Insane Article of the Day

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You know what would be really upright, masculine, well muscled, stiff-necked, rock-hard, square-jawed, hairy-chested, sinewy, broad-shouldered, brawny-handed, beefy-thighed, auburn-haired, dreamy eyed, um… uhh… Sorry, what was I saying? Oh yeah: You know what would be really cool? If one of these Raging Queens who are so excited about Harvey Mansfield's Manliness could praise the book with manly facts and reason instead of womanish intuition and touchyfeelyness.

Today's example: A swooning encomium to Manliness by Donald Devine, editor of Conservative Battleline and professor of political science at Bellevue (the university, not the mental hospital). Devine's soufflé of fabulousness combines impressionist factoids ("There are manly women, and he cites Margaret Thatcher as an example, but she is the exception that proves the rule"), gender eschatology ("Feminists have increasingly been sticking it to men at least since Simone de Beauvior's [sic] 'The Second Sex' in 1949″), counterfactual history (more on that in a moment), and a nod to the Teen Fellatio Epidemic that has brought America to its, um, knees, and combines it all into a great male-hysterical hissy fit. A sample:

After a revival of manliness in the late 19th century under Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Croly, William James and other progressives, the more radical Frederick Nietzsche—inspired by Charles Darwin's evolution undermining any certainties in nature—directly declared all non-manly values and all gods dead. Manliness became unrestrained by any outside forces or ideals. Decent progressives did not abuse the license available to them but they could not say why not. But nihilist aggressors in two hot and one cold war were not reluctant to draw the consequences, including murdering millions of their own peoples. Beauvoir adapted Nietzsche's nihilism to the second sex…

Read the whole thing, if you're man enough.

This isn't potted history, it's unpotted history. "Frederick" Nietzsche, who lost his mind nine years before San Juan Hill and died before the neurasthenic Teddy Roosevelt became president, and Darwin, who croaked in 1882, must have been working pretty hard after the late 19th century to do all that damage to our national vigor. And from there, well, who can't see the result: Every bedroom a Buchenwald!

A more or less serious question: Is this really the best the manly men can do? I thought The Duke was back.

On the plus side, Devine works in an allusion to Sprint's great stickin' it to the man commercial.

NEXT: Who Is John Galt? Brad Pitt, Apparently

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  1. Tim, thank you. Certain elements of the Right spend so much time pasting “No Gurlz Alowed” signs on the political and economic clubhouse doors lately that I’ve been getting deeply depressed. It made my day to read a blistering of this type of stuff.

  2. You know what would be really upright, masculine, well muscled, stiff-necked, rock-hard, square-jawed, hairy-chested, sinewy, broad-shouldered, brawny-handed, beefy-thighed, auburn-haired, dreamy eyed, um… uhh… Sorry, what was I saying?

    Wow, uh… Spend some time in the Castro district now and then, do you?

  3. https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2006/03/im_taking_my_ow.shtml

    Wolf provides sometimes obvious counter arguments to Mansfield’s ideas.

  4. Shooowee. Just re-read that Noonan column. The phrase ‘iredeemably insane’ comes to mind.

  5. Damn, Cavanaugh has been on top of his sharp-tongued game lately. That bit about “womanish intuition” is like a right cross from Marvin Hagler.

  6. I think Gillespie is the best on teevee, and Sanchez is the most interesting thinker, but Tim definately has the best way with words.

    Damn, now I’M sounding like I’ve spent some time in the Castro.

  7. When I say this Mansfield character being interviewed, he was asked for an example of an unmanly man. His immediate answer was John Kerry, a man who won, to review, a bronze star with combat V, a silver star, and three purple hearts.

    Just another partisan Republican hack, trying to use the culture war to rip the country in half, again, in the hopes that his half will be a little bigger.

  8. Anybody here familiar with Norman Mailer’s musings on manliness ? I was browsing “the Prisoner of Sex” recently and ohboy is there an uncanny similarity between Mailer’s neuroses on “feminists” and “feminism” & the newly minted up-to-date versions from Mansfield and his fellow neo-cons. The real difference between the two, IMO, is Mailer is a far more entertaining writer.

  9. Truth is no longer a woman. No need for dogmatists to stand sad and discouraged any longer!

  10. What is it about a certain type of conservative and gender issues? To listen to them, the only thing keeping my husband from running off with our gay neighbors is that it’s illegal for the three of them to get married. My sons will be drag queens if they don’t play football or they do learn how to cook. Especially if I’m not a complete doormat to my husband. Also, all men really prefer to eat raw meat in a pig stye, and will revolt if they’re ever required to pick up after themselves. Jeez, guys, are you really that fragile?

  11. You know what would be really upright, masculine, well muscled, stiff-necked, rock-hard,

    This article turned out to be a lot less interesting than I thought it would 🙁

  12. Speaking of the Fellatio Epidemic… normally I take pains to distinguish myself from craven bootlicking of the H&R-sychophantic, Kerry-Edwards-04-remnant, fair-trade-coffeehouse-frequenting bloggers, probably also blogging from within a Nicaraguan jazz concert (to borrow Mike Moore’s excellent put-down)–but I think you may be onto something with this artificial meme going around (blowjobs). Preposterous segment on KTLW last night with “testimony,” if you’ll pardon my patriarchalism, from a reformed slut protesting that this is the common practice now among the youths, i.e. way to comply with abstinence technicalities. Sounded like b.s.; but if it’s not… why, God, oh why couldn’t Clinton have been elected before I was in high school

  13. When I was a teen in the 80s, performing or receiving oral sex was used as a substitute for intercourse, as a way to remain a virgin. This is nothing new. “Good girls” and “good boys” were the primary practitioners of this form of retaining ones virginity while still having some fun. I imagine that this has been practiced for decades, if not centuries. Epidemic my ass!

  14. Except Marvin Hagler didn’t throw right crosses, he threw right hooks, because he fought as a southpaw. And he was never known as a devastating puncher. Maybe a straight right from Tommy Hearns would be more appropriate. Tommy Hearns at Jr. Middleweight.

  15. You know what would be really upright, masculine, well muscled, stiff-necked, rock-hard, square-jawed, hairy-chested, sinewy, broad-shouldered, brawny-handed, beefy-thighed, auburn-haired, dreamy eyed,

    the sad thing is you just described Stroker from the now defunct Adult Swim cartoon “Stroker and Hoop”.

  16. Buncha got dam Quiche Eaters, especially that guy that invented the internet.

    Keep in mind that it’s still the guy’s job to take out the trash. That’s pretty manly.

  17. Real Bill. Guys made that all up so chicks would be more willing to do just that.

    Nuclear War Head is Awesome.

  18. Where did this come from? Why now? Was there some sort of huge blow to Manliness writ large recently? I feel like I’ve jumped into the Way Back Machine.

  19. THis just illustrates, more so, for me, why Straussians conservative scholars are rare in academe and feel ‘persecuted.’ THis is Mansfeilds major work in a couple of years, and I cannot imagine anything more silly. The man is ostensibly a political scientists with little or no training in evolutionary psychology, cognitive psychology, biology, etc., yet he pontificates at some length on gender differences. The whole work strikes me as so far below what a scholar does…I invite anyone to sit back, crack open a bud (you may need a 12 pack) and read some of these Straussians writings. They are a perfect counterpoint to Dave Horowitz and his idea that conservative scholars are not taken seriously because they are conservative: turns out they are not because they are not scholarly and their conservatism has made them hirable as the token member of many a department.
    This is not to say conservatives do not have a very respectable intellectual heritage (Burke, Elliot, Nisbet, etc.) or that there are no good conservative scholars out there (and actually quite a few libertarian ones). It is just to say that many conservatives are laughed at in academe because their work is, laughable.

  20. Just another partisan Republican hack, trying to use the culture war to rip the country in half, again, in the hopes that his half will be a little bigger.

    Too bad there are more women then men 🙂

    My god, this book put the last nail in the coffin of my last relationship and has just been a general freaking annoyance as both my ex and my dad try to define everything good as “manly” and everything wrong with the world as “womanly”.

    Stupid men.

  21. Gawd, is there anything more tired and hackneyed than grotesque misreadings of Nietzsche? Just once, these people should sit down and *radical idea alert* actually [i]read[/i] him. I’m hardly a Nietzschean, but it’s undeniable that some of his critiques were devastating, and it’s irritating to see academics miss the point entirely, even when they’re discussing philosophers one disagrees with.

  22. Wait a minute. Stroker and Hoop was cancelled?!

  23. John Wayne was a fag.

    (Yes, I watched Repo Man again the other day.)

  24. “When I sa[w] this Mansfield character being interviewed, ”

    …it took me all of about three seconds to begin frantically fumbling for the remote. Good grief- what a blithering imbecile.

    Has that guy ever even gone out (much less stayed in) with a girl?

    ——–

    “Jeez, guys, are you really that fragile?”

    Speaking strictly for myself- um, no.

  25. “What is it about a certain type of conservative and gender issues?”

    “To listen to them, the only thing keeping my husband from running off with our gay neighbors is that it’s illegal for the three of them to get married.”

    i believe we may be onto something here.

  26. Has that guy ever even gone out (much less stayed in) with a girl?

    Real manliness (and real womanliness) pretty much mandates homosexuality as a prerequisite for meaningful relationships, if not for all sexual ones.

    It assumes men and women to be different species, complementary only in the way a hunter and a hound are. You may have an emotional attachment to your dog, and him to you, but you know better than assume that he’s a person like you, seeing things as you do.

    The fact that Margaret Thatcher is an anthropomorphized, talking dog in Mansfields’s book doesn’t change this a bit.

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