’t with me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago

Well she’s right that the core underlying problem is lack of jobs for semi-skilled and unskilled labour.

That problem has its origins in the left’s embrace of globalisation by Clinton and Blair. The jobs that weren’t exported to (mainly) China, were then taken by uncontrolled immigration, also embraced by the left. So one foundational part of the problem may not be feminism per se, but is absolutely at the door of progressives.

She says we can’t turn the clock back on globalisation, clearly unaware of the global supply chain crisis unfolding around the world. I would say there is clearly space for a politician advocating repatriation of strategic industry. Once that might have been prohibitively expensive but as China becomes increasingly, visibly, hostile it will become a price we may have to pay.

Her assertion that, as a woman, she is part of a disadvantaged group is clearly laughable. Via academia and HR departments we now live in a world where all hostility has to be underground or virtual. Passive aggression, manipulation and emotional blackmail (the foundation of victim culture) are weapons much better suited to women. These are the only weapons the current zeitgeist approves, or even lauds, and men at the bottom of the pile are ill equipped to win on that terrain.

I could have saved a lot of typing by just saying wokeism is to blame and feminism is a core component of wokeism.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Bollis
Paul Smithson
PO
Paul Smithson
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I agree wholeheartedly particularly with regard to women being disadvantaged. From what I can see it is rapidly becoming the opposite.

That said I don’t blame feminists per se, as they served an essential purpose. In previous decades there were some outrageous differences between men and women that needed to be resolved, just as there were with racial issues. It isn’t the feminists or people wanting racial equality that are the problem, it is the fundamentalist extremists that are the problem, which often seems to be the case these days. They don’t seem to be seeking equality in gender or race. They want cmplete dominance.

Matt M
Matt M
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

You can’t move for news items about new factories being opened in the US as a result of re-shoring supply lines and the provenance changes that Trump made to USMCA. Trouble for the author is that these factories are almost all opening up in Red states!

Laura Creighton
LC
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt M

The news that the USA has begun to reindustrialise has not travelled to anywhere I get news. It’s great to hear, but this is the first I’ve heard of it, while stories of why the USA is in decline are still in fashion. So thank you.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago

I remember the time when men were in control of everything. The women sat at home minding the children and keeping the house clean while the men were out at the pub with their mates. It was boring, very boring.

Now the men have taken a back seat and the women are in control. There are no decent pubs so the men take drugs instead. The women have decided to sit in Starbucks and spend hours talking about how useless men are. Only gay men can join this discussion. It is boring, very boring.

What is wrong with these statements? They are exaggerated so that I have something to write. Unfortunately I don’t get paid.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Another brilliant comment

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago

I found myself agreeing, then passionately disagreeing, then sort of agreeing and then flipping back and forth.

There are some valid points raised, but there seems to be under-currents that are seen in almost every recent movie and TV show and that is:

1. Men are bad – Women are fantastic
2. White is bad – Black is awesome
3. Straight is bad – Gay is cool
4. Left is good – Right is undesirable
5. Feminism is good – Masculinity is bad

Even though she touches on some of this in the essay, she does it through a filter of these paradigms, as though she doesn’t realise that her own worldview is center-stage throughout.

Unfortunately, these five paradigms are now so all-pervasive that younger people are growing up to think they’re normal, which is very frightening.

As much as I disagree with some of the points, I do appreciate the insights provided, and I do agree with some of the points made.

And it is great that Unherd gives a voice to differing viewpoints as it makes the comments all the more interesting to read.

Last edited 2 years ago by Paul Smithson
Jon Redman
HJ
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

she doesn’t realise that her own worldview is center-stage throughout.

Good observation. To be fair, anything better would be a big ask, like expecting a goldfish to be able to see water. If you swim in it you don’t notice it.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jon Redman
peter barker
peter barker
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

There are some adjective/noun combinations that often get used a lot together in everyday language. “Toxic masculinity” is becoming/has become one such – as if it’s a given undeniable combination. Sure some males are nasty but so are some females and most men are not nasty/unlikable/bad influences etc. (On the same subject- “extreme right” is another that is bandied around by MSM – as if anybody to the right of Marxism is extreme in some way and you cant just be a bit right-of-centre).

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

I look forward to a series of articles by Nick Griffin
But then being a courageous platform only extends to acceptable left wing intolerant views.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

I agree that the articles in Unherd reflect differing view points but the comments usually only reflect the right.

Janko M
JM
Janko M
2 years ago

I think a point that gets missed is that men setting aside “masculinity”, whatever that means, is not a desireable goal for either men or women. I won’t touch on the hypergamy aspect as it would make this comment too long.

When I was younger, I also thought masculinity was toxic and whatnot. But as I grew older, I found the dissonance of smearing those who protect me to be an act of immense arrogance and frankly cluelessness. I signed up to join the army and became an officer.

I can describe no greater pride in my life than having been a platoon leader. It is close to being a parent. You worry sick when they’re hurt, you’re happy when they are, you’re sad likewise when they are. But you also try to turn them into independent thinkers who take initiative, speak the truth and respect each other, show courage in the face of adversity and hardship. I will never forget nor regret the utter misery of some of the toughest exercises, accomplishing feats you never imagined. I also had women in my platoon and they were always accepted – and they felt equal pride in their achievements. I consider them feminists who live up to their own principles. I sent one of them to officer school.

In a geopolitically perilous world, I simply can’t endorse the notion that men should abdicate their responsibilities for the sake of an ill-conceived quasi-religious crusade, though I will always encourage and immensely respect the women who choose to take those same responsibilities on.

Last edited 2 years ago by Janko M
Terry Needham
PR
Terry Needham
2 years ago

“They didn’t see feminism as a movement that fought for her rights as a working woman” Well that’s because it didn’t. Feminism is a middle class movement that has no interest in the working conditions of nurses.
“Blaming progressivism for men’s problems,” Some people don’t seem to have cottoned on to the fact that it is perfectly possible to progress backwards.

Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

Feminism seems to mean a dozen working class women, working low paid jobs, taking home maybe 1 or 2 thousand pounds net pay by the end of the year, after their own child care costs have been met, so that one middle class women can have her cake and eat it. Feminism is an ideology of the rich and the privileged. It cares nothing for the women it exploits to achieve it’s goals.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

Harsh but fair.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
2 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

A good point. In the UK ‘child care’ by lower-class teenage girls (and that, largely, is who they are) for the comfortably-off ‘working woman’ is effectively the creation of a new servant class (if not the re-institution of an old one).

Last edited 2 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Dan Gleeballs
Dan Gleeballs
2 years ago

Deleted my long response.

Short form: Nope

Last edited 2 years ago by Dan Gleeballs
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
AN
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Gleeballs

Hahaha. You’re right. There is little point in engaging with nonsense like this

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago

Taking his lead, perhaps, from popular masculinity influencers like Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux, … But, like the self-help gurus he emulates, the senator mystifies. …  He wants a “a revival of strong and healthy manhood in America”, … Hawley’s tactics makes sense for the guru — after all, if they were able to solve your problems, you’d have less reason to buy their next book or listen to their next podcast. Some feminist grifters similarly … ” 
And so begins the building of the strawman that, IMO, devolves into a veiled slur. Jordan Peterson is not a ‘popular masculinity influencer’. This is used to establish popularity to him and to equate him to Molyneux. Peterson’s ideas are laid out in his synthesis in Maps of Meaning. It lays out a description of reality that he argues can be applied to how we can move forward in the world by shouldering responsibility for oneself and then others.
Labelling Peterson as ‘popular’ then allows the negative, derogatory connotation of ‘guru’ to be applied, and hence attribute base motivations to him, finally to ‘grifter’, by association with ‘feminist grifters’.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago

Those Feminist “grifters” who blame everything on the patriarchy… That would be the feminist hierarchy she is referring to.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Ms Crispin points to many real problems – but there is a glaring hole. Men and women live in the same economy. If men fall to drugs and suicide, and women do not, the cause has to be something that is specific to men.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yes. The cultures hatred of them.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It’s a fair question. I think Karl has a significant part of the answer, but there does seem to be something innate in mammalian females that makes socialisation easier for them, whether in family or friendship groups.

The atomisation of society generally, allied with lack of a work community, is perhaps hurting men more because we lack that something innate, which can create the community we need as human beings to thrive?

Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

This is definitely true. Around me the women in the family are constantly arranging to meet and spend hours discussing nothing (or so it seems to me). They talk a lot about illnesses – and the men, who are often ill, don’t.
Women live a lot longer than men. This leads to my party saying when the women are discussing illnesses, ad nauseam.. “Women talk and men die.”

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

there does seem to be something innate in mammalian females that makes socialisation easier for them

The flipside of that is that pretty much without exception, the feuds in families are among the females, and these feuds reach a staggering pitch of viciousness and active hate.
My other half has had actual criminal offences of dishonesty perpetrated against her by her own sister and mother, not once but repeatedly: frauds, thefts, the obtaining of her goods by deception. I’ve never come across anything remotely similar among the men of a family. If the men don’t get on they just mutually ignore and avoid. Many women’s family life doesn’t seem to be complete without a savage vendetta going on.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Yes. My take would be that men grow up, from kindergarten onwards, with competition, hierarchy and power in their relationships, whereas women grow up with unity and harmony at centre stage, and disharmony frowned on. That means that men learn how to manage conflicts safely, and women do not. Maybe men, being physically stronger, need it more. Konrad Lorenz, the father of animal psychology, noted that two wolves in a cage would establish a dominance hierarchy and stop fighting – basically the weaker one submits to a lower-status position. Two doves in a cage (where neither can flee) will keep hacking at each other till one of them is dead.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“women grow up with unity and harmony at centre stage”
No they just wage war indirectly by other means and it never resolves

Last edited 2 years ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Of course women have fights and spite and all that stuff, just like men – all humans have. The point is different: Men organise their social life around respect, compete for status, and have a status hierarchy. Women organise theirs around intimacy and closeness strive to seem all equal and close, and use exclusion rather than domination as weapon. The end result is that men sometimes show closeness by mock figting and insults – and women sometimes show anger by fake intimacy. The feelings are all there in both sexes, but I’d say that men are better at dealing with competition and power relationships openly.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I think that is probably it. Male children have to learn very young that if they insult or steal from bigger male children, they will be physically attacked and will meet with worse in return. Women do not have to learn this lesson, because even among animals, the males almost never physically attack the females. Men have learned to tread warily around men because the consequences can be very bad.
My partner’s mother borrowed money from her which she untruthfully claimed was to help pay for care for her father. She then secretly gave this money to the other daughter to use it to pay for private school fees. We couldn’t afford private school fees, in part because we were lending so much money to her. Her father died in a poor quality care home because none of the money was spent on providing him with a good one; nobody really cared about him.
When the mother died, the sister went round to the house the same day and stole all the cash hidden in it, stole the cash from a safety deposit box, and later committed insurance fraud by claiming for a ceiling leak at the mother’s empty house and keeping the money. She denied having received any cash from her mother, and when it was proved by bank statements that she had, she refused to pay any of it back, as the money was a “gift”. At the same time, she tried to commit inheritance tax fraud by denying to HMRC that there had been any gifts.
This is not particularly unusual.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

‘Not all women’, I suppose. But you sure have been unlucky with your in-laws.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

If you ever go out to lunch with three women, one will leave to use the loo, the other two will talk about her. Repeat two more times.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

It’s true.
If you spend any amount of time in cafes you hear this all the time. Along with women validating each others positions in relation to absent partners or friends, so that they end up even more sure of their own rightness than they did when they came in. And the bitchiness and denigration can be awful.
Its a generalisation I know, but by and large men just don’t do this. And they would be poorly thought of if they did.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

It’s true.
If you spend any amount of time in cafes you hear this all the time. Along with women validating each others positions in relation to absent partners or friends, so that they end up even more sure of their own rightness than they did when they came in. And the b-tchiness and denigration can be awful.
Its a generalisation I know, but by and large men just don’t do this. And they would be poorly thought of if they did.

Dawn McD
Dawn McD
2 years ago

Wow. Is that why groups of women go to the loo together – mutually assured destruction?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The flipside of that is that pretty much without exception, the feuds in families are among the females, and these feuds reach a staggering pitch of viciousness and active hate.
And at work

Hardee Hodges
HH
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Perhaps the issue starts with kindergarten, where any aggressive behavior is immediately crushed. Perhaps it’s aided by a trend to lower testosterone levels caused by plastics and excessive estrones in water. Then, that girls are encouraged to progress and males discouraged educationally except for those males who excel at puzzles. Those males go on into engineering and software fields where women seem not to be interested. Truth is society needs both males and females for continuation of society itself, each plays a biological role. As birth rates in ‘domesticated’ societies decline, the future become obvious. We need people to fix the plumbing, generally few females aspire to those tasks. And the designs for new plumbing fixtures are generally male. And it happens that the most aggressive of us go on to create new technology in a fierce competition for ideas. Not to say women couldn’t do these things but most aren’t interested.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

Another day, another article in UnHerd excoriating…well what a surprise…that bane on humanity, men.
This barrage is becoming relentless, yet I’d wager that 99% of the male readers on here, regard violence, particularly, against women or children as utterly abhorrent, do not perceive themselves as in any way superior to females, seek equal partnerships in their relationships with women, and have no desire to dominate anyone.
I’m aware that many (men) on the Right in the US may hold some antediluvian, or better said, delusional views on their status in society, but seriously, these are not the people in charge of the universities, schools, the judiciary, virtually all tiers of government or the media.
The wokeist Left is. Just open a newspaper or watch CNN/BBC.
Who actually holds the levers of power in US society, both at a federal and state level?
It is not the Right which in some states is insisting that children aged 5 denounced their white skin, or determine their sexual gender.
Have you ever considered writing an article about what, if anything, you might possibly like about men – just for a welcome change?
Or would that destroy your standing among your female peers?
I get the impression that, with one notable exception, the heterosexual female writers at UnHerd regard their natural attraction to men as a terrible curse, of which they are ashamed.
They would never admit to actually enjoying the company of the men they share their lives with, for fear of the angry response this would elicit.
Has UnHerd ever published an article by a man on the less salubrious aspects of womenhood or femininity?
I’ve been lucky in life to have had a wonderful sister, mother and partners, but I’m pretty sure that none of them would describe themselves as beyond reproach, or sufficiently “immaculate” to sit in judgement on all men.
Unlike the contributors to UnHerd. .

Last edited 2 years ago by Eddie Johnson
jim peden
JP
jim peden
2 years ago

For me, the man is the human who stands at the door of the cave trying to fight off the bear, whereas the woman takes the kids to the back of the cave to hide from the bear. Both strategies are necessary and complementary and together they have meant that bears have come second to humans. Maybe bears are about to make a comeback.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  jim peden

I agree that men and women are complementary.

John Montague
John Montague
2 years ago

When did UnHerd become The Guardian?

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  John Montague

Just different views being expressed, which. of course, you are free to disagree with. If this site just became a right-wing echo-chamber there would be no point to it because there are plenty of those available on-line already. We all need to hear views that we disagree with; it keeps us on our toes and hones our skills at arguing against them. I have read many articles on here that would justify my posting “when did UnHerd become The Daily Mail?” , but I don’t because I read articles here expecting my long-held views to be challenged; sometimes they set my teeth a-grinding and sometimes I have an aha! moment and I think about what I’ve always believed. I suggest you rise to the challenge of having your own views tested.

Last edited 2 years ago by Linda Hutchinson
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Yayh!

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

I’ll strongman Johns point, there’s a few writers on unherd that are only here precisely because they have been exiled from The Grievance: Bindel, Fraser, Ditum at the least.
and the thrust of this article, isn’t really living up to unherds mission statement, I’d summarise it as : feminist blames right wing and men for the problems men experience, feminism definitely not responsible. Again you can pick up The Grievance any day of the week and read that story.
And your last point is spot on, whilst i don’t exactly like the thrust of the article its got good points to make, what exactly is the right doing to support men other than just whine about the other side to score rhetorical points and votes? and the author comes across as sincere in their concern for the problem

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

“Just different views being expressed”.
Or course. Which is why we subscribe. And long may it continue.
But jeez, this men-bashing is relentless.

Linda Hutchinson
LH
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

I can understand what you’re saying, as I have had to put up with continual disparagement and put downs of women – of course rwo wrongs don’t make a right. I, like most women, do appreciate (most) men for what they do and contribute, but there is a type of masculinity, usually found on the right, where you see men posing with their big weapons with their “I can rip the guts out of a wild animal with my teeth” grins which is unedifying, and slightly disturbing.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

“but there is a type of masculinity, usually found on the right … which is unedifying, and slightly disturbing.”
Indeed. And, as I’m sure you are aware, the vast majority of victims of violence are in fact men, often at the hands of these troglodytes.
Society nowadays is rightly careful to distinguish between the 99% of Muslims who are peaceful and simply want to get on with their lives, and the small, violent minority of Islamists intent on harming innocent people (mainly their fellow Muslims, of course).
Why is there no such distinction made by feminists, of all “waves”, when discussing “toxic masculinity”? (cf. Bindel, Ditum, even Harrington et al) .
Why is it acceptable to make sweeping generalisations about all men, when clearly the vast majority of men are not violent, misogynistic or aspiring tarzans?

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

You are absolutely right – it is totally unexceptable to make generalisations about groups of people base upon their sex (or race, or sexual orientation etc). I, too, fervently wish that the feminists that do this would stop, it doesn’t help their cause.

I don’t particulary like the term “toxic masculinity” as it’s never really defined and becomes a catch-all phrase for any type of male behaviour which differs from female behaviour, however, there is a type of behaviour among some (small sections) of the male population which glorifies violence. The violence that men suffer at the hands of other men, which as you say correctly is the main form of criminal violence perpetrated in the UK, is the product of this type of attitude – plus excessive alcohol/drugs, of course. How any of this is dealt with is another issue, I would just say that what I would not like to see is the “feminising” of men – I prefer my men to be men not ersatz women, I’m old fashioned that way.

Last edited 2 years ago by Linda Hutchinson
Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

Excellent comment. Agree entirely.
I never thought I’d say this, as it sounds, and probably is, reactionary and hypocritical coming from a wishy-washy pacifist like me, but I wonder if “conscription” would help channel the testosterone-fuelled aggression of our violence-prone young males.

Linda Hutchinson
LH
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

Hmm. Yes I have sometimes wondered that too. Men, and especially young men, do have aggressive tendencies and it would really be good to be able to find some channel for them to be able to express this constructively. Any suggestions from the men out there?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago

I was in the Air Training Corps, which got fairly boisterous, particularly on the annual camps. I haven’t checked, but am sure it will be mixed sex now and therefore more “civilised.”

I played rugby at my boys grammar. It’s now a mixed comprehensive. The rugby posts are still there but I’ve never seen anybody playing the game.

I used to go to first division football games in the70’s. The terraces had everything a teenage boy needed – tribal anthems and insignia, adrenaline rushes, chest beating and occasional violence.

The violence was always more sound than fury, only ever fists and boots and rarely involved anybody who didn’t want to be there. I’m not suggesting we return to that, just noting it was a relatively harmless thing (despite the press horror) and has now gone.

Boy Scouts, Boys Brigade, the Lads clubs – all mixed now. If we brought in conscription it would have to apply to both genders. The girls don’t want to … so it can’t fly.

What a mess we’ve made!

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Your point is rather well made in the fascinating book, ‘The rise and triumph of the self,’ by Carl Trueman in which he traces the concept of the self from pagan times to the present.

JAX AGNESSON
JAX AGNESSON
2 years ago

In the Netherlands there used to be (and maybe still is) a kind of non-military conscription, generally regarded as a way of earning your adult citizenship. The work wasn’t neccesarily arduous or unpleasant, though it could be, if that is what you volunteered for. I knew a guy who ‘served his time’ looking after rough sleepers in Rotterdam, mostly drug addicts and street sex-workers. It led in his case to a life-time career as a social worker.

Charles Hedges
CH
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

Boarding schools reduced violence by boys because of sport. 40 Minutes of boxing/circuit training for PT, 1.5 hrs of rugby four days a week, squash, CCF, cold rooms and walking between houses/classrooms with runs as punishment. Being sent on a 5 mile run after 1.5 hours of rugby training burns the energy.
What is ignored is the vast difference in energy levels between an unfit slobbish women and a very fit post puberty young male who has inherited the genes of an athlete, especially boxing and rugby. Just look at Natwest u18 Boys Rugby Finals in Youtube.
Consequently in many comprehensive schools the teachers cannot physically control the boys whereas many boys grammar and public schools have masters who have played rugby up to national level and/or been in armed Forces. No matter how tough a 18 year year old boys thinks he is, it is nothing compared to someone who has spent years in the Parachute Regiment or Royal Marine Commandos. Not long ago a there was an obituatry of a Housemster from Chrisd’s Hopsital; he won a MC with the Parachute Rgeiment at Normandy and served in Specal Branch. While at Christ’s Hopsital he taught science and ran the CCF, Boxing and Judo clubs.
Boys who are pushed on the sports fields and in the boxing ring tend to happy. The testosterone, endomorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxygen lebels are very high, the toxins are being flushed out of the system; the result is a sense of well being which is conducive to constructive not destructive actions.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

It might simply exchange one problem for another.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago

Well said!

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

Fact: straight white men have been under continuous, unrelenting, unfair attack for 50+ years.
Fact: this has given rise to Jordan Peterson, who barely merits a mention in this article.
Fact: many young men are confused, and have decided that because society hates them, it is better and safer to stay in the basement and watch porn and play video games than to do something more productive. Better to watch porn than have real relationships, because you may be accused of rape if a woman later regrets her choice. This is a real thing–happens all the time at the uni, and thanks to Obama, the accused are presumed guilty and have no real rights. Every so often, one leaves the basement with a weapon–a so-called “in-cel,” and shoots people, leading to more condemnation of ALL straight white men.
Fact: this has thrown off the “normal” male-female relationships, courting, marrying, starting a family, getting on the property ladder–all the ingredients of living the American nightmare.
Since women are pursuing higher education in significantly greater numbers than men, and the traditional “work with your hands” kinds of jobs are diminishing in favor of jobs that require significant technical education, even in traditional blue collar industries–Heating and Air conditioning repair, carpentry, electrical work, etc., the number of desirable men has greatly diminished. Many women pursue gender studies and communications, which leads to working at Starbucks, but many other women pursue medicine–Jordan Peterson has helped a lot of these women, apparently–and this furthers the inbalance.
The radical left has largely succeeded in their battle against straight white men–in the best case, they are in a defensive crouch. But how has this worked out for society, and for the women who put them in this place? Are they really better off?

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

For many boys growing into men over the last 50years, its been an emotionally abusive upbringing from an over bearing mother and no father to bring balance, not just in the home but in school and society at large! Emotional abuse at a global level!

JAX AGNESSON
JAX AGNESSON
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Fact “Over the last 10 years, there was an average of 80 female victims a year killed by a partner or ex-partner. In contrast, only 2% of male victims aged 16 years and over were killed by a partner or ex-partner .” (Official UK crime figures). Compare being criticised in the MSM with being actrually murdered by the person who is supposed to be ‘protecting you’. Can the conservative Right stop playing the victim now?

Last edited 2 years ago by JAX AGNESSON
James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  JAX AGNESSON

Your point? “Supposed to be protecting you?” What are you talking about?
I’m not condoning violence in any way, but make better choices….

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  JAX AGNESSON

What you forgot to mention is that the “2% of male victims” equate to 1/3rd of domestic violence victims.

Funny how
a. Males are such a high proportion even though in any heterosexual couple the male would be much stronger
b. All the focus is on the 2/3rd of victims who are female
c. Lesbian couples have more domestic violence.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

There’s been a lot of critical comment on this piece, but buried in there is this truth. Faced with a social problem, instead of looking at the complex issues involved, both left and right interpret it in terms of their own pet hobby horses.
Political positions, when held too rigidly, quite simply stop us from thinking. They quite literally make us stupid!

Jay Chase
Jay Chase
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

The criticism is due to the fact that this is a poorly reasoned piece and the deluded writer can’t seem to comprehend the world-view of the figures she’s attacking, or else is willfully distorting their beliefs.
There are leftist writers who grasp the ideas of Hawley and Peterson and offer insightful criticism of them. She is not one of them.
It seems like she has not fully developed her reasoning skills and doesn’t really understand the human condition, a definite candidate for taking a sabbatical from commentating and hopefully reading Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Jay Chase

Yes – my point applies to her as much as to anyone else.

Tom Watson
TW
Tom Watson
2 years ago

‘According to Hawley, bad things are happening to men because bad things have happened to masculinity. “Can we be surprised that after years of being told they are the problem, that their manhood is the problem, more and more men are withdrawing into the enclave of idleness, and pornography, and video games?” In his mind, it is not stagnant wages that cause men to feel demotivated at work. It’s not crippling student debt that convinces young men to drop out of university. It’s not the legacy of Purdue Pharma’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin fuelling their addictions.’
Can’t it be both? Is it conceivable that it could not be both?

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

Men should be allowed to set aside the burden of ruling the world, for the sake of everyone.

At this point the piece just sinks into silliness. After a long piece ostensibly about the struggles that men are going through, we end up back at the old nonsense that men, in some vague general sense, rule the world.
Yes, the problems faced by men are complex, and the legacy of feminism (totally sanitised in this piece) is only part of the problem. But spare us the “patriarchy is bad for men too” stuff. It’s just silly.

David Batlle
David Batlle
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Men don’t rule the world, we just keep the lights on.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Batlle
Douglas Proudfoot
DP
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago

I’m a 71 year old white male. I grew up in Missoula, Montana, and Suburban Chicago. My grandmother had a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun on her nightstand, which she used to discourage the porcupines from eating her rose bushes. I was very used to strong women treated as equals in my family.

What I have seen since childhood is an increasingly strident ideology that demands women be treated as far superior to men. It has stacked the rules of society so that you must “believe the woman,” not the man. I joked when my grandsons started college that they needed signed consent forms before going to bed with dates.

While I admit to some personal issues, I was often passed over for promotion in favor of lesser qualified women. I admit that this has worked in favor of my daughters, but it’s hard to ignore the quota system. I was a team manager several times, but never got hired as one. I always had to work my way back up from individual contributor.

My point is that the author is ignoring the obvious sex bias of the last 40 years. Pretty much any white male, even the dumbest, can figure out the deck is stacked against them. It doesn’t take my two Masters degrees in Statistics and Managment, nor my 45 year career in IT. It’s very discouraging. Add in Critical Racist Theory, which says all whites, especially white males, are racist oppressors, and life prospects look bleak. It ain’t quite as bad as growing up black in the Jim Crow South, but rural America for lower class whites looks pretty bad.

The author states her ideology well, but gives reality a pass.

Jay Chase
Jay Chase
2 years ago

Almost every claim made in this article is either misleading or false and much of it is so poorly thought out it’s hard to believe this was published outside of Daily Kos or Huffpost. This article proves that many of the woke aren’t capable of grasping the ideas they’re attempting to critique.
She claims women only entered the workforce in the 70s due to inflation, absolute nonsense. See Liz Warren’s Two-Income Trap and Michael Lind’s writings on the managerial elite. De-industrialization, off-shoring, low-skill mass immigration and union-busting were well underway by that point. They hit the inner-cities first, which is why black masculinity cratered earlier.
She claims globalization and the race to the bottom can’t be stopped and isn’t worth considering. This is absurd, but she doesn’t care because she and her status-obsessed friends aren’t interested in manual labor. Plenty of countries have retained well-paid high-tech manufacturing, but the fact that woke California imports train-cars, wind turbines and medical devices from China isn’t a problem because she personally just doesn’t care, while the state’s poor toil in useless dead-end jobs behind the counter or subsist on welfare.
Her statement about the military, the mid-east wars and the Republican party of 20 years ago is so confused and removed from reality it’s difficult to respond to. Ron Paul, Bernie Sanders and Trump and were the most popular politicians among the enlisted in decades in part because they opposed those wars. To suggest that soldiers want endless wars is absurd and linking mid-east wars to the masculine virtues taught in the military is moronic.
I could go on, but this is a real low for this website, she simply isn’t intelligent or rational enough to be writing for the public in my opinion.

Jim le Messurier
Jim le Messurier
2 years ago

I think this article was intended for Teen Vogue but ended up here by mistake. Lamentable, reductive fare.
Basically, the ideas are: Men are in a state of collapse. It’s the fault of the ‘Right’. The ‘Right’ has ‘manipulated’ the unsuspecting lummoxes into thinking they can solve their problems by fighting or body-building. They’re so dumb they can’t see that they are being exploited for ‘oil’ in these foreign adventures which are causing them to come back home traumatized. Poor dears.
According to this writer, the current state of masculine dysfunction is in no way connected to the fact that generations of women have been fed an unremitting ‘patriarchy’ narrative that defines the society which has done so much for women, as little more than a tyrannical hierarchy created for the sole purpose of aggrandizing men’s opportunities and possibilities at the expense of women. This view has been ingrained to such an extent that it is now considered a ‘given’. Yet its adherents never manage to explain why a ‘patriarchy’ so committed to maintaining its power over women would labour so tirelessly to produce, in a little over a hundred years, all of the technological advances that liberated women in ways that their own grandmothers could not have imagined.
The ideology that relies upon the tenet that we live in a ‘patriarchy’ is one of far-reaching toxicity.
Women don’t need ’empowerment’, they need to realize that men and women together constitute the whole human story, and always have done. They must love and support each other in the realization that they are ‘cut from the same cloth’ i.e. humanity, albeit with differences – and these differences are to be cherished, not denied, or somehow (impossibly) done away with.

David Batlle
David Batlle
2 years ago

“ Men should be allowed to set aside the burden of ruling the world, for the sake of everyone.”

.000000001 percent of men rule the world. The rest just make sure it doesn’t fall apart.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

This article misses an important point, which is that the classical attributes of masculinity: strength, dependability, stoicism, courage, protectiveness and resourcefulness – these things are still virtues. Society in general and families in particular must include a healthy dose of people with these attributes.

Now while I’m no feminist, I do think there is one social advancement that feminism can claim in the position that women can and should live by such virtues too. I agree, they both can and should. But that isn’t the only thing that’s happening, because those virtues are just as likely to be despised for being masculine as much as gender-democratised in such a positive manner.

There is one exception though: stoicism isn’t something that women are keen on (and most men too, these days), and it has of course become something more likely to result in accusations of emotional repression than to be admired these days, and I must state here that I think this is a terrible shame. I am not persuaded that the modern fashion for what I can’t help seeing as emotional incontinence is a good thing – in particular I cannot abide that it’s now expected for public figures to indulge in moments of tearfulness as a means of demonstrating their fragility and emotional depth. This is all very silly: we need people capable of remaining calm and level-headed during times of crisis and pressure, and for people in positions of importance and responsibility to be able to remain dispassionate and functional even during times of personal tragedy etc.

This is stoicism, and the only thing that ought to have changed is the chauvinist view that only men are expected to display it. The problem is instead that it’s out of fashion entirely, and we’re all the worse for it.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Riordan
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
AN
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
2 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Great response. All the “talking about one’s feelings” therapy claptrap is designed to weaken both men and women and make them neurotic narcissists. Weak people are much easier to divide and control. I’m a woman and I can’t stand all this sentimental claptrap. And actually the more I “talked about my feelings” in the past, the weaker I became. Now I have no need for this nonsense,: more exercise, courage in the face of challenges and regular attendance at mass etc replaced all the feelings bullshit some years ago and I have never looked back.

AC Harper
AC Harper
2 years ago

I feel a generalised quadrant coming on…
Vertical axis, two labels ‘Poor’ and ‘Elite’.
Horizontal axis, two labels ‘Woman Ascendant’ and ‘Man Ascendant’
So…
If you are poor you are more likely to find good status women and poor status men.
If you are elite you are more likely to find good status men and poor status women.
Which explains, perhaps, why women can still bang on about men having all the power (i.e. the Elite) yet little care is extended to low status men (i.e. the Poor).

Alan B
AB
Alan B
2 years ago

It’s as if the writer fell asleep in the 1990s and just woke up.

Ed
Ed
2 years ago

Why is the left so obsessed with femininity?

Aidan Trimble
AT
Aidan Trimble
2 years ago

‘It’s happened because we’ve seen through propaganda, and have stopped believing that young men should die because the Republican party created illegitimate allegations of atrocity and invaded a nation under false pretences.’

I’m starting think I must be wrong in remembering that the Democrats have also dragged the U.S. into their fair share of conflicts. Of all the other things that jarred in this article, this seemed the most laboured.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
2 years ago
Reply to  Aidan Trimble

Exactly. Like most writers on the Left, especially the female ones, Jessa is trapped within the partisan group think paradigm, and totally misses the broader cultural and philosophical issues. Hawley, Cotton, Cranshaw, Manchin are competent, independently minded men, and therefore a threat to the chaotic group think of the Feminarchy.

David Batlle
David Batlle
2 years ago

“Why the Right is obsessed with Masculinity”

Why the Left is Obsessed with “Toxic masculinity.”

There, fixed it for you.

Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
2 years ago

People in my town saw women and gays demanding the right to organise their own families in the ways they saw fit, and interpreted it as a threat to the integrity of their families.

I don’t like that sentence. It leaves me with too many unanswered questions. So you’re saying that people in a town in Kansas caught a good glimpse of some women and gays. Okay, easy enough. And…the women and gays were demanding the right to organize. Cool. I’m following. The Kansas Federation of Women and Gays. So far so good. But wait, they want to organize their own families? Do you mean they want to take the individual members of their families and organize them like documents or tea cups (e.g. coordinate them according to color, size, age, volume)? Or do you mean they want to take all of the individual family units of women and gays and organize those like documents or tea cups?

Last edited 2 years ago by Mikey Mike
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago

Perhaps she should change the men she associates with;birds of a feather flock together. The picture of the body builder is to a certain extent the pursuit of an impractical torso.
Historically   Britain and the Commonwealth has produced very many tough, competent and modest men; from farmers, doctors and other professionals, those involved in heavy industry and fishing who boxed, rowed played rugby and cricket  and those who join elite military units where if they mention what they do  or carry out any unseemly action will result in immediate Return to Unit. The All Blacks are incredibly tough, modest and have often been very competent farmers; Sir Colin Meads for example.
The   author is an American who shows no evidence of working with competent tough  modest men   and is probably influenced by Latin American male   machismo, a very brittle attribute. Bragging has been far more common in the USA, a country where understatement and self mockery are very rare. Unfortunately, the UK has caught the USA habit of blowing one’s own trumpet and understatement is becoming more  rarer by the day.
The problem for America is that the verbal aggression and boasting which used to be  confined to the rougher parts of New York, other inner cities and Hollywood, appears to have become endemic. It would appear the less people have achieved, the more they have to boast. David Niven and Corran Purdon ( Commando Officers in WW2 )  were  example of  gentlemen who was extremely tough, competent,  yet possessed a self deprecating humour ; qualities which used to be  common in Britain  but were are in the USA and becoming rarer by the day both in the UK and USA?

Malvin Marombedza
Malvin Marombedza
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Perhaps it is a result of the increasing tilt towards narcissism. After all, aren’t we all expected to be in tune with our inner selves?

Bernard Hill
BH
Bernard Hill
2 years ago

…so many words, so little understanding.

Lord Rochester
LR
Lord Rochester
2 years ago

So, in summary:

“A feminist and a gay man walk into a bar full of straight, white men.
The straight, white bartender says, ‘What are you having?’
The feminist ignores him and says to her friend, ‘What’s the problem with straight, white men?’
A straight, white man drinking at the bar says, ‘I can help you with that.’
They pair ignore him and leave the bar having agreed that the problem with straight, white men is that they are straight, white men (and the political Right).”

I knew the punchline to this joke when they walked into the bar.

Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
2 years ago

“You can always do one more rep at the gym, .”.
My god
As though encouraging people to push themselves physically is a bad thing..
More nonsense from Crispin. I’m quite annoyed that unherd publish anti intellectual crap like this, which reads like it was written by a 19 year old student of gender studies
Honestly get the woman a sewing machine or a set of knitting needles

She is too stupid to realise that the decades long assault on masculinity is the causal factor in all the ills she list- addiction, violence etc.

That said, men do in fact need to man up and resist the assault on them, and stop blaming it for falling into adduction and other harmful behaviours.

Men should be stoic, strong and full of courage. All this feminised “talking about your feelings” crap is designed to weaken men, and women for that matter.

I love Jordan Peterson. He’s great and provides guidance to both men and women.

Why can’t unherd ask someone like Anna Khaciyan of the red scare podcast to write a column for them, instead of subjecting unherd subscribers to this crap.

Last edited 2 years ago by Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
2 years ago

“That said, men do in fact need to man up and resist the assault on them, and stop blaming it for falling into adduction and other harmful behaviours.”

The assault is hard to resist because it employs the law as a stick to beat people with. And the law always pursues the single person, who is for that reason less able to defend him/herself. The insurgent woke are very aware of this.
Using the law as a weapon skirts round democratic argument via politics.

Last edited 2 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

In all historical and popular literature, when men become like women, bad things start to happen.
How Civilizations Fall

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Wow! That’s some link

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

The problem is the people who most need to read it will dismiss it out of hand because they already dislike the author on ‘political’ grounds.

David George
DG
David George
2 years ago

We, most of us, live in times of peace so the masculine protector role is not highly valued. Things change though, war comes and for some, those living in violent, dangerous neighbourhoods, the strong, courageous, dependable, provider and protector masculine ideal is highly valued. Little Soyboy McSnowflake not so much.
Women still have an instinctive desire for the masculine ideal and will lay challenges for their men to prove it – read up on the white feather movement; the first world war women and their mobbing of men not seen to be fighting. Fighting for them?

Lee Jones
L
Lee Jones
2 years ago

Is this not a just a rehash of the bad essay that every lazy student wrote in the 1st term of university (usually copied from someone else’s)?

John Croteau
John Croteau
2 years ago

Talk about tone deaf! A female, no less a feminist, lecturing men about what should make them feel valued and rewarded. This isn’t a Right vs. Left issue (remember Tomi Lauren?). It’s about evolutionary biology — SCIENCE. Men will readily expend themselves in providing for and protecting females in the herd — whatever their social status. They find reward in that. Instead, feminists on both sides of the isle denigrate biologically male traits as bad or evil from a very young age. Then they wonder why young men are lonely and depressed. Let folks like Jordan Peterson rejuvenate the men and Suzanne Venker reorient women so they can regain the harmony that homo sapiens enjoyed for millennia. Let’s talk in 10 years and see who’s been happy and who’s been miserable.

Sean Penley
SP
Sean Penley
2 years ago

Ah yes, painkiller deaths are up because of Purdue’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin. I remember seeing an advertisement for that just the other never. It’s a prescription drug with some severe restrictions on how it’s supposed to be given out. People getting them outside of those conditions are actively seeking them, and often from illicit sources–the company may have been encouraging pharmacists and doctors to be free with giving them out, but that was not creating the demand, just illegally supplying it. And I bet those seeking painkillers are not worried about the trendy name brands like a high school girl shopping for clothes, they just want that high. God knows I’ve loved every kind of prescription painkiller I’ve ever been given, and I’ve always wished I had more when the prescription ran out, and ‘codeine’ is the only name I ever knew any of them by.
She is not only getting cause and effect backwards, she is doing it in a situation where it’s almost impossible to figure out how you could manage that.

Last edited 2 years ago by Sean Penley
Dawn McD
Dawn McD
2 years ago

I’m not going to bother scrolling back up to see the writer’s name. I can almost picture her sneering and rolling her eyes every time she typed “masculinity.” This entire piece is unconvincing and unfortunately exactly the kind of horse puckey I used to believe before I finally got old enough to know better (it took way too long, for which I apologize). Just to pick out one bit of dreck: if she thinks Jordan Peterson is a “self-help guru,” she doesn’t know anything about Jordan Peterson.

Cathy Carron
CC
Cathy Carron
2 years ago

If so, then why is The Left obsessed with Feminism and all that ovulates? How did we get so off balance, that some folks on the Right are asking for a reordering? Perhaps is it the decline in male attendance in higher education or maybe the their overall failure rates across the grades? Do you think that disparaging all the good traits of masculinity has done it? For sure, it’s hilarious to read of young women having a hard time connecting with marriageable men; do you really think men want to marry ungrateful, critical and just plain mean women?

Last edited 2 years ago by Cathy Carron
Will Cummings
Will Cummings
2 years ago

God lay dead in heaven;
Angels sang the hymn of the end;
Purple winds went moaning,
Their wings drip-dripping
With blood
That fell upon the earth.
It, groaning thing,
Turned black and sank.
Then from the far caverns
Of dead sins
Came monsters, livid with desire.
They fought,
Wrangled over the world,
A morsel.
But of all sadness this was sad –
A woman’s arms tried to shield
The head of a sleeping man
From the jaws of the final beast.

~ Stephen Crane

Last edited 2 years ago by Will Cummings
William Shaw
William Shaw
2 years ago

Women such as this writer are only concerned about men because their actions and lifestyle no longer benefit women. Too bad.

Last edited 2 years ago by William Shaw
Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

Why do I increasingly get the feeling on visiting this site, that I’m entering enemy territory?

Arnold Grutt
AG
Arnold Grutt
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

“Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.” (John O’Sullivan).

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago

Why the left is obsessed with femininity?