Traditional Masculinity Is 'Harmful' — Who Knew?
by Thomas Gallatin: The American Psychological Association recently released its “guidelines” on masculinity and, to put it bluntly, it’s about as insightful as a barrel full of monkeys. Then again, that may be an insult to monkeys, as they instinctively display more intellectual consistency and credibility than does the APA’s condemnation of “traditional masculinity.” At least monkeys don’t dismiss the natural, innate biological differences between the genders as mere “societal constructs.”
In its “first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys,” the APA asserts, “Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health.” In fact, “traditional masculinity,” which the APA describes as “stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression,” is “on the whole harmful” to men and boys.
Using leftist buzzwords such as “macroaggression, patriarchy, and cisgender” — the latter referring to a person whose sexual “identity” happens to match their biological gender — the APA concludes that “traditional masculinity” is a societal problem. Clearly, the APA is guided by the leftist theory that gender is a nonbinary social construct rather than a binary reality based upon biology. But even at that, one particular gender is just the worst.
For example, the APA alleges, “Although there are differences in masculinity ideologies, there is a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence. These have been collectively referred to as traditional masculinity ideology.”
After some backlash, however, the APA attempted to “clarify” its assertion with the following statement: “When we report that some aspects of ‘traditional masculinity’ are potentially harmful, we are referring to a belief system held by a few that associates masculinity with extreme behaviors that harm self and others. It is the extreme stereotypical behaviors — not simply being male or a ‘traditional male’ — that may result in negative outcomes.” But extremes were not the basis for the original APA argument; stereotypes were. So this clarification is actually obfuscation.
The fact remains that maleness or masculinity as well as femaleness or femininity share common, easily recognizable expressions in all cultures and societies across the world. In fact, one of the first things noted when an individual from one cultural group enters another are the natural binary expressions of gender. It is a universal reality based upon the reality of human biology.
National Review’s David French notes an obvious contradiction in the culture’s current “diversity” paradigm, writing, “It is interesting that in a world that otherwise teaches boys and girls to ‘be yourself,’ that rule often applies to everyone but the ‘traditional’ male who has traditional male impulses and characteristics. Then, they’re a problem. Then, they’re often deemed toxic. Combine this reality with a new economy that doesn’t naturally favor physical strength and physical courage to the same extent, and it’s easy to see how men struggle.”
The fact is that true masculinity is designed to complement true femininity. The two are not one and the same, despite the gender-fluid argument the APA now espouses. Nor is “traditional masculinity” harmful to boys. Quite the opposite — they need more of it. ~The Patriot Post