The War on Masculinity Will End Badly
I have long believed that one of the most dangerous mass movements gripping the West today is the suicidal drive to emasculate, and even infantilize, men. History is not filled with examples of prosperous and peaceful civilizations made up of men apologizing for their strength and promising to be less stoic and more tearful in battle. "For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother," Henry V proclaimed to his far-outnumbered soldiers in Shakespeare's recounting of the king's St. Crispin's Day speech that rallied his men to victory near Agincourt in 1415. Six hundred years later, and Henry's exhortation would surely be deemed "toxic," "patriarchal," and Heaven forbid! "cis-normative." Talk of blood and honor and manhood has no place in a society committed to trampling boys' self-esteem and shaming men into constantly "checking their privilege." Woe to any nation, though, that thinks turning men into women will protect either.
"We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong, but when they are weak. It is then that tyrants are tempted." That was the essence of President Reagan's "peace through strength" diplomacy that finally toppled an Evil Empire still suffocating half of Europe forty years after the official end of WWII. "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far," Theodore Roosevelt urged when noting how imperative it is to a nation's survival never to bluff but to be always ready for swift, decisive action. Doing otherwise, such as when the mom jeans–wearing Obama publicly barked at Syria's Assad about chemical weapons "red lines" not being crossed while lacking the strength to bite forcefully when the time came, only serves to make America more vulnerable and less safe. As if to remind the world that the ignominious Obama Doctrine of "slaughter through weakness" had slunk back into the White House, our "woke" military and "asleep" president showed quickly with their Afghanistan retreat how lethal to both civilians and military personnel emasculated leadership is.
Much as Western nations have irrationally decided to demonize hydrocarbons and keep coal and natural gas buried so as not to offend the green priests and their global warming religious scriptures, those same nations have irrationally decided to demonize masculinity and bury natural strength and manliness under the thick sludge of gender identity delusions. Every sexual orientation and gender-bending self-idolization is encouraged and celebrated as some magical, revelatory personal truth. For men, however, everything about their nature must be denied. Young boys play-fighting are punished. Aggression is labeled "toxic." Competition and rivalry are derided. When war comes, however — and it always does — Westerners won't be praying for "men" in skinny jeans or recuperating from surgical castration to come to their rescue. They'll be hoping that somehow, even after decades of enduring cultural emasculation from every angle, enough real men still exist to beat back with a vengeance whatever threat is charging forward from the horizon. When men whose masculinity has been harnessed for the benefit of their countries arrive to conquer those frivolous nations that have sidelined masculinity for metrosexualism, the West's survival will depend upon how resilient manliness is despite the efforts of leaders such as Trudeau, Obama, Biden, Macron, and Johnson to remake their countries' men into their own images.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And weak men create hard times." Looking at those names above, where exactly in the cycle described so aptly by G. Michael Hopf would you say we are now? Are those hard times I hear knocking loudly on the door?
None of this is to suggest that masculinity should be celebrated in its most brute and reckless forms. Far from it. Just as manliness should be appreciated and respected, it should also be channeled as virtuously as possible. Civilization rose on the efforts of men who stopped throwing stones at each other and instead began stacking those stones to form the foundations of great cathedrals and defensive city walls. Tribes became nations when men chose to sacrifice their lives not just for their families' survival, but also for the survival of families never known. And when masculinity begins being shaped by self-restraint, chivalry takes hold so civilizations may flourish. Oh, no, not chivalry! It's too patriarchal; look away! How dare that young man hold the door open for the female behind him! How dare he choose to guard her safety by walking between her and the curb! Yet chivalry is the glue that holds society together, and denying its importance to domestic peace is as peculiar and harmful as denying masculinity's importance to peace generally.
In an essay defending chivalry some years back, Emily Esfahani Smith tells the story of Samuel Proctor, the pastor of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church decades ago, who apparently offended a young woman when he politely doffed his cap as she entered the elevator car he was riding. "What is that supposed to mean?" she demanded.
The good pastor said respectfully: "Madame, by tipping my hat I was telling you several things. That I would not harm you in any way. That if someone came into this elevator and threatened you, I would defend you. That if you fell ill, I would tend to you and if necessary carry you to safety. I was telling you that even though I am a man and physically stronger than you, I will treat you with both respect and solicitude. But frankly, Madame, it would have taken too much time to tell you all of that; so, instead, I just tipped my hat."
In other words, Pastor Proctor was demonstrating masculinity in its highest form, even as the oblivious young woman proved herself so indoctrinated by the West's condemnation of manliness that she found it abhorrent. If chivalry is the apex of masculinity, and "political correctness" targets it for elimination, is it any surprise when cruder forms of masculinity return to fill the void left by the absence of good manners? When male physicality and testosterone are punished throughout adolescence, is it any surprise that the Obamas, Trudeaus, and Macrons of the West manage to gain power? Does that seem like an equilibrium likely to last? What happens when ordinary men finally decide they've had all they can stomach of being told what they can and cannot do by "men" with no masculinity at all? What happens when men who just wanted to be left alone finally decide they've had enough? Where does all that bottled-up energy go then?
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