Yet another progressive male, this time actor Kumail Nanjiani, has taken to the media essentially to denounce himself. The star of Stuber — an amusing film featuring the surprising comic talents of Dave Bautista, and a movie I enjoyed — tweeted recently that “traditional masculinity is a disease.” This isn’t the first time he’s done so; while promoting Stuber, according to The Daily Wire, Nanjiani lamented that masculinity has been defined, traditionally, in a “narrow way” that has “led to problems for everyone — for women and for men.”
Well, no it hasn’t. And as for whether “traditional masculinity” is “toxic,” no, it isn’t.
Let’s stop and define some terms. First of all, what does “toxic” mean? We all seem to understand that “toxic” is bad, but with regard to labeling the sexuality, personalities, emotional proclivities, and general expressions of an entire sex, what does it mean to say these are “toxic?” That’s a trick question, because it doesn’t actually have an answer.
Masculinity is not “toxic” because “toxic,” in this context, has no definition. It’s a “scare word,” a something that we associate with a vague threat of harm in the same way we assume “non-toxic” crayons are safe for our children to play with. It basically means, “Anything the person using the label thinks is bad.” And yes, progressives do believe that masculinity is, in and of itself, bad.
Specifically, they take issue with the “traditionally narrow” definition of masculinity because they know, fundamentally, that to be masculine (if you are male) is a good thing. They also know that, very often, they do not possess these masculine traits. They resent being told they are not masculine.
This is very similar to the way Democrats have reacted to being told they are not patriotic. Democrats always blame America first. Their philosophy is that America is a bad place and that our nation and especially its military do nothing but harm in the world. Any manifestation of American power is a reflection of our great evil. They can always be counted on to “blame America first” and to side with any other nation against their own.
When told this attitude is unpatriotic, they resent it. They scream and cry that their patriotism should never be questioned. That’s because, on the same deep level at which they understand the nature of real masculinity, they also know that being called unpatriotic is a bad thing. They have tried to redefine patriotism as “criticism of the president” whenever a Republican holds office. They’ve even tried to redefine “democracy” as “any time Democrats win office.” (Thus, if you object to their theft of the 2020 election, you are “attacking our democracy.”)
It is in this vein that Democrats have tried to redefine masculinity. It’s valuable to stop and define “traditional masculinity” before we go on. What does it mean to be traditionally masculine? It means to be stoic — to contain one’s emotions, because hysteria does not solve problems. It means to be strong, aggressive, and capable — because traditionally, men were warriors, protectors, and providers. It means to be productive, because a man who does not produce does not provide.
These are Republican values. Democrats squeal and cry that life is unfair and they deserve to be given “free” things from the government trough. Republicans control themselves, work hard, and understand that a man must be capable of protecting himself and his family. Democrats want to control speech, ban guns, redistribute wealth, and make the population wards of an all-powerful state. Republicans believe in the First and Second Amendments, in the freedom to keep the product of your labor, and that a “dangerous” liberty is preferable to an enthralled safety.
In other words, as I have written before, Democrat ideals are not masculine. We can dispense with the term “traditional” masculinity. There is no such thing. There is only that which is masculine and that which is not. Democrats would like to dispense with the “traditional” definition of masculinity because they want to redefine the concept to encompass them. They want it to mean men who bow and scrape to feminist harpies. They want it to mean male pop stars who wear women’s ball gowns. They want it to mean neutered “men” who hate themselves for being born male, and who long to embrace their “feminine sides.”
It isn’t “traditional” masculinity that has “caused problems” for the world, as Kumail Nanjiani believes. It is the lack of masculinity, the weakness of progressives, the abdication of masculine responsibilities, that causes those problems. Democrats whine about masculinity because they hate that they’re not exemplars of it. They proclaim masculinity “toxic” because they wish to redefine as “bad” those men who possess what Democrats cannot.
Kumail Nanjiani, in short, is not masculine. He is not truly a man. He is a whiny male who decries what he cannot have and does not possess. While he may be amusing enough in movies, he will never embody the masculine ideal that, truth be told, is really the purview of those who lean right more than left.