Toxic masculinity and all my rowdy friends

Certainly, you’ve heard of the new American Psychological Association’s Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men   It tackles the harmful effects of “traditional masculinity.”  Timeout.  Please define traditional masculinity.  Today we have 10-year-old drag kidsExamine the consequences of fatherless homes.  Yet, being a man and fulfilling the traditional role of father, provider, protector is somehow harmful.  Yet, in the name of inclusivity and embracing the world we confuse and likely harm for life pre-pubescent children.  I don’t know what the APA has to say about that.

Now.  Now! The company that makes the shaving products I’ve used since the first time I butchered my face with Dad’s double-edged Gillette tells me I need to shave away my toxic masculinity.  Here’s a news blast.  Not every man is Harvey Weinstein.  Not every man wants to harass or rape a woman.  Not every man is a bully.  Actually, most are the exact opposite.  Most men unconsciously adhere to a moral code.  Most men are not the Hollywood version of brutes and perverts.  C. S. Lewis summed it up quite eloquently: “The man without a moral code, like the animal, is free from moral problems.”

Do I need to replace my shaving soap encrusted razor?  Maybe I need to lose the shaving soap mug and brush altogether.  It is one of the few joys of shaving and evidence of my backward ways.  Maybe I’ll wax my chest and get some eyeliner?  I shower every day.  I do not cuss in the presence of ladies unless it’s return fire.  I already run things around the house.  The vacuum, dishwasher…  How much more do I need to give?  Skinny jeans?  Do you really want wussified, make up wearing, manicured, perfumed…? Oh, I know.  Back in the bra burning hay day Gloria Steinem declared, speaking for all women I presume: “We are becoming the men we wanted to marry.”  She was trying to turn women into men so maybe today’s more enlightened seek the opposite.

Suzie-Q pointed toward the Rocket.  Of the multiples in our house, the Rocket is my favorite vacuum cleaner.  Maybe it’s the name.  Unlike Gillette, it’s one of those toxic masculine names.  She then pointed toward the bunker.  Like a good Soldier unquestioning, I fully understood Household 6’s intent.  I secured the Rocket and moved out smartly.  Well, as smartly as my knees allow these days.  Making my way down below ground I experienced a little seasoned citizen attention deficit disorder.  In laymen terms we call it the hereafter disease.  That’s where you wander into a room, look around, and ask yourself, “What am I here after?” During my momentary distraction, I turned on the amplifier, opened up the media player and looked at my music selections.  I lost control of my remote-control thumb as it forced me to select Hank Williams Jr.’s, Born to Boogie. “Well my name is Bocephus I drink whiskey by the gallon and I never back down and I love a good challenge.”  While Bocephus filled the room with toxic masculinity, the subwoofer was thumping and I was boogieing, mentally rather than physically, when HH6 peered around the corner and reminded me of my mission.  I cranked up the volume another notch or two and boogied over to the Rocket.  By the time Hank was Buck Naked I was still fully attired and the mission was completed.  Well, back to Beethoven.  It’s hard to concentrate on anything else or nap in the recliner when Hank is thumping in the background.

I know people who quit watching Monday Night Football when ESPN fired Hank.  Do you recall why he was fired?  He compared Obama to Hitler when he said that Speaker John Boehner playing golf with President Obama would be like Netanyahu playing golf with Hitler.  The liberal media world was aghast.  Hank was now in the company of the Rodeo Clown who had the audacity to wear an Obama mask.  For his comment, ESPN fired the Monday Night Football icon.  If that’s the standard, most of the people on television these days should be jobless.  Which, by the way, is not such a bad idea itself.  That is firing most of the people on television.  ESPN replaced Hank with successive female singers, Faith Hill and Carry Underwood.  Both amazing singers.  Who could not listen to Carry Underwood sing How Great Thou Art, repeatedly. It’ll put a tear in your eye.  Even a Clint Eastwood’s squinting masculine eye.  For as good at they are their efforts just didn’t speak football – at least not to me.

Six years after they fired him, amid abandoning sports talk for political commentary, dwindling ESPN ratings and subscribers jumping ship, they brought him back.  Capitalism.  Political correctness defeated by the bottom line and toxic masculinity?  Nope.  The new tune is depressing.  Hank is an afterthought bellowing out his signature, “Are you ready for some football?”  Sadly, it turns into a menagerie of artists covering for Hank and trying to connect with someone or group, I suppose.  You cannot improve Fur Elise.  ESPN’s attempt to improve the original theme does not excite me to watch a game and invite all my rowdy friends to join me.  I’m sorry Bocephus, but in my toxic masculinity tainted dinosaur-esque world view it flopped.  I hope they paid you well.

I am not ready to declare that Hank was fired because his presentation only appealed to the masculine side, but whose to say.  It was however a horrible business decision and obviously more women did not start watching football because they fired Hank.

Just one more thought.  Did you watch the death of the Star Wars franchise, also known at The Last Jedi?  Here’s the plot.  Every heroic act and every decision were made by a woman, even the one who used the force to fly through the vacuum of space.  The only bumbling fool was a man painted as the gunfighting idiot who nearly got everyone destroyed.  And Luke? A defeated washed up old has been whose successor is a woman.  Maybe Steinem had it right.  In my life, I’ve known and served with many smart, strong women who were also excellent leaders of Soldiers.  There was mutual respect.  In real life, Luke Skywalker, A.K.A. Mark Hammill believes it’s time to “let women take charge completely.”  I’m thinking Mark had some input into the script.

God made men.  God made women.  Each with a natural purpose. God provided us a moral code.  In our enlightened times, we’ve abandoned traditional roles and we’ve largely abandoned His higher moral authority.  The result of that is razor blade companies trying to define men and Mothers turning their little boys into drag queens.  Sodom ain’t got nothing on us.  “Well my name is Bocephus I drink whiskey by the gallon and I never back down and I love a good challenge.” 

© 2019 J. D. Pendry  J. D. Pendry’s American Journal