Yesterday, I read a frustrating article in The Nation. Reading articles from the Progressive perspective is a good thing for conservatives; yet, after reading the article, one must conclude that it’s far better for Progressives to read about conservatism. (I almost wrote Liberal, but what of liberty is left in a mindset which denies freedom of speech, the right to self-defense, the freedom of association, and freedom of conscience? The rights of sodomy, infanticide, and white guilt hardly make up for those.) The article talks about toxic masculinity and tries to connect gun ownership and masculinity with Trump’s bellicose statements towards North Korea and the killer in Las Vegas. (There’s no need to remember the murderer’s name, and the only reason we’re still talking about him is because we want to know why he did it.) No connection exists between the mindsets of Donald Trump and the killer. Why does Joan Walsh, the writer at The Nation, consider both toxic?
With the concept of toxic masculinity, one would think this refers to masculine excess. Yet, what is excessive about Trump uniting the nations of the world against a deranged dictator? What is masculine about the killer in Las Vegas? The killer may have been bold, but this was the boldness of a demon, who deluges a soul with temptations until the sign of a cross or the presence of angels causes the fiend to flee. It is a cowardly boldness: as soon as the police barged into the killer’s hotel room, the coward killed himself.
One might call the shooter’s actions toxically masculine, but they strike me more as demonic. If one wants a truer picture of toxic masculinity, one does better in looking to the pirate Edward Teach, known as Blackbeard. This savage man took whatever he wanted–whether it be lives, women, or riches. Blackbeard’s life ended in a battle, where, having been wounded many times, his last words were to congratulate the Scotsman who killed him on his fine sword-stroke. Blackbeard was toxically masculine in that he used a good thing, masculine virtue, for plunder and pleasure. The Scotsman, on the other hand, was properly masculine because he used his virtue to defend society from a fiend–much like what Donald Trump, a man with Scottish blood in his veins, wants to do in regard to the North Korean dictator.
That Joan Walsh cannot tell the difference between Donald Trump and a mass killer indicates that she is afflicted by toxic femininity, for which we already have the word effeminacy. Our age is so afflicted by effeminacy that society even fears and disdains the sheepdog or protective male, i.e. the true man. Spartan mothers used to point to their sons’ shields and say “this or on this,” meaning that they should return carrying their shields in triumph or dead upon their shields rather than drop their shields and run from the enemy. Spartan mothers understood what it meant to be a man, while the Joan Walshes of the world do not. And so, they apply the label of toxic masculinity to all things masculine, because the true target of their hatred is not the excess of masculinity but masculinity itself.
Hatred of the masculine forms part of the definition of effeminacy even as hatred of the feminine does for misogyny. Under the vice of effeminacy also falls schoolmarmish browbeating, henpecking, whining, mollycoddling, self-righteousness, and the refusal to recognize and deal with evil. What worse example do we see in modern times of effeminacy than a mother who has abetted her son’s delusions of being a girl by pumping estrogen into him? Sons ought to be taught to shoot, to fight, exposed to outdoor adventures, learn to handle tools, and learn to assert themselves with self-confidence. Sure, boys may display a predilection for roughness and violence, but proper masculine education teaches them also to be gentlemen. A gentleman is one who would not willingly harm another person, even though the gentleman is fully capable of doing harm.
On the topic of firearms, it’s a great thing for men to know how to operate them and to become marksmen. This skill is essential in any nation’s ability to defend itself–even if the lack of conscription and major conflicts over the past fifty years has made us forget that. Also, women are the fastest growing demographic of gun owners. Many women realize that a gun is a great equalizer and their best defense against truly toxic males. Effeminate women seek not only to disarm men but to make women more defenseless as well. The truly toxic thing in this discussion over men and guns is not that men enjoy guns and shooting, but that the effeminate believe that society will be better if the weak are made easier prey for the strong.