Travis Arnold is providing our first guest post.
I bet if you did some in-depth research, you would discover that across every iteration of society since humans began socializing, the question has been asked. What is a real man? Who can honestly qualify such an idea? What definition or parameters are used? In the end, the ridiculous nature of such fanciful thoughts lead only to a demeaning commentary on a man’s masculinity. I do suppose that there has been an eternal standard for what makes a man masculine. Features that a person possesses that have always been traditional benchmarks for manhood. But, how far passed our ancestral trials of manhood have we evolved? In modernized culture, we no longer have to kill a lion with our teeth and wear its skull as a codpiece. For the most part, western culture has moved beyond these tests of manhood. But, still, there seem to be marks of what manhood is supposed to be. Depending on who you ask will determine your answer. If you ask the average woman today what makes a real man, they are liable to say it’s a man who isn’t afraid of feeling, or is in touch with his feminine side, or doesn’t care about physical beauty and only sees personality. If you ask a guy today what makes a real man, he might say it’s a guy with a beard who is physically strong and drinks a certain type of booze or eats meat a certain way. Basically, the spectrum of opinions on this question is broad and varying.
There does seem to be a very vocal group of individuals in the west who are determined to define manhood in the 21st century. I will insert a disclaimer here that these opinions do not represent every woman who defines herself as a feminist, but sadly the average woman’s voice seems to be drowned out by the caterwauling of the extreme third wave feminist movement. This group seems to be dedicated to the eradication of all things masculine. The most basic mannerisms of the male side of the species are the target of their crusade. Somehow in an endless display of mental gymnastics, these harpies developed the term “Toxic Masculinity.” It’s a term that encompasses many natural tendencies of simply being male. Ranging from having a competitive nature, to a sophomoric sense of humor. Sally Kohn wrote in a CNN op-ed piece on November 10, 2017 that the definition of manhood needs to be changed. According to her, the cascade of sexual assault allegations filling the news feed are a result of our society's glorification of dominant male behavior. Is it more likely that these men in question are borderline sociopaths, or that being a successful man automatically gives one a sense of entitlement to the bodies of those in a lower position than them? If you ask the crowd that seems to perpetually live in victimhood they would say the latter. This entire mentality that you are not more successful than another person because you fit into a certain demographic has become absurd. Identity politics paint everyone into a neat little box that they have to defend from the other boxes. Perhaps it’s easier to think that you’re stuck in a certain spot in your career or life because of who or what you are, versus realizing your level of work or experience does not yet justify advancement. While these attitudes do not solely come from the feminist movement, it is a staple of their complaints. In all actuality the definition of what a man should be, coming from these critics, is an attempt to write the script of masculinity on their terms. Noah Berlatsky throws his hat into the male defeatist ring writing a piece on Father’s Day for nbcnews.com. He claims that men need more feminism to defeat toxic masculinity, and that gender norms are counterproductive. Think about that for a second, the opinion of the left is that denying and changing the very nature of our kind is the only way to save men.