Men, famously, are a tough gender. They’re solitary; they’re resolute; they tape their fingers back on with duct tape after they’ve cut them off on the table saw they were using to make a nice picture frame for Mom in wood shop. Is this an accurate picture of Men? I have not researched it whatsoever, and have in fact cobbled it together mostly from lazy stereotypes I saw on old episodes of Home Improvement, but sure, let’s say I’m right about this one. I am, at the very least, as right about Men as Republican Senator Josh Hawley.
Josh Hawley (R-MO) is also an appreciator of manly, masculine, tough men, and is concerned that they are not getting enough appreciation these days. Needing to be constantly, vocally reassured about every single little thing you say and do is, as we know, a major need for a strong and self-reliant gender. Men are so tough, says Josh Hawley, that millions of them will lapse into a life of chronic onanism if girls are mean to them.
“How can we be surprised that after years of being told that they are the problem, that their manhood is the problem,” says Josh Hawley, “that more and more men are retreating into the enclave of idleness and pornography and video games?”
I’m not surprised about that, Josh Hawley! I’m surprised that there is an entire enclave — a sealed village within a village! — built for nothing but masturbation, naps, and classic Tetris. Moreover, I am offended that no-one invited me. What else is in the Enclave of Idleness? Is it an Island of Misfit Toys situation? Or is it more like the part of Pinocchio where all the bad kids turn into donkeys? When a woman criticizes me — and God knows, one day, even I may fall short of perfection — will the brothers of the enclave accept me, a mere nonbinary…