Tag Archives: Toxic Masculinity

What happened in Vegas

The last time we had the biggest-ever mass shooting, I wrote this argument that “phobia” is the exact wrong word to describe the decisions our society has made about which lives matter.

We collectively decided that policy should support white male power.

We collectively decided that white male power is defined by subjugation of all non-white-male people.

We collectively decided that firearms are a peachy way to express this political identity defined by subjugation of others.

We collectively decided to ignore Everests of evidence linking domestic violence against women and children to mass shootings, evidence proving that lax gun laws are a desperate public health threat, evidence that our cultural dehumanization of people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, women, and children leads directly to their increased likelihood of senseless death.

We must collectively decide to affirm the dignity of all by establishing the unequivocal right to safe congregation, to safe schools, to not getting shot by terrorists of any race or ideology. And this older white dude is a terrorist. People who harm or kill others, on behalf of no government, in order to reinforce their own power are terrorists. Correct names help us understand how inadequately we respond. How terrible our failures. Every god damn time.

I don’t care who this asshole was targeting or why he did it. He may have been just pissed about gambling debt, rather than pissed about threats to his masculinity (oh wait).

I care, more than ever, about our failure to decide to make it harder for him and his brethren to terrorize us.

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Theory of a Bully

Political theory!

Donald Duck plans to gut Hillary Clinton’s signature work in the State Department out of revenge for her kicking his ass (3 million more votes!) and wiping his gilded counters with it, with a smile, all over the place everywhere except for a few folks in key rust belt states.

Or maybe it’s not about petty, petty-ass schoolboy revenge. Maybe he really does hate that the US government has worked to prevent genital mutilation, human trafficking, and the state-sponsored or supported imprisonment, rape, and murder of women and girls advocating for their own rights in other nations.

Maybe he’s just a simple man who only wants, in his 24K heart, to gut all government spending on human rights, civil rights, and the mitigation of climate change-driven devastation. Maybe deep down in his soul, all he asks from Santa is to divert that money to nuclear warheads, like all the country’s blood rushing to a massive erection, the spectacle of his power.

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Phobicness (#Orlando)

My 2016 campaign will focus on eradicating the suffix “-phobia” from the language of our polity.

“Homophobia” and “transphobia” inadequately characterize the lethal hate our LGBTQ friends and family experience daily. We are anti-LGBTQ. Anti-trans. Anti-woman. Anti-child. Anti-black. We are not phobic.

I have a phobia. It makes me scared while going along with apparently fun high-up enjoyments such as sitting in a stadium, riding a roller coaster, motoring around the Alps, white scarf aflutter, and drinking cocktails on a Brooklyn roof in July.

My irrational anxiety about perching higher than evolution intended (I’m neither a leopard nor a sloth, not even in spirit) does not make me legislate rules keeping people off of roller coasters. It does not make me fabricate religious justification to cloak my heights-avoidant neurosis in sham moralism.

It does make me hand off certain heights-required tasks to non-phobic companions.

It does not make me slaughter 49 people with a military weapon at the only place they feel safely and fully themselves.

Irrational fear does not impel slaughter.

A culture defining masculinity as dominance buttressed by firepower impels slaughter.

A culture that fails to name domestic violence as terrorism impels slaughter.

A culture that equates gayness with weakness, femininity and castration impels slaughter.

These are decisions we make together. These decisions are not based on irrational fears. We decide to treat LGBTQ people, disabled people, women, and children as second class. Third class if they are people of color. We sell military weapons to people we’ve told are fully entitled to the minds and bodies of others. Then we blame another culture when the inevitable result of all our decisions turn out worse than we expected.

We are not “afraid” of LGBTQ people. We actively constructed a society that deprives them of human dignity. We handed assault rifles to people who believed us when we said that str8t is gr8t. And then we blame “radical Islam” and “mental illness” for these decisions that we made together, thus relieving ourselves of the moral obligation to confront our actions.

We call “senseless” a massacre that makes perfect sense, given the logics of supremacy undergirding our society from its founding.

We made Orlando.

I am Americaphobic.

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