The GOP is obsessed with “toxic” and “grotesque” masculinity, according to a recent Washington Post piece that blasted Republicans’ “cartoonlike conception of manliness” and likened them to “little boys playing at war” ignoring “real-world consequences.”

The Monday essay, titled “The GOP: An unending display of toxic masculinity” and penned by Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, began by arguing that Republicans, through their actions, have revealed themselves as obsessed with “toxic masculinity.”

“In their head-spinning transition from apologists for Russian President Vladimir Putin to proponents of World War III, Republicans reveal not only their utter lack of principle but also their obsession with toxic masculinity,” she wrote, adding that both “admiring Russian ruthlessness and going to war are features of a party in constant need of masculine affirmation.”

Accusing former President Donald Trump and his supporters of having “simply switched to a more politically acceptable side from which to assert their masculine bona fides,” Rubin then turned to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who recently called for Putin’s assassination, claiming the Senator was “always eager to find a tough guy to attach himself to (first John McCain; then Trump).”

Other Republicans, according to Rubin, have tried “to claim they were tougher than President Biden [through having] advocated a no-fly zone [over Ukraine], which would escalate the chances of direct conflict between the United States and Russia.” 

“Like little boys playing at war, these Republicans don’t bother to think through the real-world consequences (war with an unhinged dictator with nuclear weapons),” she wrote.

But such a phenomenon is not new, the author asserted.

“As the saying went during Trump’s administration, cruelty — or the raw assertion of power over the powerless — was the point,” she wrote. “It still is.”

She then went on to list alleged actions and policies of Republicans which she deemed a form of “bullying”:

Whether they are separating children from parents, spying on and infringing on women who do not want to be compelled to complete their pregnancy, or threatening to take away transgender children whose parents seek appropriate medical care, manliness manifesting as bullying has been the Republicans’ defining feature of late.

“And they’re using the full force of the state to impose their will. All to enforce the frantic assertion … that ‘men are men, women are women,’” she added, quoting Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). 

Describing Scott’s “11 Point Plan to Rescue America” as “ludicrous,” Rubin asked, “Does anyone remember a national party running on such a naked appeal to masculine insecurity?”

Calling former President Trump an “ideal caricature of toxic masculinity,” she claimed he managed to give his constituents a false feeling of toughness.

“In Trump, the MAGA crowd found its ideal caricature of toxic masculinity,” she wrote. 

“Excusing war crimes, egging on police to injure suspects, defending White vigilantes and standing by men accused of abuse, Trump gave the MAGA crowd the vicarious thrill of being tough guys without having to leave their living room couches,” she added.

Rubin then referred to last year’s Capitol riot, where the former president “delight[ed] in watching thugs attack the Capitol and threaten the lives of lawmakers” as well as then-Vice President Mike Pence.

“It’s not surprising that a Trump wannabe such as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) would sell a mug depicting his fist pump to the Jan. 6 mob,” she wrote. “His speech decrying that ‘traditional masculine virtues’ are under attack illustrated precisely how masculine insecurity masquerades as manliness.” 

And while the GOP accuses the left of “systematically destroying masculinity,” Rubin claimed Republicans staging a “revival of strong and healthy manhood in America” may sound “comical… if not an admission that their male audience is made up of a bunch of wimps.” 

“But in today’s GOP, this is red meat for the MAGA crowd,” she wrote.

Rubin then accused the former president and other Republicans of “reverence” for dictators.

“For Trump — a man who escaped military service for ‘bone spurs’ — palling around with thugs including Putin allowed him to acquire a sense of toughness by association,” she wrote. 

“His and other Republicans’ reverence for authoritarians (the Saudi rulers, Kim Jong Un, Recep Tayyip Erdogan) and for the Russian army (!) exposes their cartoonlike conception of manliness,” she added.

Claiming it’s “no mere coincidence that one of the factors that closely correlates with support for the MAGA cult hero is belief in ‘traditional’ gender roles,” Rubin cited a poll that found majorities of Republicans “agree with both the statement that society punishes men just for acting like men” as well as that “society has become too soft and feminine.”

The MSNBC contributor concluded by concurring with “the press, historians and political observers” who she claimed have “rightly focused on the MAGA crowd’s fixation with establishing America as a White, Christian nation.”

“We should not forget that part of that formula involves a grotesque version of masculinity — one that preys on those perceived as vulnerable at home and sends the United States careening from one dangerous and extreme national security position to another,” she argued.

The essay comes as the left and the media are continually accused of “feminizing” men while seeking to undermine traditional masculinity.

No comments:

Post a Comment