Missouri Senator Josh Hawley spent Halloween night trying his best to scare his fellow right-wingers with blood-curdling stories about the left and its diabolical program of destroying men just for fun or something.
As Hawley explained in a speech at the National Conservatism conference,
Home? I have no home. Hunted, despised, living like an animal! The jungle is my home. But I will show the world that I can be its master! I will perfect my own race of people. A race of atomic supermen which will conquer the world! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Sorry, sorry, that wasn’t Hawley. That was Bela Lugosi as mad scientist Dr. Eric Vornoff in Ed Wood’s Bride of the Monster.
Hawley’s also-quite-melodramatic speech went more like this:
I want to talk with you about the Left’s attempt to give us a world beyond men.
We meet at a time of reckoning. As we speak, the Left controls the commanding heights of American society. They have the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate. Their voices predominate in the news media, in Hollywood, arguably sports, and of course, at our universities. …
What I want you to notice, what I want to call out tonight, is this fact: that the deconstruction of America begins with and depends on the deconstruction of American men.
Ouch! That sounds quite painful.
You see, when the left talks about challenging “toxic masculinity” — meaning some men’s tendencies towards violence and bullying and never showing any emotion to the world beyond rage — they are actually trying to destroy every good thing about men.
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.
This is an effort the Left has been at for years now. And they have had alarming success. American men are working less, getting married in fewer numbers; they’re fathering fewer children. They are suffering more anxiety and depression. They are engaging in more substance abuse.
You know, it’s possible that men (and women, by the way) are having fewer children because they don’t want to raise kids in a world heading for ecological catastrophe and in which college tuition can cost more than a house. (A tiny one anyway.) Oh, and the world already has nearly 8 billion people on it.
I have a lot of anxiety and depression and trust me, none of it has anything to do with anything the left is doing.
Aside from not having kids or getting married young, what other terrible consequences has the left’s war on men had?
Video games. And porn, too, we can’t forget the porn.
Can we be surprised that after years of being told they are the problem, that their manhood is the problem, more and more men are withdrawing into the enclave of idleness, and pornography, and video games.
I mean, it’s not like men would be into porn or video games were it not for the left’s man-destroying campaign.
Another example of said dastardly plan? Gillette made some ads challenging toxic masculinity. Specifically, bullying , domestic violence and sexual harassment.
Somewhere in the middle of his rambling diatribe, Hawley brings up former leftist icon …
Wait for it.
Herbert Marcuse, a lefty thinker that I don’t think anyone has thought much about since, oh, 1974. Hawley devotes more than a few minutes trying to blame Marcuse (who died in 1979) for the current culture wars.
Similarly weird is Hawley’s attempt vaccine mandates into a class issue.
[T]he Left is writing this same men-are-the-problem mantra into policy.
Working class men have been a particular target for this Administration. President Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate on private citizens puts millions of working class men squarely in the cross hairs. Shut up, get the jab, or get lost.
Eat shit, Hawley; it’s a public health issue. Vaccine refusers make it hard if not impossible to reach herd immunity and move on from this deadly pandemic.
Hawley ends his speech by declaring that “the crisis of American men is a crisis for the American republic.”
Wrong again. American democracy is in trouble not because leftists and feminists and the Gillette company are trying to fight off the deleterious effects of toxic masculinity. We’re having a crisis of democracy because the Republicans have basically declared war on democracy so they can have something like permanent minority rule in this country. And there’s nothing virtuous about that.
H/T — Alan Robertshaw
Follow me on Mastodon.
Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.
We Hunted the Mammoth relies on support from you, its readers, to survive. So please donate here if you can, or at David-Futrelle-1 on Venmo.
“No deconstruct Johnny 5!”
I have no idea why that entered my head, but I think it is a fair rebuttal to the good senator’s argument.
“The left” doesn’t control the commanding heights of American society. If they did, they wouldn’t be struggling to get any progressive legislation enacted.
As for Herbert Marcuse, does this mean that Saul Alinsky is being replaced in the bogeyman role?
I’ll take “things that go bump in the night” for $400, Alex.
“I signed on this ship to practice medicine, not to have my atoms scattered back and forth across space by this gadget!”
Meanwhile in my state (not the US) 93.5% of over 16s have had at least one vaccine dose, and essentially you can’t go to work unless you’re fully vaccinated… I’m glad I don’t live there.
There are quite a few left-leaning people on my Facebook friends list, and I’ll be legit shocked if any of them have read so much as a paragraph of Marcuse.
@Moggie – Yep. The Founding Fathers gave lip service to equality, but they made sure white rural landowners would always have a chokehold in the Senate.
Hawley also conveniently left out the Supreme Court, gerrymandering, Fox News, right-wing talk radio, the Federalist Society, ALEC, The Fellowship, the NRA, and social media disinformation. There’s an enormous right wing apparatus obstructing every inch of progress in this country, but they still feel like besieged victims.
None of these virtues are exclusive to men. Nobody is trying to outlaw them. This is just amygdala pandering. It’s 10 pounds of lies in a 5 pound sack.
This from the guy who helped incite an insurrection because his desired candidate LOST the election. If “the left” was as powerful as Hawley wants people to believe, they’d have the 2/3 majority needed to not only push Biden’s agenda through the Senate over the objections of the Republicans but to expel Hawley from the Senate.
I am sure Gamergaters are happy to know they are part of a “leftist” agenda…
I’m a card-carrying Wobbly with a degree in Community Development, and not only have I never read any Marcuse, I never even heard of him before today.
“There are quite a few left-leaning people on my Facebook friends list, and I’ll be legit shocked if any of them have read so much as a paragraph of Marcuse.”
Pick me, pick me!-but then I’m old. I giggle to think of Hawley thumbing through a copy of One-Dimensional Man; Marcuse’s most accessible book, and even in the 60s more displayed on coffee tables and bookshelves then read.
It’s when he gets to the part where the Secret Marxists ensnare good right-wing boys by hypnotizing then with giant bouncing breasts and avatars of Manly Men playing Special Forces sergeant Dirk Drakka going around blasting terrorists, thereby turning them into homosexual soyboys, that he loses me. Not quite figured out how that part works, but I’m sure Josh has got it covered.
So only working class men have to get the jab? Not working class women?
I remember seeing some right-wing folks try to use Marcuse as a boogeyman back in the 90s. But even then he was too obscure, and it never took hold. Not sure if his receding 25 years further into history will help this effort. But they are better-organized these days, so who can say.
galanx Pick me, pick me!-but then I’m old.
Me too. And I was reading Marcuse back in the mid-70s. However, I was in the process of “helping” my beloved write/edit his thesis on Marx-philosophy-education-boooooring. Marcuse was for me, in those circumstances, a very welcome “light” relief from the real killjoys – Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and all their dreary precursors and contemporaries.
I’d never heard of Marcuse either; but having just googled him I found this quote:
That tallies with something I have to talk about next year. So I’m going to pretend I had heard of him.
This reminds me on twitter when I saw some mra fuckwit ask a 14 year old girl about the scum manifesto being a clear example that feminism is evil and I was like… bro this is a 14 year old, what makes you think she knows what the sum manifesto is.
Oh, I hate the complaints about men playing too many videogames. I am not into gaming at all but the complaint is so lazy, like lectures about too much TV for my generation.
I’d love to hear Hawley give an example of critics who object to “courage, and independence, and assertiveness” as toxic masculinity. Though the book “Jesus and John Wayne” (which is excellent) makes me aware how many religious conservatives think being assertive means Man of the House and bossing your wife around.
I find it telling the only times I hear about the scum manifesto are when MRAs mention it. Almost like it’s not particularly important or influential to feminist thought…
Maybe it was more widely discussed when it was first published–54 years ago. XD
So, what should follow Striketober? I have a few suggestions:
NO!vember — work-to-rule and more strikes; set personal boundaries vs. bosses and bullies in general.
Less-ember — frugal, mend-and-make-do, and give the retail industry a collective coal in their stocking.
Panuary — flood Yelp, Google Maps, etc. with one-star reviews. If you encounter poor working conditions or insufficient pay at a business, leave such a review about it when you quit/get fired.
Fed-up-ary — Letter-writing campaigns and letters to editors all reiterating the main points in the article linked above. Especially anywhere the top 20% educated-professionals class likes to read, so highbrow magazines and papers like WaPo and the NYT.
March! — on Washington, and wherever else seems appropriate.
Tape-ril — With careful attention to local eavesdropping laws, record (if legal to do so) interactions with bosses and other authority figures and upload the recordings to some clearinghouse. Name and shame! Oh, and throw in a tax protest since that’s the month for such things.
Mayke — Circumvent the system. Free workshops and suchlike on crafting and lifehacks to get more use out of buying less. Cut out the billionaire middlemen as much as possible. They hate it when people accomplish tasks or exchange value without them getting to take a cut!
Shoe-ne — Symbolically throw shoes into the machinery. Strikes, rent strikes, sit-ins and occupations, obstructing traffic, using the shoe as a symbol to link all of these actions together as part of a single protest wave.
Ju-lie — give obviously bogus answers on forms and suchlike wherever it is legal to do so. Fill out product registration forms as Daffy Duck. Submit a write-in vote for Captain Picard in a by-election. If a metro cop stops you and asks you your name say Mother Theresa. (Not a fed! There is, for some reason, a law against lying to the feds, but not one against lying to the local constabulary. Bizarre.)
Disgust — Express it. Respond to online ads and corporate presences in places like Twitter and Facebook with puke emojis. Get fake street pizza from the novelty store and wave it around at protests. Make exagerrated ick faces. Clearly express your feelings about the system.
Separate-ember — Now it’s time to get serious, as the campaigning for the 2022 midterms begins to ramp up. Since the federal government is horribly dysfunctional, at least partly by design, push for secessions of various blue states and groups of blue states. Get #CalExit trending again, etc.; make it part of the election conversation. Make clear that the only viable alternatives are that, or major political/electoral reforms: killing the filibuster, nonpartisan redistricting bodies, Presidential election by popular vote, and so on. And keep these in the conversation going into the next Striketober…
Yeah, it does sound like he’s mixing up deconstruction (the kind of analysis) and destruction (the wrecking-ball type).
Deconstruction isn’t painful. Unless, say, you’re trying to read Derrida’s literary criticism and it’s giving you a headache.
Heh, nice one. I appreciate the effort you put into that.
If you’d asked me before today if I knew who Herbert Marcuse was, I would have MAYBE gotten as far as “some philosopher dude back in the day?” Which is as far or farther than most of the card carrying liberals I know, except maybe my brother who was in college in the early 70s. And even he probably didn’t read the books.
So, yeah, all the people I know who’d know him consists of one SWM who, when last we spoke, was complaining about the hoops Medicare was putting him through in this enrollment season.
The rest of his rant is Not Even Wrong. The video game part made me LOL.
@Surplus: +1 for the ST reference!
@Alan: That quote is probably all Josh has seen too.
I’d vote for Captain Picard. Failing that, I’d vote for Patrick Stewart too. Can we get him as President in the US? Vice President?
I’m wary of electing celebrities with no particular political or legal experience to high-ranking government positions after Previous Guy, but at least Patrick Stewart seems kindhearted and stately.
Although my ear was to the (feminist) ground, I don’t recall hearing any discussion of the SCUM manifesto then — although excerpts were included in Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement (1970), a weighty tome even in paperback, which I read cover to cover.
Killing men isn’t really the kind of strategy the vast majority of feminists can get behind. I know you know that. I just wanted to put it out there.
However, I was in the process of “helping” my beloved write/edit his thesis on Marx-philosophy-education-boooooring.
Should I read that to mean that you did most or all of the actual work?