Privilege and Affluenza
Terry Kupers defines toxic masculinity as "the constellation of socially regressive male traits that serve to foster domination, the devaluation of women, homophobia and wanton violence". According to Kupers, toxic masculinity serves to outline aspects of hegemonic masculinity that are socially destructive, "such as misogyny, homophobia, greed, and violent domination". These traits are contrasted with more positive aspects of hegemonic masculinity such as "pride in [one's] ability to win at sports, to maintain solidarity with a friend, to succeed at work, or to provide for [one's] family".
I was going to post about something less heavy, but I changed my mind after @estanoche told me
I believe there is no such thing as "toxic masculinity." That's feminist BS. Now I believe in rape and sexual assaults and sexual abuse, but that's a different matter altogether, and these are issues that need to be addressed.I got that response when I wrote a comment in a post about Kavanaugh, the lawyer Mitch McConnell and Cheeto put on SCOTUS. So I decided to explore that instead. You see, I see Kavanaugh and the whole GOP push for Cheetolini to fulfill their agenda as an example of what has been called toxic masculinity. And toxic masculinity is not just 'feminist BS'. I have experienced the effects of toxic masculinity (and still do) and I'm a cisgender male. But that's another post, I guess. This one is about Beer Brett.
Let's not get carried away...
The term toxic masculinity has been explored widely, as well as the term Hegemonic Masculinity, and it has never been more present that nowadays, in the current corrupt, chaotic, surreal political climate of the 45th presidency in the United States. And it's pervasive in many parts of our lives. No matter how much some people think it's a 'feminist bullshit' term. Toxic masculinity has been explored as a psychological issue and it has been explored as a talking point by the toxic political right.
Ben Shapiro, the 'genius' right wing pundit and every other right wing outlet have maintained that the concept of toxic masculinity is just a 'a concept invented by liberals to emasculate men, strip them of their right to lead families and turn them into “non-entities.” ' and that's where the flaw lays. Toxic masculinity is a performance, similar to what we all saw Beer Brett perform after the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. That was a perfect example of what the right wingers believe a 'man' to be, and Brett performed that part to please Trump and McConnell. Both Cheeto and The Turtle are also examples of Toxic Masculinity: they both conflate being entitled, angry white cisgender men with being 'powerful' and 'manly'.
Beer Brett is the product of private education. And not only that, he's the product of privileged private education, which has been a cesspool of Toxic Masculinity for many, many years. By raising these young privileged men with little empathy, void of sensitivity and no sense of compassion for others in a 'Bro culture' these institutions promote the mentality that these men can and will do anything and will be protected from their actions.
Toxic masculinity allows men like Cheeto and Beer Brett to see women only as sex objects (even though Brett claimed he was a 'virgin', a dog whistle to his fundamentalist base) from an early age. That's why Dr. Ford remembers Brett and his best friend laughing while he pinned her down: it was not about raping her. It was about imposing their power over her. Same with the other women that came forward with their recollections of Brett's younger self. And then Beer Brett unleashed what I consider to be his 'real' self during his response to Dr. Ford in front of his peers: he was angry, he was entitled, he was partisan, he was illogical, he was evasive. He will be a terrible legacy of Cheeto in a sea of terrible legacies.
I don't know if Kavanaugh will be eventually demoted or if he will do what he was put on SCOTUS for: to destroy Roe vs. Wade and same sex marriage, along with promoting 'religious freedom' and faith-based discrimination. But I believe Dr. Ford. I believe what she says Beer Brett did. I also believe that all those men, Cheeto and The Turtle included, will eventually get their comeuppance. Because the truth about who they really are will have to come out. I hope that Americans vote in these and in upcoming elections and that they manage to rid politics of the Republicans and right wingers that cannot see how their pernicious view of being a 'man' has damaged the fiber of politics in the U.S.