Having a birthday this week lead me to some reflection. Not on myself, of course, since I’m already too hip for the room. But I’d just seen the very decent 12 Strong the weekend before…

… and I’d been contemplating why this enjoyable story of duty, heroism, and general smack-down of some very real, very bad guys had performed rather poorly at the box office after receiving the traditional golden shower from a lot of film critics.

To ask the question is to answer it: because it’s an enjoyable story of duty, heroism, and a general smack-down of some very real, very bad guys.

Books could be written (and have) about the devaluation of the ways men have been raised and taught to live. There the elevation of “Feminine” (more accurately “Liberal Progressive Feminist” emotional responses) as proper, correct, natural, and, always, always nurturing proclaims they are the reference-standard, and any deviation from those ways of dealing with the world is clearly problematic or…what’s the word…toxic. Poisonous, unhealthy. Bad, in a word.

Setting up that kind of contrast is awfully convenient. That devaluation serves two purposes. For one thing, it cleverly posits that there is only one proper set of reactions to the challenges of living. If you accept that, then it seems only reasonable to suppose that men and women aren’t really that different at all, that we are all in fact interchangeable (damned handy, too, when your world-view is that human beings exist only to serve the government, not the other way around and a one-sized cog is great for certain Marxist machineries).

For those who sit in judgement of men’s failings, that contrast absolves them of the need to consider the value of “problematic” male behaviors.

Take men’s supposed limited emotional range, for example; see John Wayne’s many portrayals of stoicism, including a famous line from She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, where he counsels a younger officer “Never apologize, mister. It’s a sign of weakness.”; under the popular interpretation, it’s about men not being authentically themselves in the manner of those more woke to their genuine selves.

That’s one point of view. Another is that there is a time and place for sharing your feelings (say at Starbucks when you just need to have a conversation about race), and then there are times and places where stopping to give voice to your fears is, shall we say, counterproductive.

Men were genetically designed to be creatures of action. Forget Hollywood films that show a woman outpunching a man who is as big or bigger than her… those are bullshit (and even in the MMA, which features some seriously tough women, put them in the ring with a man who “identifies as female” and 98 out of 100 times, those MMA women are going to lose to a man of similar size and skill). So men’s training to a large extent was functional: strength, focus, and endurance of both pain and fear and keep your damn mouth shut. You start yapping about how the sight of that sabretooth made you soil your fur loincloth, that sabretooth is going to hear you and find your ass, and then nobody is going to be bringing mastodon burgers home for dinner to the family ever again.

We went from this real life hero Audie Murphy

(and, by the way, read Murphy’s book. For a guy who’d been deep in the shit and lionized for it, he came away with no illusions about the glory of combat… only the dogged determination to do right by his men and to get home alive)

… to the most recent Skinny Jeans Savior (currently embodied by David Hogg)

Both of these young men were nearly the same age when they emerged as certain sorts of heroes.

David Hogg, who did nothing other than hide, has been anointed a hero for what he wants to do (in the now, I must point out, when it’s safe, unlike his classmates, some of whom died, who took actual bullets to protect their fellows –– and who here knows their names?).

Audie Murphy became a hero for what he did.

Per today’s makers of approved myths, saying the right things (Bill Clinton’s Our Boy Because He’ll Keep Abortion Legal!) is much more worthy than doing the right things (Bill Clinton Can’t Keep His Crank in His Pants, But It’s Okay Because He’ll Keep Abortion Legal).

And that’s the LibProg ethos in one stark contrast.

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image sources: 

https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/reclaiming-manhood-detoxifying-toxic-masculinity-hesaid/

http://jeffarnoldblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/john-wayne.html

https://nypost.com/2018/04/18/david-hogg-sets-his-anti-gun-sights-on-blackrock-vanguard/