I’ll admit my reluctance to address anything written by Kevin Powell, but as his most recent CNN pandering to the Feminine Imperative was the Twitter topic du jour in the manosphere this week I thought I’d make a perfunctory stab at it. I’m reluctant to do so because in doing a take-down article I’ll only be preaching to the choir and revisiting many well established topics I’ve covered on The Rational Male for years now.
What convinced me was a conversation I had with Mrs. Tomassi while walking my greyhounds this week. She asked me, “What the hell is wrong with boys these days? The all have no balls. It’s like they want to be girls or something.” We’ve had this discussion before. It usually gets brought up after she’s heard some story about the boys at my daughter’s high school or she sees it first-hand at a football game or some other event.
“Pretty soon, everyone is going to be a woman. Look at Bruce Jenner, “Woman of the Year”?! In the next ten years everyone will be a woman.”
I told her I think ten years might be too long.
When I read male-apologetics like Kevin Powell’s tribute to his own feminine ‘transitioning’ and his efforts at identifying and qualifying to be considered a more ‘perfected man’ in the terms set for him by a feminine-primary social order, it’s not hard to believe that social switch is right around the corner.
A Crisis of Manhood
Masculinity in “crisis” is a hot seller for click-bait articles these days. Women embrace the meme because it offers the tacit prospect of wrangling men into a more definitive control by the Feminine Imperative. Like all popular characterization of conventional masculinity, men have a problem and the cure is to become more like women.
Average men, the ones who make it their sexual strategy to better identify with the feminine, get behind the meme because it offers an easy opportunity to present themselves as the ‘evolved’, not-like-other-guys men they’ve been conditioned to believe women will sexually respond to favorably. Embracing this men-as-problem meme also offers them the opportunity to passively compete intrasexually with the conventionally masculine men then would otherwise never engage.
Before I dig into Powell’s article here I think it’s important to revisit my essay about Vulnerability. Powell’s ego is invested in the ‘strength in weakness’ theme his feminine conditioning has taught him is ennobling and as you read through his pleas for a more feminine-perfected social order he’ll return to it often.
For the greater part of men’s upbringing and socialization they are taught that a conventional masculine identity is in fact a fundamentally male weakness that only women have a unique ‘cure’ for. It’s a widely accepted manosphere fact that over the past 60 or so years, conventional masculinity has become a point of ridicule, an anachronism, and every media form from then to now has made a concerted effort to parody and disqualify that masculinity. Men are portrayed as buffoons for attempting to accomplish female-specific roles, but also as “ridiculous men” for playing the conventional ‘macho’ role of masculinity. In both instances, the problems their inadequate maleness creates are only solved by the application of uniquely female talents and intuition.
Perhaps more damaging though is the effort the Feminine Imperative has made in convincing generations of men that masculinity and its expressions (of any kind) is an act, a front, not the real man behind the mask of masculinity that’s already been predetermined by his feminine-primary upbringing.
Women who lack any living experience of the male condition have the calculated temerity to define for men what they should consider manhood – from a feminine-primary context. This is why men’s preconception of vulnerability being a sign of strength is fundamentally flawed. Their concept of vulnerability stems from a feminine pretext.
Masculinity and vulnerability are defined by a female-correct concept of what should best serve the Feminine Imperative. That feminine defined masculinity (tough-guy ridiculousness) feeds the need for defining vulnerability as a strength – roll over, show your belly and capitulate to that feminine definition of masculinity – and the cycle perpetuates itself.
[…]Men are ridiculous posers. Men are socialized to wear masks to hide what the Feminine Imperative has decided is their true natures (they’re really girls wearing boy masks). Men’s problems extend from their inability to properly emote like women, and once they are raised better (by women and men who comply with the Feminine Imperative) they can cease being “tough” and get along better with women. That’s the real strength that comes from men’s feminized concept of vulnerability – compliance with the Feminine Imperative.
[…]It’s indictment of the definers of what masculinity ought to be that they still characterize modern masculinity (based on the ‘feels’) as being problematic when for generations our feminine-primary social order has conditioned men to associate that masculinity in as feminine-beneficial a context as women would want.
They still rely on an outdated formula which presumes the male experience is inferior, a sham, in comparison to the female experience, and then presumes to know what the male experience really is and offers feminine-primary solutions for it.
It’s important to understand the machinations in which the Feminine Imperative will define masculinity for men. In order to maintain social preeminence the Feminine Imperative must keep men perpetually confused about what masculinity really is. This is precisely why the “crisis” of masculinity will, deliberately, never be solved to the satisfaction of the imperative. To solve the ‘crisis’ would be to deny the Feminine Imperative a method of ever changing, fluid control over men.
Thus we get inquisitive articles or mandatory gatherings to discuss “what is manhood?” In a state of feminine social primacy men discussing new definitions of masculinity is always a proposition of men chasing their own tails, but the ambiguity of that question is a calculated one.
Men are encouraged to continually attempt to answer “what is manhood?”, but the touchy-feely equalist appropriate answer is never one defined by the men asking it; the answer is always provided to them and this is always “whatever serves women the best”. Their confused state is a deliberate perpetual one.
As I stated in Vulnerability the narrative of the Feminine Imperative about masculinity is one that’s based falsehoods. If men define masculinity for themselves, and that definition serves men’s exclusive interests it is equated with posing or a front men falsely wear to mask the real masculinity that feminine primacy has ordained as legitimate.
So even when men collectively compare notes and prioritize their needs and their sexual strategy in the context of a legitimate definition of masculinity, the social narrative of feminism and feminine primacy readily disqualifies it as a being a macho bravado worn by men to cover their real vulnerable sensitive feminine-corrected egos provided for them by the imperative.
One of the ways of determining whether the propaganda you’ve dropped from the planes is sinking into the general populace is that your language, your narrative and your public relations material is willfully being professed by the people you hope to conquer. To say Powell is a Vichy Male wouldn’t do his obliviousness to being so credit. Powell is a testament to the degree to which feminine-primary, feminine-correct thought has saturated into men confused about their own masculinity, and the feminine correct definitions of it he’s ready to evangelize.
Powell’s ego-investment in his feminine-defined masculinity is glaringly apparent. To attack his belief is to attack his personality, but it’s important to note that his evangelizing reveals his obliviousness to his Blue Pill conditioning. Powell isn’t making a case for a ‘healthier masculinity’; he’s advocating for men adopting a neo-femininity in place of conventional masculinity. Powell is essentially advocating men become more perfected women and renaming that state “masculinity”.
I knew the guys were not comfortable with these mandatory gatherings, so I started each with a simple question:
What is a man?
Sighs of relief and phrases such as “leader,” “protector,” “caretaker,” “responsible,” “head of the house” fell from their mouths. Each session, I told them that they had just described my single mother and most women I’ve encountered in my life. These young men would grow quiet.
Powell kicks things off here with the blank-slate “men and women are functional equals” I described in Hypergamy Knows Best. This is the same “women are just as good at fathering as any man could be” rationale that reinforces men’s superfluousness with women. However, in doing so he sets the stage for defining masculinity in neo-feminine terms.
I grew up as most heterosexual boys did: I played every sport possible. I learned early on the rite-of-passage of seeing girls as sexual objects, as playthings, as anything except my equal. I fought because boys were taught to fight, be rough, antagonistic, to never show weakness, not even to cry, at least not in public. I digested every kind of pop cultural icon one could name, on television, in movies, in books, in my beloved hip-hop culture, who represented the mighty male figure that armies of us were instructed we must become.
This behavior led to catastrophic results for me. I had no clue how to express a balance of emotions for many years: It was either thunderous silence or raw explosions of rage. I did not know how to give love to myself or women and girls, and by the time I got to college, I merely did what other young males on my campus did: I had sex as casually as I slipped on my jeans and sneakers, and often did not give much thought to the woman on the receiving end. And I eventually pushed a girlfriend, post-college, into a bathroom door as we were arguing, the culmination of years of backward and very warped definitions of manhood imprisoned in pain and trauma.
Powell attempts to frame his case for a neo-feminine definition of masculinity in what are now very clichéd, very expected personal vignettes. It follows the Script.
We have the ostensibly ‘tough’ boy who grew up to be so thanks to a comically stereotypically male acculturation that taught him how to adapt and survive in his environment, but all of which stunted his capacity to balance his emotions. Emotional expression and an overemphasis on understanding emotion (in favor of reason) in men is the hallmark of a social narrative that prioritizes the feminine as the correct social context.
The story continues as expected. The kid who had no positive model of masculinity presented to him has an epiphany, renounces his unhealthy masculinity and adopts a non-toxic feminine-defined ‘healthy masculinity’ that prioritizes women under the auspices of “equality”. Most of his corrupted upbringing of course being the fallout from not having his superfluous father around to instruct him. My guess is Mom wasn’t quite the ‘equal’ of being the man he hoped to equate her with earlier.
Just as the feminist movement in America has challenged male domination in every form, a men’s movement is needed now more than ever before. The movement must be inclusive of males of all ages and backgrounds, rooted in peace, love and healthy definitions of manhood that include viewing women and girls as our equals. It should be a movement that is not in opposition to women, not trying to return to the days of “the rugged man,” but one that makes room for every kind of man possible (including men on the LGBTQ spectrum), where we can be vulnerable, emotionally available, truly free.
This is the crux of Powell’s misinformation. The ideal ‘masculinity’ in Powell’s estimate isn’t one of rugged individualism, but rather one that is more feminine-corrected; one in which a believes that society has progressed to a point where his personal vulnerabilities and emotionalism will not only be appreciated, but a source of intersexual attraction. His ideal simply amounts to a common plea for men to identify with women so thoroughly that they answer the question “what is a man?” with “a better woman.”
That Powell subscribes to egalitarian equalism is a given here, but what he needs to truly grasp is that men and women are not, and never have been functional equals. It’s ironic that he should describe his single mother ‘as a man’ and then go on to tell the story of his misspent masculine youth – he makes the case for necessary complentarianism without even realizing it. While I do agree about the necessity of understanding individuals other than ourselves, Powell never makes the connection that it is men upon whom the onus of understanding women always falls. You will never read deep soul searching testimonials like this from women who look to redefine femininity in ways that better accommodate the emotional health of men.
Caricatures of Masculinity
I undertook this post today because of a story I heard on NPR recently. It was about a tribe of Native Americans (I believe in Montana) who were struggling to preserve their indigenous language. The problem was that most of its native speakers were dying out and there were less than six tribe members who still used the language.
During the late 1800s there was a program instituted by the government that made great, often cruel, efforts to assimilate these Indian children into western society. That meant forbidding them from speaking their native tongue and adopting an American social identity. Being young, the kids had little choice and not the same sense of ethnic belonging to really understand why their parents would resist this assimilation.
I think a similar dynamic has been in effect in western culture with regard to masculinity for over sixty years. It’s come full circle now to the point where ‘men’ like Powell only know the caricatured, ridiculous portrayals of conventional masculinity when they need a convenient straw man to blow down. It’s like Indian children seeing the grotesque cartoon parodies of people of their ethnicity in the movies or media; after the laughter and denigration they come to a point of self-loathing where they gladly embrace the new racial identity that’s prepared for them.
The point of Powell’s article was a plea to more thoroughly assimilate young men into a neo-feminine definition of masculinity. He believes that a re-education of boys would help avert more mass shootings by these same young men. So invested is he in this narrative that the question of whether doubling-down on the re-education in feminine primacy already in place might in fact be the associative cause of these shootings, men’s 4-times higher rate of suicide or PTSD. This isn’t even an afterthought for him.
To Powell the only cure resides with women. To become more like women is masculinity to him. We will denigrate and admonish the overt sexualization of young girls, but when young boys wish to ‘transition’ into being girls themselves we praise them for it, we celebrate it. Feminine primacy consolidates power by replicating itself in men.
The primary reason I went to the effort of writing the Red Pill Parenting series was to help men stave off the total, ethnocidal-like destruction of any semblance of conventional masculinity by men like Powell bent on replacing it with ‘perfected’, male-embodied femininity. The problem isn’t one of boys adopting toxic masculinity, it’s the institutionalized gender-loathing re-education that Powell so desperately endorses. Neofemininity will be the realm of boys and men in tomorrow’s idealism.