The Left want to define traditional masculinity as toxic:' Is Sen. Hawley right?


Fact Box

  • At the National Conservatism Conference in Florida, Sen. Josh Hawley stated in his speech, “The Left want to define traditional masculinity as toxic. They want to define the traditional masculine virtues - things like courage, and independence, and assertiveness - as a danger to society.” 
  • An intensive study released by the American Psychological Association reported that “traditional masculinity” is marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression and “on the whole harmful.” In 2007, researchers at Boston College found that masculine men were more likely to engage in “normal” risky health behaviors like heavy drinking, using tobacco, and avoiding vegetables.
  • According to TalkSpace Voice, healthy masculinity is expressed by sharing a full range of emotions, treating women with thoughtfulness, accepting that anger is no excuse for violence, and being affectionate with other men. 
  • The political terms ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ originated in 1789 after the French Revolution when “anti-royalist revolutionaries” sat on the parliament’s left side while the “aristocratic supporters of the monarchy gathered to the right.”
  • In the modern era, socialism is the standard ideology of Leftism. Supporting authority, tradition, and property is common on the Right.

Andrew (No)

With his latest foray into the culture wars, Senator Hawley has completely missed the point of those working to end the very real and very negative effects of toxic masculinity. Attempting to define masculinity, which Hawley is doing here by associating it solely with what he defines as traditional values, is at the core of toxic masculinity. Hawley is defending the notion that there is only one way to be masculine and that, therefore, those who do not identify, present, or behave in that mold are not masculine. As a United States senator, Hawley should know that our nation comprises a rich tapestry of people, and many do not fit into tidy categories.

Toxic masculinity is an issue that affects all of America, all sectors, and certainly both parties. While it may score him some cheap short-term political points, beating this drum so loudly sows division and rancor. Something that leads to inequality in the workplace and violence toward women and LGBTQ+ people shouldn't be a political football; it should be something both parties are actively working to eliminate.

Finally, Hawley's remarks are simply untrue. Many on what Hawley describes as 'the Left' are indeed working toward finding more acceptance and inclusivity for those who don't present in 'traditionally masculine' ways, ways that don't come at the expense of anyone. The dichotomy between 'traditional values' and inclusion is false; America is big enough for all people. Former fringe populations gaining acceptance does not diminish or threaten 'traditional masculinity.' 

Ethan (Yes)

According to The Atlantic, the phrase 'toxic masculinity' didn't originate from the feminist movement and instead came from a movement of men trying to rescue true masculine traits from actual toxic masculinity. The term has become misinterpreted through its use by the political Left and feminist activists. The vilification of traditional masculinity by the Left and these activists has made it common nowadays for men to be put down if they partake in traditional masculine things such as enjoying football, being chivalrous towards women, or being the family breadwinner. This is not productive for anyone and shames men who genuinely value those traditional masculine traits. 

The Left has a habit of trying to define most traditional things as 'toxic' as a way to 'fix' society, but they're actually damaging it. Despite claiming to be tolerant, many members of the Left are actually very intolerant of anyone who has a lifestyle that varies from their own, such as those who don't believe in abortion, consume certain diets, and don't believe in certain religions. Unfortunately, this intolerance also includes men who choose to embody traditionally masculine traits. 

Sen. Hawley backed up his claim with statistics, and it's hard to argue with data. According to The Kansas City Star, 'He blamed 'the left' for undermining masculinity, pointing to statistics that show more women than men attend college, fewer men report being married between the ages of 25-34, men are fathering fewer children and that men are experiencing higher rates of substance abuse, anxiety and depression.' Clearly, there's a connection between toxifying masculinity and a decline in the well-being of men, and the Left is directly responsible for that.

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