… In the actual history of the human race “traditional masculinity” as a single coherent category simply does not exist.
To pluck only Western examples, there is no single “traditional” model that can encompass strong, silent types and romantic poets, chivalric knights and laconic cowboys, the sorrowing Young Werther and the stiffened upper lip, the machismo of the Mediterranean and the mysticism of the Celts, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant and John Wayne.
(Ross Douthat, “In Search of Non-Toxic Manhood,” NYTimes, 1-19-19)
(c) 2019 JMN.
Right, there’s not one monolithic type of maleness (which is also, incidentally, necessarily inherently bad). Glad to see people prying open steel-trap minds of the ideologues a bit. People are individuals, and all over the map, and in the margins.
Somewhat relatedly, recently somebody (I can’t remember who) quoted somebody else (who I also can’t remember), saying: “People don’t have ideas. Ideas have people.” That’s a real succinct way of putting what’s probably a very sophisticated insight. That’s going to be on my heavily quoted list.
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On mine too!