Archive for August, 2019

“It’s Masculinity to the Rescue”

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Anybody else noticing this about the #MeToo thing? Not about the thing itself; about the quote-unquote “men.”

Harvey Weinstein. Matt Lauer. Garrison Keillor, Kevin Spacey. Al Franken. Woody Allen. Ben Affleck. James Franco. Bill Clinton. Bill Cosby. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Les Moonves. R. Kelly. Louis CK. Bryan Singer. Cuba Gooding Jr. Jeffrey Epstein.

They’re not all complete wimps. Affleck did a great job bulking up as Batman and I’m sure he could bench press more than me on very his worst day. But like all the rest, he doesn’t quite carry himself as a complete man. None of these are exactly cigar-smoking, steak-and-potato-eating men, right? Not a single one among them has built any kind of public profile that’s proudly masculine…a great many in this list have built a profile that is the opposite. The most macho out of the whole lot display their masculinity only in muted tones. A great many, and I mean a GREAT many, as in a bone crushing majority, have been out-and-proud left-wing liberals. More than just liberal; wispy, chestless, slouching, “in touch with my feminine side,” sweater-wearing, Live-With-Regis-And-Whoever-Watching…

Not quite so much lipstick-and-earring-wearing. But they don’t speak in a man’s natural baritone. Lauer, who had a push button to lock the door in his office, is the primary example: Just like any predator in nature’s wild who has survived by scoring his share of good meals, he’s gone on years and years and years putting out this air of “gelded, woke and safe.” Turns out that was two-thirds true.

There is this residual controversy about #MeToo vis a vis does it involve overreach, has it been going too far. It’s the wrong question to ask. The right question to ask is something like “Well what TF does this have to do with masculinity at all?” The profile of the predator has emerged, solidified, crystallized, and anybody who takes the time to inspect can see that the predator is not masculine. It is what we should have expected to see from he very beginning. Manly men don’t do these things.

Instead, the predator has taken the form we should expect the predator to take if he wants to catch prey. He looks more like Alan Alda than John Wayne. Just like the deep sea (female) Anglerfish with the forehead-protruding light lure, they give off all the right vibes of the woke, undeveloped not-quite-male man. So they can draw in the woke, wounded, incomplete women and girls who’ve made up their minds that the real-men are the real problem.

Masculinity is Not for Women to DefineBut when we take the time to look at real-world events and digest for ourselves what really happened, we see they have it perfectly backwards, as wounded-incomplete people often have it:

In every story of bloodshed and mayhem, it’s the same. Tales of selfless male heroism and chivalry emerge in the face of mortal danger.

These are men who rush toward danger, risking their lives and even dying in the noble cause of protecting women and children.
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Call it the chivalry instinct, it is what inspires men to run toward danger to protect the weak.

This is the noble side of masculinity that we once would perpetuate in folklore and stories passed down from father to son about what it means to be a real man.

But in the new era of “toxic masculinity,” young men are taught to ignore their heroic instincts and learn to be weak. They are instructed always to be on guard against the monster within.
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Evolutionary psychologists have found that women instinctively desire a mate who can protect her and their offspring. “Modern women” look for “ancestral cues of a man’s fighting ability,” in the words of a 2017 study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

This is the very masculinity that is being damned as the toxic seed of the patriarchy. Courage and derring-do is the essence of maleness and is what has allowed western civilization to prosper.

This is a deep concept that affects many of our most pressing and attention-grabbing issues, and affects how we think about them: Is strength, in & of itself, sufficiently attached to the process of brutalization that we should call it out as a threat — even in the face of mounting evidence that the real harm is done by the obsequiously weak? Is it right that we associate mass shootings with having a gun, when in order to do so, we have to ignore the millions upon millions of skilled, practiced and dedicated law-abiding gun owners who don’t hurt anybody? Should we associate having a large amount of money, with being responsible for economic injury against those who have much less, when in order to imagine this we have to weave together elaborate fiction about cheating, embezzlement and other shenanigans we haven’t seen take place?

If we answer in the affirmative, we built a society in which no one is allowed to remain the way they are unless they’re either weak and oppressed, or aligning themselves politically with the weak and oppressed — systematically attacking those who have made themselves rugged and strong. Such a society must ultimately nosedive into the dirt, like a lawn dart, because it encourages no ambition in its young except an ambition toward nothingness.

The dirty little truth is that there’s no contradiction here. Young men don’t have to look for ways to build themselves up into good strong men while “be[ing] on guard against the monster within.” It’s more a matter of fixating on the right priorities. Thinking about outcome, ignoring concerns over mannerisms, foibles, “triggering” microaggressions…worry instead about cause and effect, like grown-ups have to do. That’s what a real man does.

And that goes for real women, too.

Do Not Leave Politics Out Of It

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Politics is what’s changed.

I’m seeing so many people with good intentions say something along the lines of “When I was a kid everyone had guns, but nobody shot anybody. So we need to have a calm, rational discussion about what’s changed, and LEAVE POLITICS OUT OF IT.” Oh, I get what they mean and I understand what they’re trying to avoid. Trump haters say it’s all Trump’s fault, Trump’s fans say it’s all the fault of the Left Wing, so nothing gets solved.

So how come when I hear these calm, rational discussions started that way, I tend to tune out, confident that nothing’s going to get solved there, either?

MonstersThese shooters have many things in common with each other, but the one thing that really stands out is isolation. They went to school, they put a little bit of effort into blending in, they learned the hard way that you have to be accepted, acceptance wasn’t coming their way. So rather than self-improve they gradually gave up on the whole process.

Which I did, too. And there was anger over it. But I’m one of the crusty old farts who had access to guns pretty much everywhere, and I never shot anyone. How many my age can say all that? Lots. Probably most of us.

But back in my day, “You are to be shunned” was an experimental thing. Let’s see if we can end racism through social stigma! Bigotry has no place here! Well that was then. Nowadays this is the one tool in the box. Look around, it is for the most part the only way anybody argues anything. There are exceptions. There are people who make the case, support their arguments, let the idea succeed or fail on its merits…they don’t exist on The Left. The Left likes to think they do this, because they throw deceptive, cherry-picked statistics at people, they throw links to Snopes at people. And they call these “facts.” But they’re not arguing their case with facts.

What they do is label as “hate” anything they don’t like, and then “boldly” pronounce that hate “has no home here” and “is not welcome here.” They exclude constantly, even if the situation is risible, when they don’t have the influence to exclude anybody at all. It is their Golden Hammer.

What do you think that’s like for a little kid growing up, going to school, not knowing how to deal with it?

Ah, but there must be evil there, you say. Freeberg you never shot anybody. True. Well, why’s that? Why did I never shoot anybody? Why do we not kill each other? Is it because I was afraid of going to jail? Maybe, but before that there was respect for human life. There was the acknowledgment that once someone is born and breathing and walking around among us, it isn’t my place to take a life away, there’s something bigger and more important than me at work here. Uh…what’s The Left been doing to promote that?

Don’t stop talking politics. Both sides are not equally “at fault” with what’s changed, and politics is what’s changed. Politics shows — all too clearly — that whatever capacity we once had to discuss things and find common ground, using our disparate perspectives to work toward a common goal, this seems to have slipped out of our grasp. These awful events are merely a horrible extension of this. As far as the mental health aspect of it goes…it’s really all of us who have the mental health problem. Yeah, a lot of these kids are on psychotropic drugs. Well why did our society see fit to put so many kids on those drugs? Is it really because they needed the drugs, or because the rest of us can’t deal with conflict?

Stop excluding people and stop de-valuing human life. Stop replacing camaraderie and sense of community with “self esteem.” They’re not the same thing. There are consequences to this mistake.