Toxic Masculinity: Dude, where are my emotions?

Mystic Knights of Tír na nÓg action figures?


You mean at the beginning of the first video? I think that was Harry Potter…

But now I wish this was real! Action figures based on various mythologies!


Its a thing!


Oh! I was half listening and missed that… I kind of want them now!

Wow! Just… Wow!


And, I haven’t watched the videos @Mindysan33 posted yet, but for people like Tucker (and so many of us, tbh) I have a hard time sometimes separating out the ‘privilege’ part of the equation.
I don’t think it needs its own thread, and don’t want to derail this one, but there’s this whole subset of toxicity that overlaps the ‘masculinity’ tag, but could as easily be labeled ‘white privilege’ or ‘class’ toxicity.


Cross-posting, because Beau describes the attitude of the men who want this:


And here we are, part two:

As always, the detail is in the audio podcast. The transcript tries, but it’s usually lacking a little.


The state GOP has been building up to endorsing political violence and allying with militias for some time. One of my favorite undergraduate students ever once worked for a GOP Michigan state legislator. That entitled him to attend the state GOP convention (around 2010). He told me in 2021 that GOP delegates were talking political violence even back then. (He quit the GOP once he saw how this discourse was normalized within official ranks.)

What does all this have to do with misogyny? Well, at the May 2020 armed Capitol protest, a man brought an ax along with a naked Barbie doll hanging from a noose, which he said was Gov. Whitmer. I don’t think he would have brought a naked Ken doll hanging from a noose had the Democratic governor been a man. State Senator Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) complained that the Governor had emasculated them in refusing to back down over pandemic health measures (a complaint he would repeat). Shirkey called Whitmer “batshit crazy,” contemplated engaging her in a “fistfight” on the Capitol lawn, and boasted that the GOP-led state legislature had “spanked” her in retaliation by blocking her appointments.

These violent representations expose a certain fragility of masculine status that is worth considering in light of Kate Manne’s account of misogyny as essentially about policing women who stray from servile positions in relation to men. The dominant theme of Manne’s account is that men demand superior sympathy to women (“himpathy”), and caring labor from them. Misogyny amounts to policing and punishing women who stray from servile, caring roles. That’s certainly a key feature of misogyny. Yet the content of the GOP men’s grievances noted above is not just that Whitmer has strayed from her proper feminine position of caring subordination. It’s that, in being such a strong leader, she has put them not just in a subordinate position (of which there are many types), but in a specifically feminine position. (See Manne’s discussion of a similar case on pp. 182-3.) Their grievance is not that they failed to get more sympathy and care from Whitmer, but that they were denied the superior respect that they think Whitmer, as a woman, owed them.

This is the kind of masculinity whereby men can express and secure their own status as objects of respect only by putting women down. It’s not independent of the ways men jockey for position among themselves. Much male-on-male bullying amounts to putting men in a symbolically feminine position (as I have argued was the case in Oncale v. Sundowner, which the Supreme Court got right in its ruling but not in its reasoning). Some men can accept such defeats at the hands of men they view as uber-masculine, but are enraged when they suffer any defeat by a woman, or by someone they view as effeminate (e.g., a gay man). They may be able to accept defeat “like a man” when a man delivers it, but that is practically conceptually impossible for them if a woman delivers it. There is a short path from there to the resort to physical or symbolic violence against “emasculating” women, as the clearest route to restoring one’s masculine status as entitled to superior respect.

Explanations of the rise of populist authoritarian politics in the U.S. often focus on fear: of immigrants, Muslims, Blacks, BLM protesters, Antifa, etc. That’s one factor. But another one, I suspect, is the desire to be feared. For some men, being feared feels like the best route to getting respect–especially if one feels aggrieved for having lost it.


The messaging around Father’s Day has long bothered me. I have trouble finding a good card because they are all either religious, which lean hard into that emotional rock thing, or about very stereotypically masculine pursuits. Grilling, sportsball, hunting, weights, etc. What about that dads who are great because they are emotionally available to their children? Because they are kind and compassionate? Because they don’t let some out date and toxic idea of masculinity get in the way of being the dad their kid needs?

I haven’t read this guy’s book, but based on the interview he might have some good things to say.

I eventually found a card with a bunch of silly food metaphors. It works, he’s the cook at our house. Next year I need to be more organized and make him a card.



Thanks for the link, I love the advice there.


You must stop drinking water.


Fear-mongering idiots.

I mean, i do worry about unwanted substances in tap water (and I’ve recently added microplastics to that worry list), but testosterone reducers? What a pair of man babies.


The kernel of truth is that there actually are estrogen mimics in drinking water, at varying concentrations. Water purification facilities were never designed to remove these kinds of things. They were primarily about avoiding infectious outbreaks, and do that pretty well. This was not part of the plan. It’s a problem.



Excited Oh My God GIF

But also, oh shit.


Yeah, this is the kind of shit the fascists will make all kinds of noise about, but utterly refuse to consider anything that would actually help the situation. Like, you know, clean water standards, improved sanitation, better drinking water systems, and so on. Nope, better to just curse the darkness.


If I’d accepted all that lobbying money then I could just keep on using bottled water and ignoring it.

That is, apparently, how a “healthy democracy” works.


To be fair, as long as you stay just a bit south of the 60th parallel north, the darkness will go away after cursing for just under 19 hours straight, tops.


Dancing With The Stars GIF


If only the Founders knew about low T.