- - Tuesday, November 8, 2016


It’s not easy being a guy these days, if it ever was. Those concerned about men’s health believe they have discovered the root of a genetic disease that threatens ruin for the descendants of Adam. It’s called “toxic masculinity” and it long ago went viral. The feminists and their intimidated acolytes are eager to inoculate half of the population, but they’re puzzled to discover that some men prefer to be themselves.

Symptoms of toxic masculinity seem to be most pronounced on college campuses, because that’s where the fixers are focusing their curative powers. At Dartmouth College, according to the website called College Fix, a class called “The Orlando Syllabus” is studying how harmful masculinity motivated Omar Mateen, the radical Islamic terrorist to commit mass murder at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. The shooter told police that he was acting in support of the Islamic State, so the bad-boy hounds may be barking up the wrong tree.

The University of North Carolina and Duke University have initiated programs as well to help men understand the symptoms of this deadly disease. “How has the concept of masculinity contributed to the perpetration of violence in our society?” asks the Men’s Project website at UNC. The movement is spreading. Freshmen at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania are required to learn that “the three most destructive words” young men can hear are, “Be a man.” (Some women have been listening for how to “Get a man.”)

Curing young men of “toxic masculinity” is sometimes described as “wussification.” It’s the creation of those whom American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers calls “fainting couch feminists,” hypersensitive aspiring intellectuals of the female persuasion who associate guys with throwback traits such as patriarchy, male privilege, rape culture, pornography and machismo. A taste for beer and pretzels can be thrown in for good measure. The fainters have successfully lobbied school administrators for an array of “trigger warnings” with which to ward off aggressors, and safe spaces when the warnings don’t work.

Ms. Sommers says it’s a cover for winning the war between the sexes, which seems to have no end because there’s so much fraternization with the enemy on both sides. “Today, the women’s lobby deploys a faulty logic: In cases where men are better off than women, that’s injustice. When women are doing better — well, that’s just life.” Faulty logic it may be, and Aristotle, the father of logic, was a guy. So what could he know?

Women have clearly beaten the brothers in academia. In high school, boys earn reputations as troublemakers (and usually not without cause) and are suspended and expelled at a rate three times that of girls. Their reputation for bringing down the class average carries over into college, where young men lag behind their female classmates in diplomas received at undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levels.

A few feminists, such as Ms. Sommers, dare to see the plight of male students objectively; others see them only as subjects for lab experiments in attempting to cure “toxic masculinity.”

The baddest boys of all are found at the college stadium, but judging from the crowds in the stands masculinity is more intoxicating than toxic. Feminists credit “girl power” for the popularity of long hair on the players of the ultimate man’s game, but hulks with stringy locks flowing from beneath their helmets will never be mistaken for the luxuriant locks on the comely cheerleaders on the sidelines.

Young men can sometimes be jerks, but to suggest that masculinity is toxic seems not very nice. It’s like saying that a feminist is a girl who can’t get a date. Rudeness is what’s toxic, and the good news is that, with work, it’s curable.

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