On “toxic” masculinity

"Toxic" Masculinity

Someone commented on this, which came across my news-feed this morning, as follows:

“Of course children growing up without a parent will be psychologically damaged, but masculinity can still be harmful in several circumstances. Having an abusive father hurts as well.”

True, but completely missing the point (and see below, on “masculinity”). As another person responded to this individual,

Of course children growing up without a parent will be psychologically damaged, but femininity can still be harmful in several circumstances. Having an abusive mother hurts as well.

Now, I would not say that “femininity” can be harmful; rather – as in the case of men – a breakdown of proper femininity on the part of women can be harmful. Many women abuse their children, but no one speaks of “toxic femininity,” nor should they. But the current “third-wave” manifestation of feminism – antagonistic toward men, pushing children toward gender confusion – can be very harmful!

At any rate, I responded:

It’s interesting that folks on the Left can throw around terms like “toxic masculinity” as if they expressed self-evident truths, but when we who stand for tradition and conservative values try to defend them, there’s always “but-but-but”!

Of course having an abusive father hurts. But as [another commenter] points out, abuse is not a masculine value: protection is. Abuse is a perversion of masculinity, taking the violence and aggression sometimes needed to defend those we care about, and applying it wrongly. But taking, say, 1960 as a cut-off: while we may be able to point to certain advances since then, mostly for the benefit of certain specific groups, when we look at society as a whole, it’s hard to argue that it has improved in the years since.

In fact, by nearly any metric you want to use – crime (how many mass school shootings between 1900 and 1960? zero! and the few shootings that did occur had specific, personal motives), poverty (including a radical redistribution of wealth upward into fewer and fewer hands – Chesterton and Belloc, where are you?), family health (how many kids are growing up in single-parent homes, now, compared to pre-1960?), community cohesion (look, for instance, at the problems volunteer community organizations, from fire departments to community concerts, are having getting members and support), even mental health (depression is on the rise), and tell me that – or how – we’ve improved, as a society, since “ditching the Patriarchy.”

In 1944, while “the Patriarchy” was still in full swing, 18-year-old young men (how many people would classify 18-year-olds as “men” today?) stormed ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day, and fought off Panzer divisions in the Battle of the Bulge and Banzai charges on Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. Now they can’t even figure out which “gender” they are (nouns have gender, humans have sex!), and need “safe spaces” because they’ve been so traumatized by the sight of a flag. Bah!

Heck yeah, we need more masculinity in our society!


Author: The Anglophilic Anglican

I am an ordained Anglican clergyman, published writer, former op-ed columnist, and experienced outdoor and informal educator. I am also a traditionalist: religiously, philosophically, politically, and socially. I seek to do my bit to promote and restore the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in a world which has too-often lost touch with all three, and to help re-weave the connections between God, Nature, and humankind which our techno-industrial civilization has strained and broken.

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