REBUTTAL: Hannah Gadsby Calls for Men to be "Ladylike." She Can Go to Hell.
For Hannah Gadsby, the next best thing to being an unfunny comedian is to be a miserable shrew and general harbinger of bitchiness. It's okay, I can use negative female stereotypes, as Gadsby builds her gender-non-binary dream castle atop negative male stereotypes. We'll get to that in a jifferino. Sweet Hannah has a piece in the new GQ issue, specifically the oh so special "New Masculinity" issue, in which she calls for men to be more ladylike. On behalf of all women who are attracted to men, I hereby declare Hannah's request for men to be more ladylike as codswallop. Based on just looking at her, I'm not sure Hannah and I play for the same team. So every instruction she gives to men on how to be men should go in one ear then out your butt.
My main problem with the Gadsby piece, which we'll get to shortly, is the toxic assumption it, and what seems to be the rest of the GQ "New Masculinity" issue takes: conflating masculinity with being a dick. Just as some women are bitches, some men are assh*les. That's because being a terrible person is equal opportunity. Yay equality. But interestingly, we do not conflate femininity with being a devilish, conniving screechbeast. So why is masculinity conflated with being a self-centered, inconsiderate butthole? We'll discuss.
First, the opening:
Hello, the men. My advice on modern masculinity would be to look at all those traits you believe are feminine and interrogate why you are so obsessed with being the opposite. Because this idea that to be a man you have to be the furthest away from being a woman that you possibly can is really weird.
Men do not act like men to be the opposite of women any more than women act like women to be the opposite of men. So already we're working on a flawed premise. This here is the problem with assuming gender traits are caused through societal influence and not basic biology. Men and women are different. We are complementary, both biologically and often attitudinally, and while our interactions with one another aren't always perfect because we're different, our differences aren't a result of a secret loathing of the other. In general, women like to be feminine. Men like to be masculine. Why is this so hard to understand and accept? Rhetorical question.
Why is everyone so scared of not being masculine?
Huh? Read that a few times, the phrasing is bizarre. Firstly, everyone isn't afraid of not being masculine. But there does seem to be a push for weak men to redefine masculinity to include them. But that's a topic for another time. Secondly, how is Hannah defining "masculine"?
Women are always being encouraged to stir masculine traits into their feminine recipe. We are told to “be bolder!” “Speak up in meetings.” “Exaggerate your skills.” All that Lean In sort of crap. So perhaps it's time for you, the men, to be more ladylike. How about you scale back on your confidence? How about you try not to act in every situation? What if you tried to refrain from sharing your opinions or co-opting other people's ideas? How about yielding to people walking in the opposite direction? Or even just attempting to see them?
Hannah is assuming a man who steals ideas, is overly confident and doesn't care if he bowls over someone on the sidewalk is "masculine." Based on the rest of this GQ issue's content, I assume that's what the GQ team believes is masculine. To the left, "masculinity" is code for "douche." To the left, masculinity is but a euphemism for an alpha male ass.
Therin lies the biggest problem. Some men are real tools. Dicks. Assh*les. Jerks. F*cknuckles. We have all these words to describe all sorts of men just as we have nasty terms to describe awful women. Bitch. C*nt. Shrew. Whore. Lena Dunham. To name a few.
But masculinity never was about being an ass, any more than femininity has anything to do with being a bitch. A point I've already made but feel bears repeating. Check out OPINION: It's Time to Make Behaving Like ';Ladies and Gentlemen' Great Again.
There is a push to blur the genders, and in order to do that, both masculinity and femininity need to be diluted and altered. Hannah is right when she says women are encouraged to "stir masculine traits into their feminine recipe." But who is encouraging women to be more mannish? I'd like to note Hannah's photo in GQ has her dressed in a more masculine fashion, while Pharell on the cover seems to be dressed as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. If Belle was a human trapped in a banana somewhere in Narnia.
Make it stop.
And by the way, women who are told to be more masculine can always say "Kindly go and pleasure yourself elsewhere, my dear." Just as men can tell Hannah to which destination she may descend after shaking these mortal coils.
So no, men should not shy away from masculinity by embracing more "feminine traits" because masculinity has nothing to do with being an ass. It needs no redefining, it needs no alterations. Masculinity defines his physicality (square jaw, larger build, deeper voice) as well as his personality traits (risk-taking, decisive, assertive). Masculinity is a descriptor as much as femininity is. Leave it be.
But here's what we do need in this era of leftists trying to redefine what it means to be masculine, manly and womanly, and my advice is much different than Hannah's: we need good men to lead the way for confused men who are lost. They must lead not by redefining what it means to be masculine, but reaffirming what it means to be a good man. A masculine man.