Recently I had the unfortunate experience of discovering an Esquire article from February, 2014, by the quintessential queen of snark, Stephen Marche, whose title asks us, “Gentleman, Are You Man Enough to Caress a Penis?”
Most of the piece consists of typical Progressive tropes and clichés about modern masculinity (heh) in the West, all of which tediously reformulate and build upon the familiar rhetorical question: are you man enough to wear pink?
Of course, it’s not enough to single out several masculine figures in pop-culture and berate them for, you know, being masculine. (Clowns of masculinity, such as Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson character, are camp, Marche explains to us, divining the eternally anti-fascist wisdom of Susan Sontag. Wait. Wait. Al Bundy’s character in Married with Children is camp? Hey, you don’t say.) No, berating masculine characters for being masculine is not enough. Marche goes out of his way to explain, basically, that “real” manly men wear pink. That is, “real” men today aren’t afraid to perform fellatio on their fellow men. Characters of men in pop-culture or archetypes who espouse what were known to be masculine ideals and behaviors prior to, say, 2008, says Marche, such as the Spartan warriors in 2014’s 300: Rise of an Empire, are silly and stupid. They’re all camp, too. So, traditional masculinity—aka real masculinity to the rest of us—no matter if it’s knowingly teasing itself or not, is camp. And everyone knows this.
Of course, “everyone” means Progressive beta-male pajama-boys, who bother to read Esquire Magazine after jerking off to the pussies on NPR, and their angry Progressive wives or girlfriends. “Everyone” does not and would not include Jack Donovan, despite his androphilia, or Roissy. No, see. Donovan and Roissy are camp, too, and should be jeered. Because if they’re not jeered, they’re dangerous and evil and fascist and sexist and racist and… (He writes of real alpha males and those who admire them: “They’re hilariously terrifying or terrifyingly hilarious, depending on what angle you take.”)
Yawn. So far just a typical Prog piece rife with Hegelian-like reasoning: these “real” men aren’t masculine; real masculinity isn’t masculine since masculinity is a social construct; therefore
“The true alpha male is…The man who realizes, joyfully, that men are able to pick and choose how they want to be men as never before and that the first thing to do with your manliness is relish those opportunities.”
And those men can choose any way to be a man…excluding, of course, those choices that employ natural, traditional forms of masculinity based in reality rather than Progressive mythology. Oh, traditional Aristotelian logic—so antiquated, so filled with hate—may you be damned to the dialectic of Progress.
His piece is as insipid as the annual NFL campaign to emasculate the players with self-righteous pink flare to “raise awareness” of
testicular breast cancer.
What’s interesting about Marche’s piece is the part where he implicitly acknowledges, unwittingly, the cultural hegemony of Progressivism. Voices in the pop-culture branch of the Cathedral, such as Stephen Colbert, always recognize their own power only to deny it simultaneously with smirks and snark. But I gape in disbelief at times when Progs honestly fail to recognize their own power. Marche writes:
“Men’s clothing of the moment reveals a deep contradiction: Strength means weakness and weakness means strength. Everywhere you look, the weak look hard and the hard look week. The man in the salmon-covered shirt fires the man in the overalls. A face covered in Nazi prison tattoos is the face of a man as powerless as it is possible to be, while the face of mark Zuckerberg, emanating gentle geekiness, projects his world-encircling billions.”
Hold on. You mean. Right-wingers, Red-Staters, Vaisyas, and evil, stupid, tea-bagging bitter-clingers have zero cultural influence or power?
What a jackass. Marche is the perfect political mouthpiece for Esquire Magazine: man at his gayest.
Also, yes, it’s total popcorn eye-candy rightwing action porn. Still, I saw Rise of An Empire in 3-D at the theater. It was bad-ass. Bad-ass is a masculine virtue androgynous “men” like Marche will never understand or appreciate. And because they fail to get it, because they fail to appreciate how bad-ass real masculinity is, they want to steal our masculine rituals—like shooting firearms and drinking whiskey while cracking vulgar jokes about women, gays and Social Justice Warriors—from the rest of us.
And in response to the legions of snarky pajama boys like Stephen Marche who choose the oh-so popular man-boob “masculinity” of Progressivism today in the West, we have only this to say:
Molon labe, you sorry bitches.