May 5, 2015

Masculinity is hard.

I was just noticing a few days ago that Elspeth Reeve seems to have the Hillary + gender gig at the New Republic. She's the one who wrote the much-linked "Why Do So Many People Hate the Sound of Hillary Clinton's Voice?"

Her new one is "No Campaigns for Manly Men." Supposedly, without the broad, loud-mouthed, bullying Chris Christie in the presidential race, we have no "manly men." You might want to challenge that characterization of Christie, but that's the way Reeve presents him as she sets up her argument that the real men are gone.
Who’s the manly man’s man of the right? It’s not a politician like Ted Cruz, who exudes “televangelist” more than “cowboy.” It’s not a pundit like Glenn Beck, who cries over the Constitution and sells premium dad jeans. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal—they’re all kind of cute, and certainly non-threatening. Jeb Bush is selling himself as the Smart Bush.
"Manly man’s man"? What is this category we're supposed to believe in and care about? Is a "manly man’s man" something beyond a mere "manly man" or a "man’s man"? What the hell are we talking about? Reeve doesn't proceed to analyze what manliness means to people as they search for a political leader. She just consults the linguist Geoff Nunburg:
“It’s hard to think of manly men,” Nunberg mused. 
Is musing manly? Nunberg's got nunthing.
Guys like Jim Webb of Virginia. 
I guess that's Reeve's prompt to the musing Nunberg. Subtext: Democrats have a manly man.
“Christie was going to be that but Christie’s a joke.” Or at least, people are starting to see him as one, Nunberg said. He could only think of the manly man’s cousin: the asshole. Nunberg explained: "Assholes do very well on the right in particular. I wrote a book about assholes..."
Nunberg opines that Ted Cruz is "clearly an asshole," which makes Nunberg sound like an asshole. I mean, the guy wrote a book about assholes. Asked to talk about manliness, his instincts were to shift to a topic he understood (assholes), to push his own book, and to take an easy swipe at a convenient other ("the right").

Masculinity is hard.

85 comments:

William said...

The elder George Bush was at one time the youngest fighter pilot in the Navy. The Democrats portrayed him as a wimp.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Masculinity is hard.

Mine frequently is, but not when thinking about assholes.

chickelit said...

What William just said.

chickelit said...

LOL, Ignorance!

James Pawlak said...

It is NOT the sound of its voice, but the vomiting out of lies as most find unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

Elspeth would know about manly men since she married Scott Beauchamp?

Big Mike said...

There's no Democrat who even knows what a manly man is. Certainly there's none in their party.

There used to be, mind you, but Democrats are busy pushing the unionists out, except for teachers' unions and SEIU.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Geoffrey Nunberg breaks new ground with this fierce and funny narrative of how the political right has ushered in a new world order, aided unwittingly by the liberal media. Democrats are well known for their "lousy bumper stickers," as Joe Klein puts it. As liberals wade through the semantics of "social security lockbox," "single payer," and other wonky locutions, the right has become harder, meaner and better at getting out the message: the estate tax became the more menacing "death tax" and a contentious education initiative was wrapped in the comforting (and memorable) blanket of "No Child Left Behind." But Nunberg shows that the real story is more subtle than just a bumper sticker war. Conservatives' main goal wasn't to win voters over to their positions on healthcare, education, or the environment. They had a much more dramatic ambition. By changing the meaning of words like "values," "government," "liberal"; "faith," and "freedom," conservatives have shifted the political center of gravity of the language itself to the right. "Whatever our politics," Nunberg observes, "when we talk about politics nowadays, we can't help using language that embodies a conservative world-view." - Amazon review of this asshole's Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show Paperback – Bargain Price, July 3, 2007

damikesc said...

Yes, because Progs and feminists, no doubt, would support a "manly man".

Keep in mind, they supported Obama, the most metrosexual man in existence. A man for whom masculinity is a foreign concept.

When Hillary is, arguably, the most masculine person in your party, you might have issues. Remember, Bill cried about meaningless bullshit at the drop of a hat (or sight of a camera)

RazorSharpSundries said...

Chewin' on shrooms should put them all in touch w/ their Berserker souls and then they can run free through the woods, bare ass naked, raping, killing and pillaging and tearing hearts out of womanly liberal's breasts with their bare Berserker fangs, blood of their enemies running down their corded limbs.

Graham Powell said...

If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole.

If you run into assholes all day, YOU'RE the asshole.

tim in vermont said...

It's all like that Althouse, the whole Democrat operative with byline press. It's all motivated thinking to get to that little frisson of smug superiority, at least the sensation of it, that liberals live for.

Archie Bunker wasn't a bigot because it made him feel low and mean, it, in fact, made him feel elevated. Liberalism is a license to bigotry. It's like crack. Try and get a liberal to see it though.

You won't ever see a liberal take on a conservative argument. They reject it and ask a rhetorical question, like "Why haven't any Jews been elected to Congress in red states?" All the while overlooking that Jews make up maybe half of one percent of the population in most red states. Then they call themselves "reasonable" people.

It is all one big joke. The longer you think about it, the worse it gets.

virgil xenophon said...

@William/

Not only that but Bush the elder was Captain of the baseball team at Yale. Not only does that speak to his leadership and the esteem with which he was held by his teammates, but, while the designation does not always go to the most accomplished player of a team, TRUST ME it usually goes to someone who is damn good as well..

traditionalguy said...

Jim Webb is a good manly man. Webb is a realist and a populist and a man all in rolled into one. He is a Democrat of old, last seen in Zell Miller's speech in 2004.

But Scott Walker as a northern midwestern Republican has gone far by promoting his version of a patriarchal cultural tradition that is also community goal centered. He brings into that the required manly role of being a winner.

The test is whether losing and surrendering is part of a their normal operating method, like it is in compromising women.

For the manly man, losing is an unacceptable option.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Nunberg's got nunthing."

Makes me think of the guy who said "everyone hates puns...they didn't think of first."

n.n said...

The feminine man supports his masculine woman's right to sacrificial rites. The emasculated man "sits down and shuts up" while his masculine woman is sacrificing to receive her dose of opiates. The confused man will stake a lookout in the men's gym, and the wily man in the women's gym.

The Drill SGT said...

In the Army, I worked for lots of a$$holes. I can deal with the competent a$$holes. Generally they are focused on mission and unit success, because they'll do well by the result.

The incompetent a$$holes are the ones to watch. They'll get you killed. If they don't succeed (directly or in getting you killed), they try to pin the blame on others...

Obama? Incompetent a$$hole.

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey Nunberg again? He was the main source in Reeves's Hillary story where he opined that if you don't like the sound of Hillary's voice, you don't want a woman to have power.

Is Nunberg the only card in Elspeth Reeves's Rolodex?

tim in vermont said...

My Jewish mother-in-law once told the following joke:

"My friend Pinkas was visiting from Texas where he moved 20 years ago. I asked him how it was. He said "It's funny there, all their nick names are ironic. If you are tall they call you shorty, bald, they call you curly, and I haven't been laid in 20 years and they still call me 'the fucking Jew.'"

You could take this joke literally, like a liberal would, and have your belief that Texans are bigots affirmed, or you could look a little deeper and see that the joke is an expression of bigotry against Texans by a Jew.

One of the things that led me away from being a "liberal" is that I was supposed to hate Texans. I lived out west and met a lot of Texans. One day I realized that I had never met a Texan I didn't like. It was like a light bulb lit over my head.

tim in vermont said...

I wonder if it was Texas conservatives who were keeping Jews out of Harvard?

Deep State Reformer said...

Christie's appeal, for persons not living in NJ, is that the man doesn't take the venom, lies, and spittle directed at him and just smile and take it. Christie usually gives as good as he gets. There wouldn't have been any Candy Crowley moments in any debates with him. He'd have told her to sit down and shut up. Romney just grimaced and McCain glared in the face of all this rudeness and abuse. Christie possesses both intelligence and passion which give him verisimilitude. That is his main attraction, not his politics which are RINO squishly, at best.

Laslo Spatula said...

Enough talk about assholes and 'manly men'.

Elspeth Reeve is what I call a 'Bukkake Feminist'.

I'll probably need to write an essay to explain that.

I am Laslo.

Etienne said...

Manly Men (R)(c) All Rights Reserved, are what young women want, when they don't know what they want.

Obviously Manly Men might fill whatever void they think they have.

I can tell you one thing though, Manly Men, don't ever rise above the rank of Gunny Sergeant. These men don't have secretary's, and they don't have publicists.

When they see a neighborhood cat on their lawn, looking at their favorite bird in the tree, they pump their pellet gun up to 10, and shoot the fucker dead.

I got your Manly Men... hanging!

Manly Men are useful, but they don't know squat about the global economy. Right now we have no candidate that can go toe-to-toe with Europe and China, and come out of a conference with anything better than an 8x10 glossy of themselves licking a sucker.

Nonapod said...

I'll admit that I've never liked Hillary's voice. It has a sort of has a certain authoritarian Nurse Ratched quality to it that I find disturbing.

Deep State Reformer said...

Hey Laslo, when you write that essay post the link, I'd like to read it.

dreams said...

My definition of a manly man is someone who is mechanical, a competent jack of all trades type of guy. I think they feel less insecure than men who lack that kind of ability.

Brando said...

People don't like "assholes" or "bitches" they like assertive, confident men and women. It is the people who can't figure out how to do confident and assertive properly who come across as "assaholic" or "bitchy" and then try to claim that the problem is with others--they must not like go-getters, or strong women, etc.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I have a giant tattoo on my back, and I own a Harley Davidson and a handgun. Also I have a metal plate in my head.
I am a manly man's man.
I am not asking you to vote for me, I am telling you to vote for me.
I've already talked too much.

tim in vermont said...

Carly Fiorina's voice, OTOH, is perfectly fine.

I tell you what, to be perfectly fair and above board, I suggest that we conservatives give Hillary every break that liberals gave Sarah Palin.

Thorley Winston said...

Elspeth would know about manly men since she married Scott Beauchamp?

Evidently fabricating stories about running over dogs with tanks, wearing the skull caps of children and making fun of women whose faces were disfigured by IED’s meets her criteria of being a “manly man.”


TCR James said...

The people from the party of Captain Mom Jeans are worried about Republican masculinity?

[http://www.thedailyrash.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/600b09201e1.jpg]

That has the stench of over-compensation.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Reminds me of a good joke I used to tell when I bartended:

What is the difference between a proctologist and a bartender?

A proctologist only looks at one asshole at a time! [my customers loved that joke!]

Deep State Reformer said...

To the progs anyone who stands up to their patronizing, condescending bullshit without a big accepting grin is an "asshole". When the media pull their usual have you stopped beating your wife? shtick, just get up and walk out, hang up, whatever. Don't stand there and take it. It worked for Robert Downey Jr. recently, eh?

tim in vermont said...

Google did a "racism" by region study, looking for the number of times people from various areas searched on the word "nigger." It turns out that the heaviest concentration follows the Appalachian spine from the deep south through Vermont. It is like a map of where the poorest, most disenfranchised whites live. Basically Hillary voters. Voters who have been marginalized abandoned by the Democrats. When the WaPo writes up the story, it says, of course, that "The Republican Party has a racism problem."

That is what the press does. It twists every set of facts to attack Republicans.

Deep State Reformer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I'm Full of Soup said...

Most liberal men are pussies so Elspeth would probably think a guy like George Costanza was a manly man. And many liberals view lawsuit-happy dweeby lawyers as manly and brave.

mccullough said...

Andrew Jackson was the last manly-man president, maybe the only one. HW and JFK were manly in their youth. Maybe others were as well, but we all get older and hopefully wiser.

Teddy Kennendy was a fake manly man.

garage mahal said...

It's true that the Republican candidates are all kind of feminine. Huckabee might be the most manly?

The Godfather said...

"Manly man". I don't think that phrase means what you think it means, Elspeth. I think when you say Christie is a manly man you mean that he's a loud-mouth asshole.

To me, a "manly man" is a man with convictions and the courage to fight for them. A manly man tries to help and protect the weak and stand up to bullies. Scott Walker is a manly man. Both Presidents Bush were and are manly men, and so is Jeb.

Bill Clinton is not a manly man. Getting blow jobs from an intern is not a manly thing to do.

If Hillary! were a man, she wouldn't be manly -- BUT WAIT A MINUTE! If she were a man then nobody would think for a minute that she should be President, because she couldn't be "the first female president". Maybe we could work out a gender swap between Hillary! and Bruce Jenner (I don't think there's much chance that Ms. Jenner would be elected President, although -- once the surgery is complete -- she'd have the same qualifications as Hillary!).

traditionalguy said...

The only manly man making any news lately is a Jewish woman named Pamela Geller.

Fen said...

Elspeth would know about manly men since she married Scott Beauchamp?

Evidently fabricating stories about running over dogs with tanks, wearing the skull caps of children and making fun of women whose faces were disfigured by IED’s meets her criteria of being a “manly man.”


And this is why the New Republic is trash. Anyone with an ounce of integrity would have sent little Elspeth to McDonald's Job Fair a long time ago.

ZERO integrity. By keeping her on, New Republic is telling us they are just another propaganda rag.

Lyle said...

Ted Cruz handles the name calling with the greatest composure.

garage mahal said...

Ted Cruz has very soft hands.

Fritz said...

tim in vermont said...
I wonder if it was Texas conservatives who were keeping Jews out of Harvard?


Pretty much the same way Republicans screwed up Baltimore.

MayBee said...

Wow. Rubio and Paul can't be manly because they are attractive? Imagine saying something similar about a woman!

Anyway, Rick Perry is what I'd call a man's man.

This is hilarious coming from the party of Pajama Boy.

Michael said...

How can Reeve do this whole little piece and not mention Scott Walker? I guess anything that doesn't fit the narrative you just ignore. What a waste of pulp The New Republic has become!

rhhardin said...

Math and physics.

Sebastian said...

The GOP's supposed lack of manly men is less of a problem than the Dems' actual lack of feminine women.

Anonymous said...

A manly man? How about Gary Cooper?

Never complain. Never explain.

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

"How can Reeve do this whole little piece and not mention Scott Walker? I guess anything that doesn't fit the narrative you just ignore."

The masculinity of Scott Walker is difficult to analyze. Perhaps that's Reeve's next topic. But I suspect she'd want to put him in the "cute" category where she put Rubio and Jindal. That's if you're looking at his demeanor (as opposed to his policies and principles and so forth).

I suspect that for Reeve, every Republican is either "cute" or an "asshole."

I'm reminded of George Carlin's old routine about how the driver of a car feels: Every other driver is either stupid or an asshole.

Brando said...

"Andrew Jackson was the last manly-man president, maybe the only one. HW and JFK were manly in their youth. Maybe others were as well, but we all get older and hopefully wiser."

Teddy Roosevelt would like to have a word with you...

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Masculinity is too hard for most progressive men, although some of the women do a fair facsimile of it.

Brando said...

When I think "manly man" I think stoic, dependable, strong--the sort of person you want on your side when the chips are down and even when they're not on your side, you can respect him.

An "asshole" isn't a manly man, but can be confused for one because both assholes and manly men aren't overly concerned over others' feelings, and often face into the wind. But a manly man doesn't court enemies or exhibit a cruel streak, as an asshole will. And an asshole ultimately can't lead, as his assoholism tends to alienate.

Kyzer SoSay said...

So would Dwight Eisenhower.

3john2 said...

Manly men? Sounds like job security for Naomi Wolf. After all, look at what an alpha male she turned Al Gore into.

Brando said...

Some of this also comes down to image--can you picture the man hauling sacks off a pickup truck at a ranch, or getting into an arm wrestling match with Putin? Rick Perry seems the most rugged of the bunch, as though he walked off a Marlboro photo shoot.

Ike--now there was a manly man! When he landed at Normandy with his army, the Germans wanted to stop him until they realized there wasn't enough room for both them and his giant balls in France, and the balls had no intention of leaving. Then he became president, told the Chicoms and Norks that they'd better knock it off before he'd knock it off for them, and they agreed to stop their monkey business. Ike realized that the best way to keep his ass-kicking humane would be to fight the USSR in a space race, so he said "Sputnik? Sput that!" and landed some troops on the moon but they forgot to bring the flag with them so he said forget about it, we'll go back later. He had time then to plan the invasion of Cuba, but before it could come off JFK was president, and cracked under pressure so Cuba remained communist.

But Ike got us through those tough early Cold War years, showing the world that we could stand up to the Soviets without having to massacre them.

Brando said...

"Manly men? Sounds like job security for Naomi Wolf. After all, look at what an alpha male she turned Al Gore into."

Best test for a manly man--do you take advice on being a manly man from Naomi Wolf?

I remember when Carrie Nation tried to give advice to Teddy Roosevelt on how to be a manly man, she said he should wear more earth tones and work on his posture. Teddy said nothing, he was too distracted by the alligator he was wrestling. Fun fact--he and that alligator became best of friends, and even help each other move furniture.

clint said...

If Christie had tried to run as a manly man, people would have laughed.

It seems to me that both Walker and Cruz have demonstrated reasonable skills at handling hostile interviewers -- unlike Romney and McCain.

Sigivald said...

Yeah, I'm with William, up at the top.

I don't give a damn what Democrat operatives think about the "manliness" of Republicans.

(I mean, I also don't care about what anyone thinks abut anyone's manliness or lack thereof, but I especially don't care about it when it's undisguisable partisan hack-work.)

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Eisenhower, Truman, Coolidge. Hell, Reagan was an actor-a showbiz type!-but I don't hear too many people questioning his masculinity.
Rand Paul isn't manly because he's a Dr, too smart? Rubio isn't manly because he's too good looking? Yeah New Republic, give Cosmo and Tiger Beat a run for their pre-teen girl analysis money, you go girl!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Oh, by the way, are gender roles cool to use again, now? Or maybe just on Tuesdays? Gender roles are harmful and dangerous and applying them is a microagression, EXCEPT on Tuesdays or if your first name is Elspeth. Then it's cool.

Don't bother with the "well we're not sexists, we don't believe in gender roles, but lots of people do and so this analysis is just for them" dodge, either--it doesn't work for race/racism and it won't work for sexism. Well, it SHOULDN'T work, but since we're talking about the Media I guess it's whatever the Left wants to claim at whatever time it's convenient for them.

policraticus said...

Wait a minute. Are we taking it a read that Obama is a "manly man?" How much of a man's man was Mitt Romeny? Now John McCain was a manly man, no scare quotes needed, that proved no help, people just made fun of his gimpy leg and withered arm. Assholes do well on the right, huh? Physician, heal thyself.

Rusty said...

"Masculinity is hard."

After awhile it becomes second nature.

Same thing about guys being assholes. Some people just draw it out of you.

Rusty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

You sang along with Paula Cole.

You grunted with Jordan O'Neil.

You schemed with Lillian DeHaven.

You cried for Thelma.

You agonized with Louise.

In a world where all the real men are gone, what's a girlish voter to do?

Lean forward, sure.

Masculinity is hard. But impeaching dildos is harder.

Make way for Butch and Huma. Coming soon in a -- make that -- to a voting booth near you.

The Godfather said...

Am I the only one who detected the double entendre in the title to this post? Where's Titus when you need him?

Patrick Henry was right! said...

Just googled Elspeth Reeve and it prompted me to search for "Elspeth Reeve married".

Could this be irony????

Her major accomplishment, according to Google is getting married. Tt a guy who fabricated his entire career.

Etienne said...

The Godfather said...double entendre...

No. Couldn't be...

I loved the short story by Flannery O'Connor, called "A Good Man is Hard to Find".

Where a stupid old woman kills her family with her cat, and blames it on the (not so good) man who came along and shot them all to death.

Etienne said...

Elspeth and Gwyneth both sound like names given by mothers who had a lisp, when registering their names at the maternity ward.

eddie willers said...

I'm reminded of George Carlin's old routine about how the driver of a car feels: Every other driver is either stupid or an asshole.

"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?"

Rusty said...

The Godfather said...
Am I the only one who detected the double entendre in the title to this post?


No you're not, but I wanted to raise the tone of the fuckin thread.

The Godfather said...

@Coupe: When I was an adolescent (I'm not one now?) the version my crowd used was A hard man is good to find.

@Rusty: I'm sure the Professor appreciates your efforts.

Anonymous said...

She lost me at Bobby Jindal and ....kinda cute!!

The elder George Bush was at one time the youngest fighter pilot in the Navy. The Democrats portrayed him as a wimp.

George McGovern! WWII hero, yet came across and sounded like an old Protestant Church Lady.

Anonymous said...

Amazon review of "Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show"

Don't forget my favorite, courtesy of G.H.W. Bush....

Marin County hot tubbers!!

Gahrie said...

Isn't this femsplaining?

I'm being oppressed!

Where's the nearest safe zone?

Saint Croix said...

It's so weird to think of Christie as "manly." The man is very fat. A lot of people associate control, power, and authority with manliness. Which means a very fat person, who apparently has little self-control, would not be manly.

Aside from his lack of self-control, Christie looks soft. His layers of fat is like man-boob. Man-boob is not manly. Many men strive to avoid man-boob because man-boob reminds us of the people with the important boobies, that is to say, women.

Saint Croix said...

I don't know any women who, when asked to pick a manly man, would pick Chris Christie over Marco Rubio. Seriously, are your sex organs okay? Were you dropped on your head as a small child? Did your subscription to Tiger Beat run out? What happened in your life that Chris Christie is your dream man? Weird, girl. Very strange.

Saint Croix said...
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Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

It's fine with me if the world shifts to where obesity is the New Cool. I can do fat. More Ben and Jerry's, please. I can do loud and obnoxious. I am loud and obnoxious, particularly with alcohol.

As a matter of fact, add massive amounts of alcohol to me and I am Chris Christie. Loud, obnoxious and fat. I can do that! Easy. Very easy. Your dream of the New Manliness, I can fulfill that, baby. No problem.

Saint Croix said...

And it's nice to know that men can now write articles about the lack of femininity of Hillary Clinton, how she's a bad wife, a bad sex object, a bad mother. You're just not doing it for us, Hillary. And feminism doesn't say anything at all. Feminism is so silent about this judgment on the femininity of HIllary, because feminism is all into fairness and equality. We get that about you, feminism. You're always screaming, Fairness! Equality! You are such an awesome ideology.

Saint Croix said...

Here it is, ladies. The Chris Christie Pin-Up Calendar.

Buy it now for your locker at school! Or the New Republic, whatever.

MAJMike said...

George H.W. Bush was the Navy's youngest aviator. He flew a TBF "Avenger" torpedo bomber, not an F6F "Hellcat".

He was flying the TBF when he was shot down.

Unknown said...

Ann,
Masculinity is supposed to be HARD! If its flaccid it isn't masculine.

Men get the thankless hard to do jobs that involve high risks of severe injury or death: military combat, police work, below ground mining, slaughter-house work, cattle drives, metals manufacturing, machinery manufacturing.
Yes, women sometimes try these jobs but usually they don't remain in them unless the injury and death risks are reduced or eliminated.

Society prefers that its women be sheltered from injury and death.

How many women serve as military test pilots. The unstated rule in test flight work is that painful and violent death comes with the job. Very few women opt for such a high risk career.

Also, true masculine jobs have high failure rates. Accidents and WC claims are above the norm. Even OSHA can't succeed in making some jobs safe for women. Long- shore man, Underwater construction and demolition work all careers that are disproportional occupied by men. They are hard jobs to do and jobs that require strength and endurance. High stress tolerance is also required.

HARDNESS is a key trait of Masculine jobs and work.