Category Archive 'Feminizing Society'

28 Feb 2018

Now That’s What We Need: “A Kinder And More Generative Masculinity”

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The old Yale.

Back in 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Princeton ’17, in This Side of Paradise described “The Idea of the Yale Man” this way:

    I want to go to Princeton,” said Amory. “I don’t know why, but I think of all Harvard men as sissies, like I used to be, and all Yale men as wearing big blue sweaters and smoking pipes.”

    Monsignor chuckled.

    “I’m one, you know.”

    “Oh, you’re different—I think of Princeton as being lazy and good-looking and aristocratic—you know, like a spring day. Harvard seems sort of indoors—”

    “And Yale is November, crisp and energetic,” finished Monsignor.

    “That’s it.”

    They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.

The Yale man in fiction was traditionally portrayed as the All-American, square-shooting man-of-action. Fictional exemplars included Frank Merriwell, Dink Stover, Flash Gordon, and even Bruce Wayne.

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At least one millenial undergraduate these days has lots of problems with that tradition.

Jun Yan Chua (a senior in Saybrook), in the OCD, writes:

Today, the idea of the “Yale Man” inspires disdain. Memes that denigrate Yale men proliferate on Facebook… Some of this outrage is well-deserved: At its worst, Yale masculinity can be sinister — indeed, criminal — as evidenced by recent allegations about sexual assault at Delta Kappa Epsilon and other fraternities. …

As scholars of gender studies have understood for years, the “patriarchy” harms men as well as women. By setting an impossibly high standard for the elusive, ideal Yale Man, the dominant culture condemns the vast majority of men to fall short, prompting them to act out and hurt others — primarily women. …

To be a “successful” Yale Man is to check off a daunting list of boxes. One must be tall, fit and subtly dressed. Outgoing and social, but not loud or crass. Not just funny and intelligent, but effortlessly so. In reality, few live up to the demands of the normative Yale Man, yet his specter lives on as a figment of our cultural imagination, haunting we who fall short.

While women face similar pressures, men probably have fewer ways of conforming to this aesthetic of Yale cool. You can be the idealized boy next door — the frat bro or student-athlete, who also happens to be in Phi Beta Kappa. Or you might become a Yale politico — Yale Political Union extraordinaire in the streets, policy wonk in the sheets. Or you could be a man of arts and letters — think theater, a cappella or The New Journal. Fall outside these tropes, and goodbye social capital. The intense pressure leads Yale men to seek out sites of male bonding, only to find that these, too, disappoint, with their petty cruelties and oversized egos.

I exaggerate, but only slightly. In fact, the vision of the idealized Yale Man has a long cultural history. In 1912, Owen Johnson published his best-selling novel, “Stover at Yale,” which documents the titular character’s attempts at navigating Yale’s social hierarchies. Driven by its ladder of fraternities and societies and its emphasis on football, brutal competition characterized Yale at the turn of the 20th century.

That atmosphere took a toll on real-life as well as fictitious Yalies. …

We urgently need to reimagine Yale masculinity. … So how might we create a kinder and more generative masculinity? Instead of focusing on Yale cool as an aesthetic, let’s transform it into an ethic. Rather than fixate on who we are, let’s think about what we can do — for ourselves as for others. And let’s tell more varied stories about “real men” at Yale — stories of redemption as well as perfection, of struggle as well as triumph, of vulnerability as well as strength.

I expect the reader can easily imagine what I think of people who take courses in “Gender Studies,” who take that kind of contemptible nonsense seriously, and my response to the idea of a “Kinder and More Generative Masculinity.” The latter phrase provokes in my mind the image of a frail, sissified young man sitting on an egg.

10 Aug 2013

The Left Is After Football

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Football practice at Yale, early last century.

Timothy Birdnow argues that the left’s recent efforts “to make football safer” are really expressions of their reflexive determination to eliminate competition and aggression and to emasculate America.

The liberal sports media has jumped on board. …), and, ironically, they may well kill the very sport that puts food on their tables. They can’t help it; a scorpion stings because it is a scorpion.

It is in this current climate of pacifism (and that is the purpose of the campaign: to turn football into a more pacific game, thus removing another layer of America’s masculinity) that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed a law mandating insurance for student-athletes.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

    The law says that a school’s minimum policy will cover $3 million in aggregate benefits or five years of coverage – whatever comes first – for injuries that total medical expenses over $50,000. The law includes public and private schools and state officials estimate that the cost of the coverage will be no more than $5 a student. Currently, some schools carry insurance for athletes, but it hasn’t been mandatory. The Illinois High School Association provides students with this catastrophic insurance for state tournaments.

First, one must ask why this is needed, since it will soon be the law of the land that everyone be covered by health insurance. I was under the impression that ObamaCare was designed specifically to fix this sort of problem. Why are schools in Illinois being made to pay for catastrophic health insurance when Mr. Obama, the product of that state’s political genius, has already addressed the issue? …

This will kill many sports programs in poor school districts and likely in the lion’s share of private or parochial schools. Would a struggling Catholic school spend money needed for actually educating students on sports insurance? It will become a choice between teaching and athletics for many schools.

Of course, such would suit the educational commissars just fine. There has been an increasing effort by the Progressives to straitjacket young children. Sports are one outlet they have targeted, with an increasingly regimented and organized approach to what were once thought of as children’s games. Michelle Obama may say “Let’s Move!,” but she wants all movement under her watchful eye. Gone are the days of sandlot football, of a bunch of kids getting together for a stickball game or a spontaneous game of field hockey. Children now devote much of their time to thumb exercises as computers replace the athletic field. When children are allowed to play, they are wrapped up like mummies lest they get a bruise.

All this teaches a lesson to the children: private, individual action is dangerous and should be avoided. Life must be lived within the guardrails, carefully planned and safeguarded by society.

Even more distressing to the left is that sports started as a means of training for soldiers. That is why football is so appealing to America; it is a he-man sport, a vestige of the old America, where an association of free men stand together in battle. Yes, team effort is required, but there is also plenty of room for heroics, and the individual may make a huge difference.

But at football’s core is a physicality bordering on violence, and to the left, that is anathema — an atavistic impulse that must be squeezed out of our children.

So instead of a healthy game of tackle football at recess, liberals substitute Ritalin and maybe a good heated game of tag.

Consider the war against dodgeball. Progressives fret that it is traumatizing children and have been systematically banning the game. Why? Nobody ever gets hurt from dodgeball, but Progressive educators still want it gone. That is because of the actual acts performed in the game: one physically tries to hit another. The goal of the left has been to make physical aggression taboo; thus, dodgeball, which teaches children to be physically aggressive, must go.

Read the whole thing.


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