Why do all these feminist/lib/nazi types look as if they were cast from the same dykish mold?
They share that incorrigible Jaw, those smirking eyebrows and the manly coiffure that screams at you, “penis, retract immediately!”
And there is nothing as annoying as when these creatures of androgyny go that extra unnecessary yard in order to dish out egregious amounts of sanctimonious gender moralizing, such as that witnessed in Sally Kohn’s CNN condemnation of loosely defined concepts of “men.” ‘Tis the Age of Weinstein, and women and male white knights pretty much have executive clearance when it comes to castigation of masculinity, and by extension, men. Some people, like Kohn, extrapolate abnormal and exaggerated sexual behaviors on the part of high-profile men as blanket condemnations of manhood in general. Condemning male sexuality today is as challenging as shooting fish in a barrel.
Kohn proceeds to inform us
It’s important to understand that the common denominator in the allegations about Louis C.K., Roy Moore, Spacey and Weinstein (who has denied the allegations) and all the other Hollywood and media and political figures accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment isn’t sexuality, or even sex, but toxic masculinity.
“Toxic masculinity” is a catchy phrase that captures the zeitgeist of our Spacey-ian era but such monikers present a danger in that they offer ambiguous concepts that, eluding clear definition, are left to humans to construe and when a large portion of said group left to construe is guilty of the most intense bouts of solipsism (ahem), the definition broadens horrifically in incremental doses of bloat; eventually the definition becomes amorphous and distended. Soon many people find themselves swallowed up by the expanding definition even if they do not deserve to be defined thus. “Toxic masculinity” is one such phrase. Appealing as a concept, it has no clear boundaries of conception. In other words, WTF is toxic masculinity anyhow?
Don’t worry. “Ms.” Kohn has that covered.
Writer Amanda Marcotte defines toxic masculinity as “a specific model of manhood, geared toward dominance and control. It’s a manhood that views women and LGBT people as inferior, sees sex as an act not of affection but domination, and which valorizes violence as the way to prove one’s self to the world.” We are talking here about a strain of behavior, found in some men — and, as we’re learning more and more, shockingly too many — but of course not all.
Essentially, entertaining a clinical delineation of the evolutionary dictates of gender roles makes you a “toxic man.” The kind of toxic masculinity Kohn condemns is found throughout the animal kingdom. I doubt the lion gives much thought to the proper modern role of today’s male, much less the possibility such utilitarian, survival-based behavior subjugates the females of all species. Kohn is telling us that all masculinity is toxic. Every ounce of it. The only masculine behavior she condones is the neutralized, feminized simpering type that beaten down men now display behind their fluttering eyelashes and timid, beating hearts. To be any other kind of man unashamed of his power is to be toxic.
Or, as Kohn self-righteously moos,
I don’t mean, here, to attack men — or masculinity for that matter. Indeed, men — good men — suffer under toxic masculinity too, from the strict roles and constricting norms they’re expected to fulfill, to the violence in society that toxic masculinity perpetuates and would have them be party to. As actor Justin Baldoni has written, “I believe that men are ready to redefine what it means to be a man today, and that the old ‘toxic’ masculinity isn’t working for anyone.”
He is right. And men — men wanting a different way forward — are necessarily part of the solution. Too often men and women have sat silent, or even been complicit in this crisis.
Kohn praises Baldoni (archetypal pretty boy quasi homo) not for his transparent criticism of what is wrong with “masculinity,” but because he deferred to the broadly oblique use of the term “toxic.” The greater the term falls into favor and use, the greater its perversion and distortion with the aims of pathologizing all masculinity can happen.