Wednesday :: Sep 5, 2007

Politics of Masculinity


by John Patric

It's odd to think of masculinity as a central issue in a Presidential election, but I think it's emerging as a pattern this time around. Here we have Glenn Greenwald's angry reaction to homophobic "tough guy talk" in the National Review.

I thought Ann Coulter's use of outright bigotry when referring to John Edwards merely demonstrated the extent of her backwardness and ignorance and hearing Elizabeth Edwards call her out on it seemed like the beginning and end of the thing. But now, with Republican hypocrisy coming out, so to speak, at every seedy corner, I'm struck by the way questions of masculinity keep edging from implicit to explicit on my teevee and computer screens.

Is the stage for this set by the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign? Could it be that as a nation, we're so aware of the possibility of our first woman Chief Executive that seriously neurotic masculinity issues can't help but start to creep out of the national psyche? So, it just keeps coming up? I don't know, I'm just asking.

The most amazing part of the GOP's men's bathroom problem is the way it's been shining a spotlight on the many levels of hypocrisy that underlie present day Republican male twistedness. It's not just Larry Craig's ability to vote anti-gay at every possible opportunity while trolling for penises between flight connections. It's also the David Vitter story: the two-faced lawbreaking adulterer gets a pass from the so-called family values party -- what, paying whores for sex in diapers is a sign of wholesome male-ness? Which Republican Presidential candidate will be the first to demand his resignation? It's not too late.

Ah, a culture at ease with masculinity...think of the possibilities.

If the other side is ever ready to give up on "Quien Es Mas Macho?" as a ridiculous exercise, then perhaps Democratic candidates could drop the whole "embarrassed about national security" trip. Just for starters.

John Patric :: 4:16 PM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!