Bleats

Here's A Simple, Delicious Way To Explain The Difference Between Masculinity And Toxic Masculinity

Bookmark this for your next internet argument.

It’s been eleven days since Gillette launched their hugely viral The Best Men Can Be ad, but it feels like eleven years. The ad infuriated a lot of people by suggesting that some men could try a little harder to not be gross and terrible, which apparently is both way too hard and not at all necessary.

A popular way to be offended by the ad has been to decide that it is saying all men are bad, and masculinity is also bad.

It is not, of course. Saying “All men can live up to a certain standard of behaviour” is not saying “No men are currently living up to this standard of behaviour”. (Terry Crews is, for one thing.)

But people who are mad have decided that it is, and specifically, they’ve seized on the phrase “toxic masculinity” as proof that The Feminists are trying to round up every cis dude in the world and put them in reeducation camps to have Clementine Ford’s disapproving face tattooed on their junk.

Of course, “toxic masculinity” means “[the kind of] masculinity that is toxic”, not “masculinity, which is [all] toxic”.

Via Tumblr user AngelBlaze2012, here’s a handy way of expressing that distinction through something all NORMAL, MANLY men love: burgers!

Burger = A burger.

Cheese burger = There is a version of a burger that has cheese. It’s not a statement that all burgers have cheese, but that 1 variation of a burger has cheese.

Masculinity = Masculinity

Toxic Masculinity = There is a version of masculinity that is toxic. It is not a statement that all masculinity is toxic, but that 1 variation of masculinity is toxic.

If someone says “I don’t like cheeseburgers, because I’m lactose intolerant and they make me s**t myself violently”, they are not saying that all burgers are disgusting and terrible and they would never eat one.

They’re saying that they don’t like the specific kind of burger that has cheese on it, because violent pooping is extremely unpleasant.

Now, if cheeseburgers were the main kind of burger in the world, because everyone insisted that cheeseburgers are the ideal burger, they would probably not be a big fan of eating burgers. That would be understandable.

But if someone then made them a burger that had no cheese, but did have lettuce and tomato and special sauce, so that they could experience how delicious and pleasant a burger can be when you are not s**tting yourself violently, they might suggest that more burgers should be made without cheese, so that there would be less violent s**tting in the world overall.

When people say that toxic masculinity is bad, they’re saying that they’d really prefer more cheeseless burgers – not no burgers at all.

Toxic masculinity means stuff like telling men not to express their emotions, or making anger the only acceptable “masculine” emotion; it means defining “manliness” with violence, or treating women like objects, and defending those behaviours as somehow central to masculinity.

So next time some chud says “Oh, so masculinity is toxic now?” you have an easy analogy to try and explain how subcategories work.

Or you can just log off and go get a burger. Whatever kind you like.

The Toronto Killer Was An "Incel", Because Guys Who Can't Get Laid Are Becoming Terrorists Now

With ideas ranging from government-issued girlfriends to mass rapes and acid attacks, online communities are radicalising angry, sexually frustrated dudes.

Just before he drove a van through a crowd of people in Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring at least 15, Alek Minassian posted on Facebook:

“Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”

Facebook has confirmed that this post is genuine and came from Minassian’s real account – meaning he’s the second high-profile mass killer this decade, after Rodger, whose motivations were expressed in the language of subreddits (now mostly banned from Reddit) and message boards like Incel.me, which are dedicated above all else to a warped, misogynist worldview where women are seen as less than human.

Minassian is a male supremacist terrorist, and there are very likely many more potential terrorists in those online communities.

As it is, they’re celebrating his actions this week:

“I have one celebratory beer for every victim that turns out to be a young woman between 18-35.”

“The murder of our enemies will of course be praised. It’s rational.”

“[T]his is what happens when you leave us without any love or companionship.”

“Incel” is short for “involuntary celibate”. Men who identify as incel believe that women they want to have sex with (the “Stacys”) refuse to have sex with them because of their looks or personalities, and also because more genetically blessed and therefore desirable alpha males (these are “Chads”).

How they think women see any dude over six feet tall, regardless of personality.

They refer to women as “femoids” or “foids” – female humanoids, rather than humans. They believe sex is a human right they have been deliberately denied access to, and harbour astonishing levels of hatred for all women and the “normie” men we choose over them as a result.

Their ideology – because that’s what it is – grew out of the pick-up artist movement. You know, the guys who introduced us to the idea of negging.

This is what we mean when we talk about how kinds of misogyny that seem relatively minor can actually be harmful in the long run.

Male supremacy – which is now listed as a hateful and extremist ideology by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and is considered to be a “gateway” ideology to introduce people to the alt-right and neo-fascism – is not new. It’s a digital-era rebranding of the worst aspects of the misogyny that drove the oppression of women throughout history.

But the current language and ideology of male supremacy can be fairly clearly traced back through its online communities to a worldview that rated women out of ten according to their looks, treats human interaction as a literal Game with access to women’s bodies as the prize, and openly advocates manipulating women psychologically.

It might seem almost funny to think about these boards being populated by socially awkward dudes whose lives are filtered through high school movie cliches, sitting around whining to other angry dudes about how women won’t f**k them for some reason that’s totally out of their control and going on hunger strikes until the government gives them a girlfriend.

It’s actually horrifying.

Think of how many men there are in the world who are deeply unhappy, socially awkward and/or not conventionally attractive, and enormously bitter and angry either by nature or after a lifetime of disappointment, rejection and perceived injustices.

Think of how many men quietly or loudly resent feminism for taking away something that benefited them: an entire society of women with little to no social or political power and a very narrow set of standards for grooming and behaviour. Think of how easily a young man who thinks feminism has “gone too far” could become a man who thinks feminism has upset the natural order of things; how easily a man who is sexually frustrated, who has been rejected outright or indirectly by multiple individual women, could go from wondering what he’s doing wrong to deciding it’s the women who are wrong.

Now imagine he finds an online community that seems to understand what he’s going through, a worldview that explains how it’s all a huge social conspiracy and not his fault at all, and an ongoing conversation about how maybe there’s something they can do about it after all. How maybe if they were feared instead of mocked – if they could rob the Chads and the Stacys of their attractive faces with acid attacks, if they could commit mass shootings and rapes to demonstrate their numbers and their power – they would be respected.

That’s how someone gets radicalised.

Elliot Rodger openly said that he wanted to “punish” women collectively for the fact that he was still a virgin at 22 (which is incredibly common and not anything to be ashamed of, for the record):

“I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it . . . I’m the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman.”

Incel boards refer to “going ER” – Rodger’s initials. They call him a martyr and a saint, and some might be doing it as a joke. But Minassian cited him specifically as an inspiration before getting behind the wheel of that van.

Now they have another hero.

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