Masculinity as Pathology?

Leaving aside the woke Gillette ad brouhaha, a related but more high-toned controversy has erupted over the American Psychological Association’s labeling “traditional masculinity” as harmful and even pathological.

Gay men have various reactions to “traditional masculinity” since while growing up many were bullied and belittled for their perceived lack of masculinity, especially if their behavior and demeanor was, in fact, effeminate. Others, particularly those who came of age in the ’70s and early ’80s, may have fetishized and adopted the hypermasculine clone persona. But you don’t have to defend all aspects of “traditional masculinity” to conclude that the latest round of progressive and feminist-inspired critiques have gone overboard, and that often traditionally masculine assertiveness and even aggression have built and defended a robust, dynamic enterprise culture, while inspiring men to put their lives on the line to save others and to keep us free.

OK, a little snark about the Gillette ad, and an assessment by Jon Gabriel at Ricochet:

Jon Gabriel writes:

Promoting social issues can be effective marketing, but notice the difference. P&G’s female-directed ads make women feel better about themselves. The company tells women “you’re great just as you are” and tells men “you’re bad and need to change.” I’ve yet to complete my Marketing Ph.D., but I don’t think a message of “Women are revolting, buy Secret” would spike profits.

6 Comments for “Masculinity as Pathology?”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    “Leaving aside the woke Gillette ad brouhaha…”

    …….

    You know I thought the Gillette ad was intended to be a hand-in-hand, almost knee-jerk reaction to the APA release.

    “But you don’t have to defend all aspects of “traditional masculinity” to conclude that the latest round of progressive and feminist-inspired critiques have gone overboard, and that often traditionally masculine assertiveness and even aggression have built and defended a robust, dynamic enterprise culture, while inspiring men to put their lives on the line to save others and to keep us free.”

    Oh, sure. And Manifest Destiny created the greatest country in the world, and a lot of graves in the process. A man would face forward despite benefiting from evil. Really?

    Reply
  2. posted by JohnInCA on

    The critique of “toxic masculinity” basically amounts to “you don’t have to be a dick to be a man”.

    If that offends you, it’s probably because you like being a dick.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      I dare anyone of my generation to imagine the phrase “toxic homosexuality” without thinking of a dated Captain Planet episode.

      “Don’t touch him: You could be next.”

      If that offends you, it’s probably because you like dick.

      Reply
  3. posted by Jason on

    I’m not sure that boys wrestling on the grass, or a guy expressing that he’s turned on by an attractive women (as some of the short shots in the ad show) are really beyond the pale. If you think political correctness is just about being nice (and not about silencing viewpoints you find insufficiently progressive), then you may not have a problem with the Gillette ad. But it seems rather apparent that there is a strong subtext to this ad, which is that men are naturally creeps, and that seems pretty creepy to me.

    Reply
  4. posted by Mike King & David "TJ" Bauler on

    Lesson 1. Don’t overthink a silly ad.

    Lesson 2. Toxic masculinity is a problem. However, traditional masculinity is not — automatically — bad. Use the proper terms and be descriptive.

    Lesson 3. Jorge is funny.

    Reply
  5. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    APA position, per Sullivan: “Men should presumably learn to be the opposite: emotionally inconstant, collaborative, submissive, and passive.

    It would be helpful if the myriads of folk commenting on the APA Guidelines would read the guidelines.

    I don’t think that Sully, for example, would have made himself look quite so foolish if he had done his homework before running off at mouth.

    Reply

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