Masculinity, manliness, manhood--I'm using them interchangeably here although I suspect incorrectly--have been on the ropes for a few years. By masculinity, I mean the display of virtues not exclusively identified with biological men, but virtues generally and socially understood to be associated with biological men. Among these I would suggest are strength, honor, protectiveness, compassion, resilience, responsibility, leadership, stewardship, and decisiveness. I won't be drawn into a debate as to the inclusiveness of this list or its applicability to the feminine--I'll only say that I think a modestly sentient reader will be able to understand what I'm getting at.
This traditional concept of masculinity has been radically distorted of late, both by those who seek to undercut it and those who seek to wield it as a weapon. Our media is replete with tales of what has come to be known as "toxic masculinity", the cumulative effect of which is to pervert any real understanding of the traditional meaning of the unadorned noun while advancing a political agenda comfortable to those using the malformed term. Equally distorting has been the rise of amped-up roid-ragers who peddle their supplements and their misogynistic conquest philosophies alongside master-race political rhetoric. This crowd is cheered on by a President who has urged crowds to physically assault hecklers, and whose past admitted history of sexual assault is passed off as "locker-room" banter. Nearly lost in these dueling "house of mirrors" concepts of manhood are the exemplars of the traditional view. And Wednesday, the group of exemplars was reduced by one.
Read the full tribute at The Conservative Wahoo.