Monday, November 18, 2013

So, Exactly What is Masculinity if Not That

Attack of the Masculine America phallic leaf blower.
I stumbled across a Rush Limbaugh show a little while ago (I was listening to a ballgame on that station the last time the radio was on, so it's understandable) and heard yet another obnoxious commentary from the King of the Morons.

This time Limbaugh was bloviating about masculinity, something with which I would guess he is only philosophically acquainted. He was jumping all over "the culture's attack on masculinity," proclaiming that in this "feminized" version of America, "you can't say anything mean, can't do anything mean." He said the very notion "is reprehensible to me."

What I gather is that Limbaugh believes masculinity and being/talking mean are synonymous.

A bit later, on ESPN radio, I heard former Bears football coach Mike Ditka explaining an especially vicious hit that has recently been ruled illegal because it was hurting--maybe even killing--players. His explanation: "That's football." Or as Gordon Gekko might have said, after wrecking somebody's life, "That's just business."

It's not just business, not just football and it's damn well not masculinity.

Being a "real man" has nothing to do with violence. In fact, real men abhor violence and are intelligent enough, creative enough and brave enough to avoid it. If violence is unavoidable--and almost never is--a real man will handle it with a minimum of force, just that required to stop the violence. He will not intentionally injure his attacker.

Being a "real man" has nothing to do with being stupid or being Republican (don't tell me; I know that's an oxymoron). Real men treasure fact, reason and compromise. They do not hold out to the very last man because a principal is involved. They work for the agreement that's the best they can get at the moment and soldier on to improve the situation incrementally, if that's all they can do.

Limbaugh's version of a "masculine America," I think is best exemplified by the red side of the aisle in the House of Representatives, the NRA, the cheating and lying of the Koch brothers, corporate dick measuring contests and intentional--even celebrated--ignorance.

That masculinity is not very appealing to me.


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