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Op-Ed: Toxic Masculinity? No, Essential Masculinity

By • December 10, 2023

“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” ― G. Michael Hopf

One of the books I’ve picked up recently is The Warrior Poet Way by John Lovell. John is a veteran Army Ranger turned missionary turned firearms and defense instructor. He asserts that the insanity of the modern world demands a balance between the man of brute and the man of brains, the man of force and the man of finesse. He calls this balance the Warrior Poet Way, and his media organization, the Warrior Poet Society, seeks to reinforce the whole man with a commitment to God, faith, family, and country. The Warrior Poet Society is a response to a culture that seeks to diminish the innate and necessary traits of masculinity in society.

In recent history, organizations like the Proud Boys have sprung up as an overreaction to attacks on masculinity in society. What the government and leftist corporate press paint as a terrorist organization exhibits more like an obnoxious fraternity that exists to reinforce stereotypes of what the leftists call toxic masculinity. They advertise themselves as proud Western chauvinists who built Western civilization and are known for open displays of bravado and idiocy. There is nothing masculine about grown men shirking family and responsibilities to self-indulge with their frat brothers. Those men who built Western civilization went home to wives and children after work. Because of organizations like the Proud Boys, genuine models of masculinity like the Warrior Poet Society are necessary.

As the father of two boys, I have been intentional about seeking out like-minded tribes where I might instill the positive attributes of masculinity in them. Attributes like hard work, selflessness, courage, and, where required, compassion define true masculinity. We are presented with this picture in the person of Jesus Christ. Society often wants to fixate on the compassion of Jesus Christ so that they can paint Him as an all-accepting, domesticated, and weak pacifist. Christ was not at all a pacifist. His entire ministry was a violent war on evil, though He wasn’t the picture of the earthly warrior king that His contemporaries anticipated.

The depiction of Christ the domesticated ignores the fullness of Christ: Christ the carpenter with blistered hands and a sore back, Christ who dared challenge the high priests’ authority, Christ the righteous anger that stormed into the temple and overturned the merchant’s tables, Christ who stood in defense of the defenseless. Jordan Petersen once said, “A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control.”

Historically, men were expected to be the bulwark against evil in society. Their biological disposition to physical strength established their duty as protectors of the tribe. Modern cultural forces desire a society that punishes virtue and rewards criminality. They intend to discourage civic goodness and promote vice. They wish to create a society where good men fail to act and allow it to be brought into submission by authoritarians.

Examples of this societal push can be seen in the prosecution of Samaritans like Daniel Penny or Kyle Rittenhouse and the martyrdom of men who choose a life of vice, like George Floyd and Michael Brown. Suppose they can sufficiently criminalize public opposition to evil. In that case, the government can more effectively assume the role of the protectorate of society, and arguments about the necessity of measures like gun control follow.

Masculinity is not found solely in the warrior role. The physical strength of men sees them most fit for physical labor, and the Bible tells us in Genesis 3 that since the fall of mankind, man has been cursed to toil the land by the sweat of his brow until the day he dies. Is it ironic or merely foretold that men are ten or more times more likely to die on the job than women are today? Men disproportionately fill the roles of laborers, and these occupations come with an inherently increased risk of physical harm. Bear in mind that this statistic does not include the occupation of soldiers, which would increase the disparity all the more.

The war on traditional masculinity extends to a war on traditionally masculine occupations. If the whole man is a balance between the physical and the cerebral, physical labor has been sold as the default for the brainless. From a young age, students are taught that physical labor is for those who can’t pass the rigors of academia. This creates a severe shortage of physical laborers while society disadvantages men in competition for finite specialized roles in business, law, or STEM in the name of equality. This discouragement of men in the workforce has seen 7.5 million men drop out of the American workforce altogether. With a lack of production and the accompanying self-worth, paired with public attacks on traditional masculinity, it is unsurprising that men are dying by suicide at three to four times the rate of women.

Masculinity is an essential piece of the human equation, and its complement, femininity, is no less vital. It has been said that true feminism is not about proving that women are capable of the roles of men but celebrating those roles in which women uniquely excel. Conversely, true masculinity requires men to fulfill their uniquely adapted roles. In all things, balance is essential. Our society reflects a deficit of essential masculinity.

This Op-Ed was submitted by Brian Parsons and originally published on Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: business, Courage, Daniel Penny, Essential Masculinity, Feminism, Genesis 3, George Floyd, Kyle Rittenhouse, Laborers, law, Michael Brown, Proud Boys, STEM, Suicide, Toxic Masculinity

5 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Toxic Masculinity? No, Essential Masculinity

  1. In all things, balance is essential. I would absolutely agree! Unfortuately, in the wonderful world of governance and politics, nothing could be further from the truth in actual truth. In many Red states, Idaho included, the far right governs with righteous “we’re right, you’re wrong” indignation, leaving a majority of Idahoans out of the process. In Blue states, the same is true, but with a secular indignation and secular form of self-righteousness, also leaving a majority of the citizens unrepresented.

    I won’t take exception to anything else in this article.

  2. Outstanding article.
    True masculinity and femineity are complimentary and essential. Both require courage. Both are gifts from God. We need to be in the business of “making better boys and girls”

    Thank you

  3. how george floyd lived means nothing to leftist. hes just a weapon to attack their political enemies. try to keep up

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