April 22, 2014
Are Republicans trying to 'emasculate' Obama?
Republicans are too stupid to see how the concept of "masculinity" is changing, and their attacks on President Obama's manhood only show how out of touch they are.
Who says? Far left pundit Sally Kohn says in an article at the Daily Beast.
Out and about this weekend, I saw no less than three men who appeared to be heterosexual wearing little buns on the tops of their heads. This must drive the Republican Party crazy. Because in a way, man-buns are the greatest threat to conservative culture and ideology.
Excuse me, but did I read that right? "Appeared to be heterosexual"? Ms. Kohn is a lesbian so maybe the Lord granted her special insight to be able to tell at a glance whether a man is gay or straight. Perhaps she uses her sense of smell to tell the difference. But unless the guys with the hair buns were locked in a passionate kiss with a female of the species, Kohn has no idea of the sexual orientation that they prefer.
And isn't making a snap decision on one's sexual orientation based solely on how someone looks demonstrating a kind of bigotry that gays have been fighting for years? Just sayin'...
Of course, the short-term goal of these rhetorical attacks from Republicans to self-fulfill their prophecy—to make the President indeed seem weak. But beneath this crass political tactic is desperation to prop up the aggressive masculinity on which not only conservative American culture relies but which provides the rallying point and rationale for Republican politics.
When George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished” in 2003, long before any mission was actually accomplished, it was no accident that the president landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln wearing a full military flight suit with his crotch noticeably highlighted. He was not, it should be noted, wearing a man-bun. After all, the evidentiary justification for the Iraq War was bullshit—WMD evidence that was dubious at best until it was shown to be an empty claim. The real justification for launching a war on Iraq came plainly from virile masculinity, repeating “Saddam Hussein” and “9/11” in the same sentences over and over again and frothing up the testosterone of a nation devastated by a tragic attack and searching for revenge. But to be clear, masculine aggression has always typified and justified Republican foreign policy. It’s why our nation’s foreign policy is so heavily influenced by the Pentagon in the first place and is how Republican leaders rationalize the repeated expansion of the military industrial complex in America.
“Today we did what we had to do. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong,” said President Ronald Reagan after bombing Libya. The same president who decried the federal deficit and government in general but dramatically expanded American military spending. Macho indeed!
If you're going to write about a subject, it might be wise to know a little something about it before you make yourself look silly. Bush's crotch was "noticeably highlghted" only to those too ignorant to know that underneath that flight suit is a rubber diaphragm that fills with air when the G-forces build, pushing blood from the lower extremeties back toward the brain so the pilot doesn't pass out in high G turns. It has nothing to do with highlighting the crotch and everything to do with saving lives.
But on to Kohn's changing definition of masculinity. It's extraordinarily superficial thinking to believe that masculinity can be changed simply by waving some magic feminist wand. Nor can a few metrosexuals in New York and other big cities (or their counterparts in western Europe) redefine the concept of manhood. This is nuts. There are superficial cultural changes that don't affect the concept of masculinity one way or another. Men helping out more around the house, being sensitive to their wife's needs, helping more to raise the children - these cultural changes and others have nothing to do with the genetic and instinctive nature of manhood and believing that it does is delusional.
As for how masculinity defines foreign policy, only someone besotted with ideology to the exclusion of critical thinking would define a nation's interests and their defense of them as having anything to do with sex roles. Foreign policy and defense are collective actions and it's simple minded to ascribe male or female behavior to the conduct of nations.
If you ignore everything else - power calculations, strategic planning, threat assessments -- and see the actions of states through the prism of male-female epistemoloy, you too can sound like an ignorant feminist spouting nonsense about masculinity.