EPISODE VII: Masculinity is NOT the Problem
Toxic Masculinity is defined as adherence to the traditional male gender roles that restrict the kinds of emotions allowable for boys and men to express, including social expectations that men seek to be dominant (the “alpha Male”) and limit their emotions primarily to expressions of anger.”
In the mid-seventies my Father coached my little league team. We were “The Mets”. My Father and I would show up to the field at least an hour before practice to play catch and prepare for the upcoming activities. My Father was an executive with an international manufacturing plant and was in charge of safety and security. He did not own a pair of sneakers or jeans. He coached in his suit pants and dress shoes. He dressed the same way to cut the lawn, build a shed, watch TV, ice-skate, everything. I never saw him wear anything other than some configuration of a suit. Dressing down for my Father was rocking a white tee-shirt with dress slacks, but, only if it was eighty-eight degrees or over.
My father ran that team, like he ran his department at the company. You showed up on time, you did not call out sick and you worked hard. I remember we lost our first game, (they kept score back then) and the team asked my Father if we were going for ice cream. My father said simply, “Ice cream is what the winning team gets.” The team was heartbroken, but also angry. The team bonded over thinking my Father was an A-Hole and I was all in with the team. A funny thing happened though; we won the next three games and we ended up in the playoffs. We didn’t win the championship, but we did pretty well overall. This pattern never changed; wins meant ice cream, and losses meant none. We were taught the difference of winning and losing. We understood that hard work was rewarded, and that was a lesson we could take with us throughout our lives. On a side note, at the end of the season, Dad still bought the team pizza, for a great season, despite not winning the championship.
As I grew older, another memory from that summer stuck out. A few days after every loss, my mother and I would end up at Dairy Queen getting sundaes and talking about the week. It didn’t occur to me until I was older that that was the band aid for the loss. We never spoke about it and as a ten-year-old kid I couldn’t put it together, but Mom was doing her job. Teaching me the nurturing part that all of us need to have to function in a civilized society. Mom understood that Dad was better at teaching physical and emotional toughness, and she was the compassion part of the equation.
The definition, or as I think of it, “collection of words that develop a bunch of PC agenda driven bullshit”, that I wrote at the beginning of this was done to point out our supposed “progressive” society’s demonization of the traditional American Male as well as their war on all things traditional. That being said, let me explain that it’s not masculinity that’s toxic; it’s lack of learning how to be a Man. Men are not what that PC definition describes; angry brutes who’s only emotion is anger. That’s an insult. That definition is describing what, in my opinion, is known as unmanly jerk-offs. Bullies and those who abuse women and children are coddled, entitled, little members of the male gender who never learned to be mentally tough enough to stand on their own two feet and can only express themselves through anti-social behavior.
There is a difference between being a male and being a Man. Being male takes only having a certain DNA Code (and this is not something that you can just decide you want to change because of how you “feel”). Men are built by caring men and women who teach them the ways of life. I may be old fashioned in some ways, but the strong masculine men, who served as my role models taught me to respect and honor the women in my life. The taught me to stand up for what was right and protect those who cannot protect themselves. To stand up to bullies and not allow myself to be bullied. These lessons were taught at home and we did not need some government school program to teach us not to be A-Holes. The men of my generation didn’t stand around watching while some loser beats up his girlfriend or lets a gang of cowards beat down some lone victim. We would jump in to stop it. That’s true man code. Hell, that’s just human code.
Today these supposed “progressive” social individuals will video these incidents and put them on unsocial media. Do the colleges and lower educational socialized indoctrination camps have any definitions for those who participate in that type behavior? I have one “Dangerous Unhinged D-Baggery” or D.U.D.–“The act of being weak disrespectful and entitled dirt bags with no honor”. That’s right punk ass assaulters and videorers, I’m calling you out. You are DUDs. DUDs in life, DUDs in Society, DUDs in love. You’re defiantly toxic, and about as masculine as a Victoria Secret’s storefront window. Hipsters look at these miscreants and just shake their heads. Don’t bother applying for your man card, you’re not welcome. Man-cards are earned through earning respect and by giving respect.
I read that many “prestigious” universities in our great country now offer classes on “Toxic Masculinity”. Sadly, I’m sure the brainwashed youth of today will be attending with eager abandon. I have some advice for the so-called “educational” systems and colleges out there. How about a new class on “Being a Man. Instead of having some progressive, social justice warrior, snowflake, socialist agenda driven, out of touch Professor teach it, or having some overpaid, morally scrupulous professional athlete teach, lets change it up. Find respectable, hardworking, men in the community who give back every day. Those who take care of their families and are a positive influence in the world they live in. Some of the things taught could be; opening the doors for ladies, starting a lawn mower, changing a tire, you know, basic life skills. Nobody cares about your weak assed feelings. The world doesn’t revolve around you. Sacrifice for others and toughen up. There are bad guys out there and it’s your job to protect those you care about. Just think how much money would be saved if we didn’t have to build “safe spaces” and “cry closets” if the school curriculum had a few classes like that.
One more story about my Dad. One summer in the seventies my cousins spent the summer with us. Before they arrived, they stated that they wanted to get jobs as they were going to start college in the fall and jobs on the jersey shore would be fun. My cousins were older than me and their father had passed away a few years earlier, so they had been raised by their mother and grandmother. My Dad became their long distance male role model. My Dad helped where he could, but he knew they needed jobs, as money was going to be tight for the family. They had shoulder length hair, which was the style back then, and my cousins were so proud of that hair. Of course, my Dad hated it and would tell them on a daily basis. Telling them to cut it was useless though, so my Dad just made fun of them. That was his way. My family had an in-ground pool, and my Dad told my cousins that if they had long girl hair they had to wear swim caps, so their hair didn’t clog the filter. The only swim caps my Dad had were frilly 1950’s style with big ridiculous flowers on them. My cousins protested, but my Dad never backed down. After a few days of wearing these caps and looking silly, my cousins went to the barber shop and got crew cuts. Two days later Dad took the boys to a hotel in town where he knew the owner. The hotel was known for paying really well, a lot better than the usual Jersey Shore boardwalk jobs. My cousins were hired, and they enjoyed their summer. My dad knew that money would help them and their family. My Dad also knew the owner hated “Hippie Hair” and didn’t hire any guy with it. I guess that was some tough love psychology on my cousins. My Dad, though not perfect, was a Man and a teacher to future men. I learned from him, and other men I’ve had the privilege of knowing, what being a Man is. To show love and accept love back. To respect others, and to help my community, by sharing what I know. I can only hope I’ve done them proud.
If they want to call that “toxic masculinity”, well so be it, but, I’m sure I could even find a couple of Hipsters with man buns to raise a toast to not giving an F to what they call it. Because we are Men. Hey Hipster Bro, you don’t Toast something like this with Soy Latte. WTF.
Carl Fuerst-The Fuerst Option
RSO, Trainer, Blogger
The Fuerst Option Safety Suggestion
If you carry your firearm or self-defense tool off body, such as backpack or purse, have a designated pocket for just that tool. Also have that tool and a proper holster and have the holster secured to the inside of the pocket. This will assist you in accessing the tool when it is needed, and you will be carrying in a much safer manner. Be careful out there.