Masculinity Is Not Toxic, but the APA Might Be
Institutions that used to be beyond politics have become infected by cultural Marxism, which attacks the family, traditions, and the classic natural conditions. Based on assertions made by Dr. Ronald Levant, the American Psychological Association (APA) has declared that traditional masculinity is harmful. Those on the left who insist that we never generalize about this group or that group are now out-front generalizing that men and masculinity are a flawed group whose nature and attitudes are harmful.
According to the APA, God's creation of male and female, masculinity and femininity was a primal, organic mistake. Because of what the professor sees as a few flaws, he is ready to throw out historic masculinity and replace it with something un-masculine. He is eager to change the order of nature, similar to how cultural Marxists and leftists have been zealously trying to socially engineer our society to conform to their vision of how life should be lived and how the human condition should be recreated.
While the APA disparages an entire category, masculinity, because of what the APA sees as some negatives, it totally accepts femaleness – because it either sees no faults in what is female or does not wish to throw out the baby with the bath water. It seems the APA is wound-up in the current anti-male fetish circulating in elitist and snobbish societies. Males are considered powerful and thus demonized and in need of change, whereas females remain among the preferred minority groups and are thereby noble – i.e., either without flaw or too important and necessary for those planning the Utopia to allow flaws to matter. Instead of attacking maleness per se, the convenient substitute of masculinity is assailed. We are asked to return to our bibles and read thus: "And God created female and made a mistake when creating male."
The APA condemns masculinity inasmuch as it "can lead to homophobia and sexual harassment." The truth is, masculinity does not lead to harassment, the proof being that the overwhelming majority of our fathers and grandfathers, as well as most men today, have gone through their lives acting as gentlemen and have not engaged in rape or physical intimidation. The vast majority of men have not used their physical power or their energy and testosterone to savage women. Those wishing, from the get-go, to degrade historic masculinity will enlarge, expand, and redefine the definition of sexual harassment so that many men not really guilty of harassment will be charged as harassers.
We did not see in the APA's report any condemnation of femaleness, nor the proposition that historic femaleness leads to lesbian-phobia. Somehow, the characteristics of sex lead to "phobia" only when that sex is male. Furthermore, if one believes, as I do, that the natural tendency and condition of man is finding his mate in woman and female, then there is nothing toxic about an organic masculinity that chooses not to have sexual relations with other men. This is not a toxic reaction, but rather a built in inclination to gravitate to that which is a norm.
Nothing in life is so absolute that no ceiling or limitation is ever needed. Simply because competition can sometimes go beyond a healthy parameter and because adventure and energy can travel beyond safe limits, this in no way diminishes the importance of these attributes in building the individual and society. Yet the APA condemns the male attributes of power, adventure, and competitiveness because sometimes they are overplayed. This is a woefully errant conclusion. Because something is occasionally excessive does not mean that its inherent quality is not admirable. It is masculine energy and power, his competitiveness and sense of adventure, that built much of the civilized world, just as it was the sacrifice, tenderness, and quiet strength of women that helped shape the contours of civilization.
Here again, the APA does not condemn femaleness or feminism even though there are females who have used certain female traits and wiles to excess. On the contrary, many within the APA applaud the brazenness, vulgarity, and bullying we've seen in the last two years among those in the Women's Marches. Evidently, the APA is not against excessive use of traits when those traits are used on behalf of the left's preferred political paradigm. Perhaps it is also comfortable with the role reversals being advocated among today's fashionable and radical social engineers.
We are living in times where those who have set out to upend and destroy our society and civilization find flaws only in what has been the historic norm and representative of the society they wish to overthrow. They continually focus on the characteristics of those they wish to bring down but remain willfully blind to the shortfalls of those they consider allies in their quest to create the New World and New Utopia. When done in service to re configuring society, heretofore negative traits suddenly morph into positive traits. In their desire to snuff out capitalism, many on the left predictably point to competitiveness as evil and denounce it.
In their skewed tunnel vision, they confuse feminism with femininity. The report claims that traditional masculinity leads to "despising femininity." Not so! Whereas traditional masculinity may not be drawn to the radical feminism prevalent on the Upper West Side, most traditional males adore and are delighted by classic femininity and are ever so grateful that such an enchanting and uplifting phenomenon is part of nature.
In his Woody Allen-like discomfort with traditional masculinity, Dr. Ronald Levant seems to me emblematic of those who perpetually feel uncomfortable with much of the natural state of things. For example, many are afraid of strong men, physicality, the outdoors, and a power and physical strength they do not possess. Many are constant critics of soldiers, of police, of men who are confident, and of the masculinity they themselves do not possess. In order to shape the world to conform to their inadequacies and control, they have used the last sixty years to social engineer every aspect of American life. Social engineering and "repairing the world" have been their mission, demonizing the natural and lionizing the unnatural.
Many of the "nice boys" admonishing male power have, themselves, been quite "powerful" and ruthless in reshaping our society to their preferences, especially when engaged in the world of politics and "social justice." Some have taken on certain nastiness, hysteria, and a "progressive-aggressive" shrillness unbecoming conventional maleness.
Be it in economic, social, political, sexual or racial spheres, cultural Marxists are battling not only America, but nature itself as well as nature's God. They are not merely socially engineering "to make things better," but are challenging the Divine. What is toxic is not masculinity, but Ronald Levant's imposition of warped views on our sons, our grandsons, our country, and our future.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero is author of Push Back: Reclaiming our American Judeo-Christian Spirit, president of Caucus for America, and spokesman for the National Conference on Jewish Affairs.