January 13, 2022

"It has been exciting to watch as more men embrace vulnerability.... But my hope has begun to diminish as I’ve watched male vulnerability curdle into something toxic."

"Let’s call it petulant vulnerability. Think of the boyfriend professing loneliness to ensure his partner never sees their friends. Or the hundreds of texts and anecdotes of so-called softbois collected on the @beam_me_up_softboi Instagram account — men who express their feelings the way avalanches share snow, often as a form of manipulation or passive aggression.... The aftermath of last year’s Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was a festival of petulant vulnerability. While the attack itself was violent and wrathful, many in the mostly male mob, who screamed obscenities or threw heavy objects at police officers that day, later wept as they expressed shame, offered excuses or complained about jobs and friends they lost.... If true vulnerability means accepting change, personal fallibility and the human condition of reliance on others, petulant vulnerability feigns emotional fragility as a means of retaining power.... What if, on Jan. 5, 2021, a man upset by Donald Trump’s electoral defeat had confessed to friends and loved ones that he was afraid and that he felt he was losing control in a world he believed no longer valued him? What if he had sat with those feelings, cried if he wanted to and discussed how to chart his path in a changing landscape? That would have been vulnerable."

From "This Isn’t Your Old Toxic Masculinity. It Has Taken an Insidious New Form" by Alex McElroy (NYT). We're told "Mx. McElroy is the author of the novel 'The Atmospherians,' about two friends who start a cult to reform problematic men." 

78 comments:

Yancey Ward said...

Oh, for fuck's sake. Physician heal thyself.

ElPresidenteCastro said...

"the attack itself was violent and wrathful, many in the mostly male mob"

And yet the only person murdered by the police was a woman.

"Glad she wasn't Black."
-The guy that shot her

n.n said...

Male vulnerability, huh. They think that they can abort the baby, cannibalize her profitable parts, sequester her carbon pollutants, and have her, too. The masculinists, feminists, and transhumanists deserve each other.

That said, diversity [dogma] breeds disharmony and adversity. Lose your religion. #HateLovesAbortion

Joe Smith said...

Mx? Really?

Is it an abbreviation for Mixmaster...like rappers?

This country is too soft to survive.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

"That would have been vulnerable."

It would have been vulnerable but more so it would have been feminine. And so feminism continues to imagine making men into inferior women instead of accepting them as men.

To a feminist, the only acceptable masculinity is femininity.

jg said...

Making yourself vulnerable to the manipulations of vulnerable-style people is a big mistake.

tim in vermont said...

What if on January 5th, Pelosi had accepted Trump’s offer of the National Guard and the whole thing was avoided.

n.n said...

And yet the only person murdered by the police was a woman.

The only person aborted... murdered by police or anyone present. The "Capitol Hill hero" had plausible cause to elect the abortion of an unarmed woman, alone, in a prone position. In a nod to the not so far left, better dead, apparently.

Kai Akker said...

That is so good! Althouse is trying her hand at fiction now. A perfect fantasy posting -- right down to that clever little (NYT) grace note. Where else, right? You almost had me on that one.

n.n said...

What if on January 5th, Pelosi had accepted Trump’s offer of the National Guard and the whole thing was avoided.

They would still spin the handmade tales, even from whole cloth a la more than 16 trimesters of inauguration day violence, nationwide insurrections, neighborhood occupations, and house of impeachments.

rcocean said...

The aftermath of last year’s Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was a festival of petulant vulnerability. While the attack itself was violent and wrathful, many in the mostly male mob, who screamed obscenities or threw heavy objects at police officers that day, later wept as they expressed shame, offered excuses or complained about jobs and friends they lost....

IOW, the Trump supporters are a bunch of crybabies. The lack of decency and respect for the truth at the NYT's is truly amazing. Odd, that he doesn't mention the deaths of Ashli babbitt and the other female protester. Or discuss Antifa's attack on the White House and burning down part of the church across the street. Or Ray Epps and possible FBI/Democrat incitement. Or discuss that men still sitting in Jail for doing nothing more that protesting.

But I get tired of saying this. Tired of being the lone patriot pushing back. this is how the Left wins. They just keep lying, and lying, and lying, and lying. And People who push back just give up.

n.n said...

And so feminism continues to imagine making men into inferior women instead of accepting them as men.

Inferior, stop. Feminism, as masculinism, does not serve women, and men, respectively. Normal men and women acknowledge equal in rights and complementary in Nature/nature, reconcile, and we do.

gilbar said...

i'm not sure i'm following this right.
This 'new' way of maleness? Is it As Bad as the old way? Is it Worse?
if so, how?
Should (cis)males just cut off their dicks and balls? It's Testosterone that's the Real Problem;
Right?

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

"Should (cis)males just cut off their dicks and balls?"

We have enough eunuchs running around pretending to be women, we don't need anyone else to see this as encouragement to that same end.

n.n said...

the deaths of Ashli babbitt and the other female protester

The latter is alleged to have suffered from a fentanyl... amphetamine-induced condition.

Sebastian said...

So strong and uncommunicative, and aggressively assertive, and petulantly vulnerable are all toxic?

Hey, ladies, do us a favor: please tell us what isn't toxic, just so we know. Or is toxic femininity a matter of keeping us guessing?

Iman said...

I avoided the article because I did not want to be exposed to a shocking amount of toxicity.

Michael K said...

We were told that a world ruled by women would be fairer and more peaceful.

What a load of crap.

Narr said...

The Problematics were a punk band in the 90s.

I missed that "Mx" earlier. Pronounced 'minx'?

Joe Smith said...

Mx.

I had to look the person up.

Kind of what I expected.

A wimpy, androgynous, Bowie in his 'Man Who Fell to Earth' stage.

'Non-binary' is what you call yourself when you're working up the courage to tell your parents you're gay.

tim in vermont said...

“ Hey, ladies, do us a favor: please tell us what isn't toxic,”

What they hate the most are guys who do whatever they want.

Fernandinande said...

The author might be have things confused with BLM and Antifa; surely arson and looting are better expressions of pent-up anger than invading a government building.

Clyde said...

Oh, he's a dude. I had a mental picture of a woman in glasses with a buzzcut. So I'll just say, "Man up, Alex."

rhhardin said...

Toxic wimpery.

rhhardin said...

Pensive at eve, on the hard world I mused,
And m poor heart was sad; so at the Moon
I gazed and sighed, and sighed; for ah how soon
Eve saddens into night! mine eyes perused
With tearful vacancy the dampy grass
That wept and glitter'd in the paly ray
And I did pause me on my lonely way
And mused me on the wretched ones that pass
O'er the bleak heath of sorrow. But alas!
Most of myself I thought! when it befel,
That the soothe spirit of the breezy wood
Breath'd in mine ear: "All this is very well,
But much of one thing, is for no thing good."
Oh my poor heart's inexplicable swell!

- Coleridge, mocking the sensitive man style of poetry

rhhardin said...

And this reft house is that, the which he built,
Lamented Jack! and here his malt he pil'd,
Cautious in vain! these rats, that squeak so wild,
Squeak not unconscious of their father's guilt.
Did he not see her gleaming thro' the glade!
Belike 'twas she, the maiden all forlorn.
What the she milk no cow with crumpled horn,
Yet, aye she haunts the dale where erst she stray'd:
And aye, beside her stalks her amorous knight
Still on his thighs their wonted brogues are worn,
And thro' those brogues, still tatter'd and betorn,
His hindward charms gleam an unearthly white.
Ah! thus thro' broken clouds at night's high noon
Peeps to fair fragments forth the full-orb'd harvest-moon!

- Coleridge reverting to toxic humor in the male style

Sebastian said...

Tim: "What they hate the most are guys who do whatever they want."

Just to be clear, I didn't meant that I personally would agree to avoid all toxicity . . .

So, connecting our comments, are claims of toxic masculinity a form of female self-hatred?

Kai Akker said...

"EXCITING" by Mx updike

embrace..... diminish..... curdle.....
feelings..... avalanches share..... festival!
petulant..... violent.. wrathful.. male..
screamed.... threw.... wept.... shame....
accepting... fallibility... feigns.... retaining power....

upset.... losing control.... no longer valued... sat
cried.... discussed..... vulnerable!

He runs... ah: runs.... runs.

Skeptical Voter said...

Who knew that Pajama Boy could write?

gspencer said...

"It's been exciting watching the wave of estrogen embrace men."

"Yo go yo girlie-man!"

Lewis Wetzel said...

I want to reform problematic Mx's, if they were born with a vagina and are cute. I am here for you, ladies.

mccullough said...

Another New York writer. Toxic provincialism

effinayright said...

"It's Testosterone that's the Real Problem;"
***********

Go mock a chick for her Raging Hormonal Imbalances. Tell her she has Estrogen Poisoning.

You'll get bug-eyed rage and fingernails clawing at your face.

0_0 said...

Totally not getting the other side's motivations.
Also, I'd like to see this person examine the BLM riots with the same lens and see what we get.

Jeff Weimer said...

"Whatever men do, even how we want them to do it, is bad."

Lurker21 said...

Alex knows how to sell an article. Start with something as far as possible from Trump and January 6th, link it tenuously -- speciously -- with Trump and January 6th, and act like you've proven something.

I would suggest a thought experiment: if you've won and are tempted to belittle the losers, imagine that you had lost; how differently would you behave? But of course, the deeper you go into something, the harder it is to sell and article about it.

Scot said...

Mx. Yzptlk is my rapper name. (Is a DC comix joke.)

Ceciliahere said...

Sorry, you lost me at Mx. I am so confused as to what THESE PEOPLE want from men. Who is this Mx.”person”? And why is he/she/it/them so fucking crazy?. I don’t think I’ll be taking any advice from this psycho or reading any of its books. I wonder who is going to fight the next war now that this society has completely annihilated the male gender. Let me tell you, this bull shit would never go down in Russia or China. Mx. is a mental contortionist who cannot figure out how to function in the real world and would like to reshape it into something more suitable for an Mx. But, no one knows what that is, especially the “problematic” Mx.

Balfegor said...

As the saying goes, tears are a woman's weapon. It can hardly be surprising that men encouraged to weep would weaponise them in the same way.

This Person said...

many in the mostly male mob

How TF does this freakshow know how they identify?

Lewis Wetzel said...

I don't think the Mx's of this world have internalized the patriarchy enough.

Kevin said...

I see everyone at the NYT gets bonus points for linking their assigned article to January 6th.

Gus Portokalos would be proud.

Gus Portokalos : Kimono, kimono, kimono. Ha! Of course! Kimono is come from the Greek word himona, is mean winter. So, what do you wear in the wintertime to stay warm? A robe. You see: robe, kimono. There you go!

farmgirl said...

Does anyone think the addiction to birth control is what’s messing w/the hormones in some offspring? It’s a thought…

“What if on January 5th, Pelosi had accepted Trump’s offer of the National Guard and the whole thing was avoided.”

I just barely asked that same question to a friend ( who never ever agrees w/me- ever- & she said she heard it was Trump who denied more security! WT(actual)F!!? You can go on and on about the “low info backwoods/backwater voter” who won’t ever vote for anyone but Trump: it’s these pig-headed, “I-saw-it-on-60-minutes-so-it’s-gospel” people that take the cake on low information!

Is there just a tag for steaming pile of bullshit?

cubanbob said...

Real men and women don't read the NYT. There is an alternate universe where the readers of and believers of the NYT and for whom the NYT is written for and then there is reality where most people live in. In the universe normal people live in nothing an MX would write would be of interest to them. Fortunately we have Althouse to do the reconnaissance of Toon Town for us.

PM said...

Who ARE these weenies who think this stuff up?
I grew up in the era of be strong, show nothing, stay hungry.
That time is gone, ok, no worries, but good Lord, this kind of self-doubt and defeatism is just sad.

Iman said...

“Go mock a chick for her Raging Hormonal Imbalances. Tell her she has Estrogen Poisoning.

You'll get bug-eyed rage and fingernails clawing at your face.”

How long did it take for those scratches to heal, effinayright?

farmgirl said...

“And this reft house is that, the which he built,
Lamented Jack!“

Hah!! So, there reallybIS a house that Jack built!! For decades I thought it was a joke. Thank you, rhhardin:0)

Lurker21 said...

My political concerns are real and serious and matter immensely.

Yours can simply be reduced to psychological vulnerability.

Have a good cry and then accept the New Order.

Sincerely,

Mx Mxyzptlk

Lurker21 said...

Non-binary Mx McElroy apparently likes to confound the public. It's hard to tell from the more recent photos which gender they was assigned at birth. But judging from an older picture it looks like they is/was a he.

There's a gray area, not just between the genders, but between the famous and the unknown. If you are a celebrity, you can be famously nonbinary. It's part of your act as a public figure. If you are a recluse or a nobody, you can get through life anonymously, leaving as few traces as possible and having to answer as few questions as possible. If you are somewhere in between it's harder to pull off the non-gendered or other-gendered thing. You have many interactions with people, and you have to keep on explaining who or what or why you are.

Limited blogger said...

5th dimensional imp

narciso said...

no you silly twit, the waterbuffalo romp was nothing compared to the firestorm of arson, murder, that swept through the spring and summer of 2020, courthouses under mortar attack,

chickelit said...

I'm still waiting for toxic personalities like Alex McElroy to write about (or even recognize) women who have ended long-standing relationships with men (or refused to enter into relationships with men) simply because the man supported Trump. There's a special brand of misandry there being mainstreamed and validated.

Roger Sweeny said...

What Balfegor 1/13/22, 4:59 PM said.

This Person said...

When are we going to face the music that closing asylums in the 90s was a big mistake?

narciso said...

unlike Neo, he doesn't even know he's in the hatcheries

Joe Smith said...

'Mx. Bojangles, dance.'

Doesn't have the same flair...

Paddy O said...

"What if, on Jan. 5, 2021, a man upset by Donald Trump’s electoral defeat had confessed to friends and loved ones that he was afraid and that he felt he was losing control in a world he believed no longer valued him? What if he had sat with those feelings, cried if he wanted to and discussed how to chart his path in a changing landscape? That would have been vulnerable"

He would have been a typical instapundit commenter

Scot said...

Think of the boyfriend professing loneliness to ensure his partner never sees their friends.

Wait ... won't boyfriend go with his partner to see their friends? So they can visit their friends & avoid loneliness? Why does boyfriend refuse to see his & his partner's friends?

Antecedent Lives Matter!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

What if a kindly uncle of one of those potentially-vulnerable men on Jan 5 had said "Deal with it?"

Lem said...

"It has been exciting to watch as more men embrace vulnerability...."

That's not what box office ticket sales implies. Most of the movies women have replaced men in the role of hero have done poorly. It may not be sensitive to point this out but, there it is. There is nothing exiting about a guy squirming... Fight Club was about the average guy fantasizing about manning up. Big hit.

Jupiter said...

"Mx. McElroy"? Soy poisoning.

Lem said...

"It has been exciting to watch as more men embrace vulnerability.... But my hope has begun to diminish as I’ve watched male vulnerability curdle into something toxic."

You know what. With minor 'modifications' that headline could be used to criticize transwomen breaking women's sports records with impunity.

I don't mean to be insensitive btw.

Narr said...

I'm so masculine I could cry.

Static Ping said...

The weirdo does have a point. Men, or at least some men, will use whatever will work to get what they want. If that requires becoming a "sensitive" man to get laid, then so be it. Quite a few sexual predators and general cads have used that strategy, often to great effect. Some of the great male feminists have been proven to among the worst womanizers and all around jerks.

That said, women will do the same thing just in different ways.

The article could be summarized thusly: some people are not very nice. Congratulations on noticing the obvious.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Static Ping said...

The weirdo does have a point. Men, or at least some men, will use whatever will work to get what they want. If that requires becoming a "sensitive" man to get laid, then so be it. Quite a few sexual predators and general cads have used that strategy, often to great effect. Some of the great male feminists have been proven to among the worst womanizers and all around jerks.

That said, women will do the same thing just in different ways.


Maybe that's the problem, today's sensitive men are better manipulators than women.

Howard said...

You people should thank Althouse for giving you this bloody raw hunk of meat after triggering you so unmercifully with the post on the arrest of the suspected deplorable traitor. A Yale law-yer no less.

Bon appetit

Caligula said...

"It's Testosterone that's the Real Problem; Right?"

Too much T: big problem! Too little T: big problem! Conclusion: hi-T or low-T or anything in-between: men are the problem!!

It's Kafka all the way down.

Dude1394 said...

My goodness, that was a load of crap.

mishu said...

'The Atmospherians,' about two friends who start a cult to reform problematic men."

So it's conversion therapy.

M said...

Everything they listed as the men’s “toxic vulnerability used to manipulate and gain power” is how I have seen a majority of women’s BS since I was a little girl and didn’t understand what the hell was wrong with the other females around me. Now as a middle aged woman I have the same feelings about women’s “emotional vulnerability”.

Step far away from me while you are vomiting your emotional mess all over the place Karen and Tiffany. You can’t manipulate me with your tears like you do men or with your mean girl distain like you do to other women. I still don’t understand the reasoning behind most most female social status signaling amongst women so mean girl snark does not phase me. It just irritates me if it gets in the way of my goals.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Mx. McElroy is the author of the novel 'The Atmospherians,' about two friends who start a cult to reform problematic men

What a sexist pig

mikee said...

I aim to be problematic. Maybe even problematical.

Rosalyn C. said...

"What if, on Jan. 5, 2021, a man upset by Donald Trump’s electoral defeat had confessed to friends and loved ones that he was afraid and that he felt he was losing control in a world he believed no longer valued him? What if he had sat with those feelings, cried if he wanted to and discussed how to chart his path in a changing landscape? That would have been vulnerable."

What if that same man later watched endless testimony at state legislatures in Georgia and MI and AZ about election irregularities, saw video of obvious fraud such as pulling ballots from under tables after counting had been officially stopped and running them through counting machines numerous times, listened to the story of a man who delivered US mail and had his semi truck filled with ballots from NY mysteriously disappear in PA, listened to advanced mathematicians describe the improbability of losing certain key localities and yet winning the election, etc., etc.?

A typical passive, helpless woman might throw up her hands and sit and cry about all that but a man with a normal level of confidence and energy could possibly be enraged by the thought of a dirty election and moved to action, even to go to protest at the Capitol. Finding the doors of the Capitol open he might even enter the building with a bunch of other people. However later, having been hunted down, incarcerated and hounded by the DOJ for months, and losing his livelihood simply over having entered the Capitol might bring such a man to tears and a feeling of humiliation. I wouldn't call that petulant vulnerability.

Smilin' Jack said...

Pillage

They will trample our gardens to mire, they will bury our city in fire;
Our women await their desire, our children the clang of the chain.
Our grave-eyed judges and lords they will bind by the neck with cords,
And harry with whips and swords till they perish of shame or pain,
And the great lapis lazuli dome where the gods of our race had a home
Will break like a wave from the foam, and shred into fiery rain.
No more on the long summer days shall we walk in the meadow-sweet ways
With the teachers of music and phrase, and the masters of dance and design.
No more when the trumpeter calls shall we feast in the white-light halls;
For stayed are the soft footfalls of the moon-browed bearers of wine,
And lost are the statues of Kings and of Gods with great glorious wings,
And an empire of beautiful things, and the lips of the love who was mine.

We have vanished, but not into night, though our manhood we sold to delight,
Neglecting the chances of fight, unfit for the spear and the bow.
We are dead, but our living was great: we are dumb, but a song of our State
Will roam in the desert and wait, with its burden of long, long ago,
Till a scholar from sea-bright lands unearth from the years and the sands
Some image with beautiful hands, and know what we want him to know.

James Elroy Flecker

Mr. Forward said...

James Elroy Flecker (5 November 1884 - 3 January 1915) Smilin' Jack 12:28 AM
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (21 October 1772 - 25 July 1834) rhhardin 4:01 PM and 4:03 PM

I had to look up the dates. I don't know if we want to encourage poetry on this site but those were relevant and eloquent.
Thanks.

tim maguire said...

No matter what men do, they’re doing it wrong. No matter what men do, their critics will never let up, will never stop criticizing.

No commenting (quelle surprise!) They probably knew the readers would trash this obnoxious essay.

dbp said...

The idea, in a very general sense, behind this kind of writing is to paint us a picture. The facts are known, in terms of what happened, where it happened, who was involved and when the event took place. The writer will tell a story which contains these facts, so that there is a narrative: To make random facts make sense.

But sometimes the story is so far from reasonable, that one cannot help but see a different and inward looking story unfolding, a story which is really all about the troubles and pathologies of Alex McElroy, the author.

mikee said...

Will a similar literary piece, or pieces, be done for the other genders involved in the events of Jan 06? Will strong independent females capable of doing things like insurrection all by themselves, for themselves, be highlighted? Will LGBTQ+ persons who entered the hallowed halls of Congress have their locations on the gender spectrum voiced for the public's approval? Anyone see any furries or Star Wars cosplayers in the videos? Now there would be a story, even more fascinating than the buffalo horn hat guy!