- The Washington Times - Monday, October 30, 2017

A professor at Occidental College said an essential way to “survive” President Trump’s tenure is for activists to “be as suspicious of males who strongly identify as men as we are of white people who strongly identify as white.”

Lisa Wade, the author of “American Hookup” and a sociology professor at Occidental in Los Angeles, wrote in a recent essay that “masculinity itself” may need to be undermined if feminists are to “finish the gender revolution.”

Her Public Books op-ed, “The Big Picture: Confronting Manhood after Trump,” theorizes that feminists are culpable for Mr. Trump’s election because they have been “too delicate” in their approach to “dangerous ideas.”

“Trump’s masculinity is what we call a toxic masculinity,” she wrote, educational watchdog Campus Reform first reported Monday. “In the pre-Trump era, the modifier was used to differentiate bad masculine ideals from good ones. Toxic masculinities, some claimed, were behind sexual assault, mass shootings, and the weird thing where men refuse to wear sunscreen, but they didn’t reflect masculinity generally, so one had to leave that idea alone. But we can only give masculinity so many modifiers for so long before we have to confront the possibility that it is masculinity itself that has become the problem.”

The instructor then posited that “rage, self-hatred and suffering” are caused by men who believe they should be “superior to women and other men.”

“If we’re going to survive both President Trump and the kind of people he has emboldened, we need to attack masculinity directly,” she continued. “I don’t mean that we should recuperate masculinity — that is, press men to identify with a kinder, gentler version of it — I mean that we should reject the idea that men have a psychic need to distinguish themselves from women in order to feel good about themselves. This idea is sexist on its face and it’s unsettling that we so rarely think of it that way.

“In fact, we should be as suspicious of males who strongly identify as men as we are of white people who strongly identify as white,” she wrote. “We are here in Trump’s America in part because we have been too delicate in our treatment of dangerous ideas. The problem is not toxic masculinity; it’s that masculinity is toxic. Its appeal is its alluring promise that if we obey it, we can all bask in a sense of superiority over someone. It’s simply not compatible with liberty and justice for all.”

The author, whose work has been reviewed by The New York Times and The Huffington Post, did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment prior to publication.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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