Masculinity and the 2016 Election

My “day job” is to write politics, so you can imagine I’ve been pretty busy for the last couple of days.  When I wasn’t writing, I was reading and watching politics to get a firm grasp on just what happened.

Photo courtesy of Iowa Public Radio Images
Photo courtesy of Iowa Public Radio Images

While much of the so-called “manosphere” was probably ecstatic about a Donald Trump win, I have to admit that I didn’t vote for him.  No, I didn’t vote for Clinton either.  I voted for Gary Johnson, who despite doing everything he could to the contrary, was the least offensive candidate on the ticket for me.

However, Donald Trump did win, and he won rather convincingly via the electoral college.  Yes, a lot of people are all butthurt over that fact, but I’m not one.  I’ve been enjoying a fair helping of schadenfreud.

Yet, there is a discussion to be had over just what this election meant for masculinity.

A Trump victory served as something I was afraid we wouldn’t really see any time in the near future: a public rebuke of the out of control brand of social justice crusading that ultimately undermines their causes…and that includes more extreme brands of feminism.

While no one of substance wants to pull women out of the workplace and drop them into the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, men are rather sick of being told how sexist they are for being men.  They’re tired of being accused of misogyny for simply fulfilling their roles in the family.

In a very real way, this election was a repudation of these forms of feminism.  Men are tried of hearing “sexism” just because they disagree with a woman, and let’s be honest.  If Hillary Clinton had won, the next four to eight years would have been filled with cries of sexism every time someone challenged her policy proposals.

A large number of Americans are sick of that crap, just like a significant number of Americans have been in tears and needed Play-Doh and coloring books because Clinton lost an election.

However, it doesn’t mean the fight is over.  The reality is that little of this battle really took place in the halls of government.  This is a war whose battleground is in the American culture, and masculinity is fighting a holding action at best.

Many of my fellow masculinity writers were behind Trump completely and totally, but I think we all know that Trump won’t be a savior.  Even if I thought he wanted to be, and I don’t, there is little the government can do without stomping on the Constitution of the United States.  Even then, that does little for our brothers in Europe who are fighting this same war.

Here in the United States, this Trump victory has been amusing to watch, but it doesn’t change our task.  Popular culture still attacks masculinity with impunity, it still acts like women can do no wrong while men can do no right, and treats fathers like laughingstocks.

There’s a lot of work to be done, and I’ll continue that work going forward.

In the meantime, I sincerely hope that President Trump is a much better president than I believed he would be.  I’ll approach this with an open mind, much like I did eight years ago when Barack Obama was elected president.  I only hope that this time, I find myself pleasantly surprised for a change.

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