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Paternal

 



This photo of Hunter Biden and his father is making the rounds in the right wing websites. In it, the Vice President appears to be holding his son and kissing his cheek, while Hunter looks straight to the camera.  They are literally trying to shame Joe Biden for loving his son. Literally. Don’t believe me? Get a load of this tweet:



But it should not come as a surprise. The idea of a hyper-masculine president is something that right wing media in general and conservatives in particular have promoted for a long time. The conservative, right-wing part of the country seems pretty ok with the idea of a strongman. That's why IMPOTUS appeals to men with fragile masculinity.

Writing in the Washington Post, New York University psychology professor Eric Knowles and NYU psychology doctoral student Sarah DiMuccio claim that many male Trump supporters feel far more insecure in their own masculinity than they’d have you believe — and they are drawn to Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric because it makes them feel more powerful.

“The political process provides a way that fragile men can reaffirm their masculinity,” they write. “By supporting tough politicians and policies, men can reassure others (and themselves) of their own manliness.”

BRADREED

That is why when I saw that tweet I was not surprised. After all, this comes from fans of the man who 'dances' to Macho Man in his super spreader events. Authoritarian white masculinity is the brand that both Hair Furor and the Devil's Butler have cultivated to attract their followers, and it's something their followers find perfectly ok. They are perfectly ok having a president who wants to project a 'tough' image. A president whose own father had to get out of trouble several times. A president whose father despised cordially. A president who treats his male children with barely disguised contempt and his female children with the affection reserved for beautiful objects. That's the kind of man conservatives find to be 'strong'. 

Authoritarian white masculinity is a version of patriarchal authority that has asserted itself in U.S. politics in conjunction with the rise of Donald Trump. It assumes that heterosexual white men are best suited to leadership and casts political leadership by women and people of color as inauthentic — for example, the "birther movement" — or threatening — for example, "lock her up."

KARRINANDERSON

Being a progressive, I can only see in that picture love and support from a father to a child, but for the fragile conservative man, the idea of a male expressing affection for another male (even if the other man is his own offspring) it's a symbol of weakness and something worth their scorn. For the conservative man (and woman, I'm sure) the image of a father holding his son and (god forbid) kissing his cheek, is something both threatening and alien. For all the high fives and back pats they give their bro-friends, the conservative man is not used to this kind of display. 

It is an immature idea of masculinity, something a child would feel when his father would show affection during the first day of Middle School. It's also the idea of masculinity that the people that admire a man-child, talk show host who became president by accident. A spoiled, entitled brat who publicly despises his own sons and sexualizes his daughter. So I'm going to take their opinions with a ton of salt. 

As a cisgender man who grew up thinking his dad was super cool, but not especially affectionate, I found the photo very touching. It's something I would not have minded to have. My dad passed away years ago and I was not too close to him when that happened. We grew distant after I went to college, and I will never have the chance to sit with him and talk about this. Freudian sleuths would say that it's the root of my Daddy issues, but I think that I just did not agree with the idea of painting myself in a corner in order to comply with an outmoded and toxic idea of what a man needed to be. 

The Marlboro man may be a good slogan, but not something many should aspire to be during their lifetimes. I don't have children. I'm not the parenting type. But for those of you who do, be aware that showing love for your sons is not a weakness. It's a strength. Learning from our parents that we are above all, human and that we need affection just like anybody else is a great legacy. Toxic masculinity on the other hand, is as bad as the tar in those cigarettes.

XOXO

Comments

  1. I grew up in a family of 6 boys. The first 4 were all very active in sports. I’m number 5, and though I did partake is some sports, it wasn’t my passion. I was the one that would help mom with the baking, and take her around, since she didn’t drive. My younger brother fell in love with figure skating. He took lessons and everything, but mostly for his personal enjoyment. Growing up there wasn’t a lot of male affection, though we knew we all loved each other.

    When my mother passed away, we started hugging each other whenever we got together, even my father, who was one of the strongest men I knew. A hug when we gathered and again when we departed. It brought us closer together. And it continues to this day.

    Strong men aren’t afraid to show their emotions or their affection for those they love.

    XOXO 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you guys started showing more affection. Whether it was your mom passing or growing up, it doesn't matter. You made showing affection for the people you loved the default setting for your relationships. Bet that made them much more satisfactory.

      Strong men are very much different to wannabe strongmen.

      XOXO

      Delete
  2. They look so sweet!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a loving, beautiful photo.
      Only a MAGAt would find something wrong with it.

      XOXO

      Delete
    2. what beautiful son!

      Delete
  3. hunter and beau survived the horrible car accident that took their mother's/sister's lives. why should joe NOT be affectionate with his sons? better than being verbally/physically/emotionally abused as I was by my sperm donor. the dumps are emotionally bereft disgusting examples of human beings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because those same straight macho men aren't loved and are pigs.

      Delete
    2. Joe and his family have gone through a lot.
      And he's obviously a very loving father. Some men think that being a 'father' is like you say, donating some sperm. It takes a man to be a parent.
      And you tell 'em Maddie!!

      XOXO

      Delete
  4. A father's affection for his son is shocking to the right because their guy cannot stand his sons. He only wants to schtup his daughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 'conservatives' are maladjusted and reactionary. They long for the good old days when people were petrified of showing any emotion. The binary is their ideal. That's who Cheeto is: a fossil. An orange, twisted fossil.

      XOXO

      Delete
  5. Three years (or so) ago, in the Before, I had a chance to go see Biden at the Miami Book Fair. This was a year after the Fall, when darkness was only just gathering. He was promoting his then book, "Promise Me, Dad." The man packed the arts center in Miami...not one seat was empty. During the interview, Biden was asked about his son, his life, career, and politics. At one point in the interview, Biden took the mic, stood up, and addressed the audience point blank. He talked about hope, how to work with fear, how to get through dark days and dark times. He addressed the crowd in such a way that I leaned over to my best friend and told her, "He just launched his presidential bid." At the end of the evening, he had the crowd on its feet, begging him to run. Literally (in the literal sense of the word, not the millennial use of the word). Biden is not perfect. He's flawed; he's made mistakes. But he's what the country needs right now. [Fuck, he's what I need right now.] He may not be the perfect or the best president we've had – but he is the antidote to the pestilence we've endured these past four years. Two weeks ago I cast my vote for him. Next week (OMG, ALREADY!) I pray to god that what he started more than three years ago comes to pass. We need Biden now more than ever. We need someone who will rescue the soul of America from the clutches of Cheetos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a wonderful story, Conde!
      Cheeto has always been mortally afraid of Uncle Joe. Always. From the beginning. Biden, as you said, is not perfect (no politician is perfect, natch) but he's what this country needs after four years of absolute fuckery, corruption and ignominy.
      I'm so glad you voted. I really hope that come November 3 we know that Biden won and we can start the road to healing.

      XOXO

      Delete
  6. Biden is a loving tactile person. Hopefully, the next President.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The MAGAts have always tried to paint him as some kind of pervert. Ugh.
      While they are the ones having sex scandals and keep wanting to fuck Cheeto's daughter. They are nauseating.
      I can't wait for the Biden/Harris administration.

      XOXO

      Delete
  7. My father was only a few steps above Cheeto on the machismo scale. I suffered much physical and mental abuse at his hands. I tolerated him in my adulthood - and that only for my mother's sake. The Right and especially the radical-evangelical right wing cannot stand the idea that a father and son would show affection. They see (fear?) homosexual tendencies in the act. On the other hand, they're all for the "grab 'em by the pussy" and "Isn't my daughter hot?" shit. And this "thing" they're putting on the SCOTUS today supports those notions.

    We MUST find a way to keep this puss-leaking infection from spreading. XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG Big. So sad.
      But you showed him that you were the better man. Better than I, because I would have send the MoFo straight to hell. The white straight Talibangelicals see sex everywhere. For them there's no affection, only heavy petting. And men are not supposed to show emotions. But you're right they're all for fucking the neighbor's daughter.
      Don't get me started with that zealot cunt. Ugh.
      Biden needs to win and correct all the wrong the Right has brought to this country.

      XOXO

      Delete
  8. If the gop is getting this ridiculous...can you imagine how bad it will get if we can't even express loving out kids!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Or showing affection? Not only we will be the dumbest and a racist country...we will also be a bunch of bad parents and unfeeling robots....just like them. It's sad really they do this. On a sidenote i saw a picture of a young Joe Biden today. Omg!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's because they're stunted emotionally, Maddie.
      The 'conservatives' are relics of the past. Their arrested development is obvious in the stunted manner in which they approach emotions and love. For them, there's only sex and duty. Not love.
      And Joe Biden was a LOOKER!

      XOXO

      Delete
  9. That attempt to insinuate something received so much angry blowback.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that asshole was ratioed to DEATH.
      He was pummeled over and over by people who saw right through his fuckery.
      I enjoyed it.

      XOXO

      Delete
  10. I am awfully sick of the blowback about virtually EVERYTHING. It reeks of desperation. (Which makes me very happy.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the MAGAts will throw anything against the wall to see if it sticks. They're terrified of a capable, intelligent man running for president. They know that what they have does not compare.

      XOXO

      Delete
  11. Good point re: toxic masculinity. Thanks for sharing this. This desire to raise masculine-only males is the reason America is the mess it is... tenderness and empathy are much stronger traits and ones I would hope all fathers would be interested in sharing with their children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Upton.
      It's something that we have to fight every day. Just look at the masc 4 masc gays. It's everywhere. So many males have been raised with the mindset that love is a weakness that we have generations of emotionally stunted men running around in circles.

      XOXO

      Delete
  12. Although I don't recall specific moments of affection between my father and I, I get glimpses of what he was like as a father when I see him interact with my nephews and nieces. Once when I saw him on the floor playing with my nephew who was crying because the older nephews wouldn't play with him, I had a flashback of an interaction he and I had. I must have fallen or somehow hurt myself and my Dad had picked me up held me and told me everything was going to be alright. Other times when I see him hug them, I get flashbacks of him coming home from work and my siblings and I running into his outstretched arms. Not sure why I don't remember the affection...but am only reminded when I see his interaction with the grandkids.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I did reply to this...not sure where it went. However, it went something like this...I don't remember specific details of affection between my father and I, but I get some glimpses of what he was like as a father when I see him interact with the grandchildren. For instance, once when he was on the floor playing with a crying grandson (the older grandsons would not play with him), I suddenly recalled a moment in my own childhood when he was comforting me (I must have fallen or somehow hurt myself). When I see the way he runs to them when they come to visit, I'll remember my siblings and I running into his outstretched arms when he came home from work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was here! Blogger is temperamental, you know...
      And it's funny how it's all really a blur when it comes to childhood memories. It's so sweet you remember how you run into his arms when he came home. I think one of the things I remember about my dad was us making him lemonade on Sunday. I don't know why, but that's a very clear memory I have of him...

      XOXO

      Delete

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