The phrase “toxic masculinity” has gained a lot of traction amongst the feminist set, which is pretty ironic when you consider the fact that feminism has devolved into women just trying to be men, but generally sucking at it. The fact that it’s controversial to even point out that men and women are different shows how delusional our discourse has gotten. Rather than celebrating the many amazing things women can do that men can’t, and acknowledging that men and women are complementary, not in direct opposition, the new wave feminists seem awfully concerned with shredding the very thing they’re pushing young girls to emulate. Girls can do anything boys can!
In theory, this is true, but, as one example, the number of women with the ability to pass the non-re-formatted physical strength and endurance tests of the Marines and other military branches was, and is, quite low. In January 2016, the Obama administration opened all military jobs to women, and established separate, lower criteria for women to pass the Initial Strength Test required to become a Marine. If they could pass on the original standard set for everyone, then I would say go for it. The problem is, ideologues get involved, as they inevitably do in every facet of our lives these days, and the sad truth is that by ramming through a particular “inclusive” agenda in the armed forces, our fighting capacity, and by extension our national safety, is severely compromised. In test runs with the new, lowered Physical Fitness Testing standards, Marine units with the newly-eligible women had casualty rates six times those of units without, mostly attributable to the women’s lack of the upper body strength necessary to drag their wounded fellow soldiers to shelter.
Basic, observable truths that have been practiced by humans for at least a quarter of a million years (or however long we’ve been around) are somehow “social constructs,” as if every society in human history has had some male cabal that’s conspired to keep women shackled and stuck rearing children. On average, women are half as strong as men in terms of upper body strength, and two-thirds as strong as men in terms of lower body strength. This might have something to do with these “problematic” hormones called estrogen and testosterone, the latter responsible for muscular hypertrophy, hence the disparity of muscular density and strength between men and women. The relative levels of these hormones also explain differences in disposition and mental and emotional makeup between the sexes. At the moment of conception, a child’s sex is determined. This is based on these pesky nucleic acids called “genes,” which contain (obviously) the child’s genetic material. It is also at this time that the Patriarchy intervenes or something, but I need to double-check my Judith Butler to make sure I’ve got that right. This may be why more males than females prefer to be involved in STEM, or become mechanics, or soldiers.
The Left believes we are born blank slates, tabula rasa, and if we could just get the right social conditions, we can engineer the perfect racially mocha-colored, harmonious utopia (like Brazil!). I’m not discounting nurture by any means, but most of an individual’s predilections and disposition is determined by their genes. Ability is almost solely the province of genetics, though a certain environment can enhance one’s likelihood of pursuing particular activities or careers. I’ve no doubt Stephen Curry could’ve been a classically-trained pianist (he does actually play), but with sharp-shooting NBA veteran Dell Curry for a father and a former professional volleyball player for a mother, not only were the athletic genes there, so too was his father’s expertise and the explicit option to pursue basketball. I put the nature versus nurture percentage at around 80-20 in favor of nature, though again, nurture certainly plays a vital role in the realization of your genetic potential, and there are other external factors as well.
The demise of the nuclear family is the central factor in the disrupted development patterns of children, young men in particular, and the single greatest guarantor of inter-generational poverty is a single-parent household, which is typically just the mother. Without fathers in sons’ lives, many young men are left wanting for a strong male role model and often become involved in criminal behavior from a young age. Meanwhile, due to key differences in the ways males and females develop, young boys are pumped full of Ritalin because of an “inability” to sit still for large amounts of time, and the basic structure of education from kindergarten to college is aligned against them. If even HuffPo and a slew of academic journals all agree that there is a uniform disparity in grades in favor of the fairer sex starting in elementary school, largely attributable to behavioral factors, it’s quite clear boys are behind the eight ball from “go.”
The anti-male bias never seems to relent, either, especially on college campuses. UC Riverside is considering a mandatory gender studies program, Princeton University’s hired a Men’s Engagement Manager to “challenge gender stereotypes” and work against “aggressive masculinity” on campus, and Vanderbilt University’s Healthy Masculinities Week featured a speaker who criticized action movie stars and athletes for having “progressively larger” physiques. University of North Carolina professors Sara Smith and Banu Gokariksel stated in a recent issue of the Journal of Feminist Geography (that one’s so preposterous I don’t even need to make a joke about it) that the election of Donald Trump signaled a return to an emphasis on “masculinist state institutions” and diminished “feminized state institutions that are associated with care, well-being, and education of the population.” Aside from actually reinforcing gender stereotypes vis-à-vis this “analysis,” the two professors have badly missed the mark on about every level; tellingly, they’re looking for the silver bullet that would implicate society for all of its sexism and misogyny, neatly packaged with a little bow on top. The numbers tell a different story, however.
Women earn 60% of Bachelor’s degrees, 60% of Master’s degrees, and 52% of PhDs. In 147 of the 150 largest metropolitan areas of the United States, single women under thirty out-earn the men in their peer group. The steady drum-beat of systemic oppression against women in this country is simply not true, and in fields that are traditionally male-dominated, the push to hire more women is accelerating their advancement, a kind of gendered affirmative action. There’s no question that the push for equal rights for women has been a net positive both for women and for society, but we need to be wary of the policies that are actually disadvantaging men based on the faulty premise that we need to correct for the inherent societal discrimination against women. There are no rights men have that women do not in this country, and feminists would do well to stop trying to ram equity of outcome down everyone’s throats and vilifying women who choose a more traditional path of child-rearing and home-making. The whole point of women’s lib was so that women could have the choice to pursue a career, stay at home, or work part-time or at a less demanding job to still be primarily focused on the raising of a family. Choosing to give and nurture life is not “selling out,” it’s a beautiful and selfless decision; not every woman, in fact most women, do not want to be CEOs or generals. I would suggest feminists’ energies be better spent on the real threats to women, like Islam.