As must all other men. This is not our problem.
Josh Hawley has been on one the last week or so about how the left has cruelly murdered masculinity, forcing young men into sullen, meaningless lives filled with porn and video games. It's nothing new. Unfortunately, the world is filled with fragile men crying that the political left won't let them be macho or whatever.
In a speech last week, Hawley complained that potentially macho men were being driven to porn and video games because the left has decided that "traditionally masculine" traits like "courage, and independence, and assertiveness" are bad. I'm not sure where they got that, but perhaps that is what they hear when we say, "Please check to make sure someone has given you their consent before you attempt to penetrate them." Hard to say.
Yesterday, he defended that speech to Axios, digging the hole even further.
When asked why masculinity was his new big issue, Hawley responded, "Well, I think what the left is doing is attacking America. They're saying that America is systemically oppressive and men are systemically responsible." So the fuck what? Is his masculinity truly so fragile that it can't handle that discourse? People can't have conversations about things because it might make Josh Hawley feel less manly?
Conservatives say they believe in personal responsibility, so if they want to do whatever it is they think "traditional masculinity" is, they are going to have to manage that themselves. I'm sorry, but this is not my circus, and these are not my monkeys.
Asked during the "Axios on HBO" interview to paint a picture of his ideal man, Hawley said:
—"Well, a man is a father. A man is a husband. A man is somebody who takes responsibility."
Challenged on whether his assertions are based on data or mere hunches, the senator said millions of men had been idled in part "because jobs have dried up in many cities across America and rural areas, too."
—"I think you put together lack of jobs, you put together fatherlessness, you put together the social messages that we teach our kids in school, I think we've got to confront that and its effects," he added.
While Hawley really could not come up with much outside of "Well, liberals are talking shit about masculinity and it's making us sad and then we all have to watch porn and play video games," he eventually landed on "deindustrialization" and lack of jobs as a reason. Super weird, then, that he is such a big fan of anti-union right-to-work-for-less legislation.
The problem with the Josh Hawleys of the world — or, I should say, one of the many problems — is that they can't just go and be themselves without everyone else's approval and praise. It is not enough for Josh Hawley to be whatever his definition of macho or masculine is, the rest of us need to stand around him and tell him what a great job he's doing and agree that his performance of masculinity is the best of all possible masculinities.
I could not possibly give less of a fuck how toxic Josh Hawley's masculinity is, so long as he isn't hurting anyone with it. He can prance around like Charles Atlas, railing about 90-pound weaklings for all I care, he can drive a truck and engage in arm-wrestling contests all across the country, or just be a total cafone at his own dinner table. If he is so fabulously macho, other people having discussions about toxic masculinity should not touch him.
Conservatives, almost by definition, prefer conformity. They talk a lot about "individualism," but in a way that applies only to economics and guns, not to religion, gender roles or even personality types. They want people to conform to them and their ways, and for those ways to be rewarded with social currency and acceptance — and for those who divert from that path to be punished. They want not only to be rewarded for performing "traditional masculinity," they want those who fail to perform it to their satisfaction to be chastised until they do.
I can't help Josh Hawley with his masculinity issues, and it is not my fault or anyone else's if other men dedicate their lives to watching porn and playing video games. Frankly, as long as they are not hurting anyone and that is what makes them happy, more power to them. Everyone needs a hobby, and perhaps Josh Hawley might consider getting one of his own.
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A Florida State University Freshman rails against feminists ruining all of his door-opening plans.
All Florida State University Freshman William Biagini wants to do is open some doors for some ladies. Alas, he lives in the year 2021, and that isn't even legal anymore. In a deeply compelling and original op-ed for the Florida State University News, Biagini boldly asserts that "Chivalry didn't die, it was killed."
Now, some of us might say these two things are, definitionally, not mutually exclusive, as the end result of being killed is dying, but let's hear him out.
"Chivalry is dead." I wonder how many of us have heard that sentence in our lives? Personally, I hear this all the time; every time I do, it is increasingly dismaying because, for the majority of people today, this is most definitely the case. However, many people are mistaken about what the reason for its death is. Chivalry did not just die over time; rather, it was killed.
Before I explain how the art of chivalry was killed, the definition of "chivalry" must first be understood. "Chivalry" is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary ...
Oh, wow, he's really gonna do this.
... as "an honorable and polite way of behaving especially toward women." So, in light of this definition, chivalry is the art of behaving with gentlemanly conduct. One of the most common ways in which we see chivalry demonstrated is by the simple act of a man opening the door for a woman and letting her pass through first.
Many women today claim, quite often, that this is a gesture that is condescending towards women and is done by the man because the man believes that the woman is not capable of opening the door herself and is therefore inferior. However, this is highly incorrect.
Who? Who does this? Who says this? Who does this man think is actually sitting around talking about door-opening when we are about to lose our reproductive rights in several states? He doesn't provide a link to these "many" women, and I've spent my whole life, from infancy onwards, in feminist circles, without anyone once bringing up door-opening, with the possible exception of Jessie Spano, a fictional character on a show this young man has probably never even seen.
The reason why a man opens the door for a woman is not that they think she cannot do it herself. In fact, in my personal experience, I have never met such a man. The reason why a man opens the door for a woman is that this is a straightforward, unspoken act that lets her know that she is special. Even though men know full well that a woman is entirely capable of opening the door for herself, they do it because it is a simple act of kindness.
I open doors for people all of the time, regardless of their gender. I say "thank you" when people open doors for me, regardless of their gender. Were I ever in some kind of situation where a man was clearly opening the door for me with some kind of chivalric intention, I would also just say "thank you," and not just because I have absolutely no interest in discussing complex gender dynamics with strangers, but because I have manners.
Anyone who would complain about women, hypothetical or no, not wanting doors opened for them, is missing the point of manners entirely. Good manners and etiquette are not about tradition and doing things the "right" way. They are, ultimately, about making other people comfortable (within reason, of course). If someone were uncomfortable with a door being opened for them, it would be bad manners to insist upon doing so despite their discomfort. A gracious and thoughtful person would understand that it's not always about them and what they want.
However, modern feminism has pushed the idea that the "patriarchy" still exists in order to suppress women and any act that a man does that even remotely resembles this idea is looked upon as oppressive towards women. In simple terms, modern feminism pushes the idea that chivalry is just a sugar-coated term for the oppression of women.
The patriarchy does still exist. This man's desire to be allowed to do something to or "for" women, something he believes he is "not allowed" to do, is evidence of that.
But don't worry your pretty little heads, ladies; William Biagini wants to be clear that despite his dislike of "modern feminism," he is okay with all of us voting.
This is precisely what killed the art of gentlemanly conduct. According to Match.com, 73% of women say that chivalry is dead. So, then, what is responsible for the death of chivalry? The answer to this is modern feminism. I am not referring to the movement that took place during the early decades of the 20th century to get women in the United States the right to vote; I am referring specifically to the modern feminist movement.
Quite hilariously, the modern feminist movement does not bring honor and respect towards women, but rather, it degrades them and completely disrespects them because it pushes the idea that they should not accept polite gestures from the opposite sex because it "oppresses" them. For this reason, many do, in fact, believe that chivalry is dead and gone forever. Modern feminism led even Dave Chappelle — an American comedian — to state, "Chivalry is dead. Women killed it."
This is completely ridiculous, and lord help us from the legions of white conservative men who now think they are Dave Chappelle. It's never going to end. We are going to be stuck with this shit for years.
Again, no one is complaining about polite gestures, and a gesture isn't polite if it is unwanted. While polite under most circumstances, it is rude to send congratulatory flowers to someone you know is allergic, or a bottle of wine to someone you know to be a recovering alcoholic. "Polite gestures" require context, and they are not meant to be about the person executing them.
However, not all women are happy that this is the case. One article titled, "If A Guy Opens A Door For You On The First Date, Make Him Your BF ASAP," goes into detail to explain why men who open doors for women are high-quality men. Some of the aspects of this mentioned are that he is a mature male, he appreciates women for who they are and he is the example that chivalry is not dead.
In light of this, there are things that we can do to prevent the complete destruction of gentlemanly conduct. We can continue to open doors for our ladies, smile, pay for their food on dates and reverse the effects that modern feminism is having on our country.
Just to be clear — as a feminist — I absolutely expect men to pay for dinner, at least until we get the wage gap sorted out. I consider it a patriarchy tax and a down payment on my extremely good cooking skills. It's all about balance, and no one is getting any braciole until I've decided I want to keep them around. That is not a euphemism, I just make really good braciole.
I have a feeling that this William Biagini fella has not interacted much with human women outside of his clearly fertile imagination, and is primarily relying on the word of right-wing pundits (and Elite Daily) to inform his understanding of "modern feminism" and "the way things are." Unfortunately for him, publicly positioning himself as a complete and utter tool his first semester at college is unlikely to lead to any significant change in those circumstances.
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Ain't late stage capitalism great?
Even by the standards of rapacious American capitalism, Johnson & Johnson's move to shield itself from liability from claims its asbestos-laced baby powder caused cancer is really fucking gross.
Dubbed the "Texas two step," the company has deployed a maneuver designed to park a mountain of liabilities in a separate company chartered in Texas, then declare the sub-company bankrupt. It's fun like line dancing, except for when the lights come up at the end of the night, J&J gets to shield its assets, and the creditors — in this case women with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma — are left to fight each other for the crumbs. Like we said, REALLY FUCKING GROSS.
As Reuters and the New York Times revealed in 2018, J&J has known for decades that some of its talcum powder contained minute quantities of asbestos. Which makes sense, since talc is a soft mineral that has to be mined and can come out of the ground with asbestos in it. Nonetheless, they mixed it with cornstarch and promoted their "baby powder" as a safe product to be liberally sprinkled on babies or anywhere that might be moist and in need of a little freshening up.
Well, not just anywhere. Generations of women were taught that their vaginas were gross and smelly, and sprinkling baby powder on them was necessary to keep that lady garden from turning into a fetid swamp. And companies like J&J gladly profited off this shaming, with advertising promoting "a sprinkle a day." (And if you think that's vile, ask your grandmother what she did with Lysol.)
"I'd bring my underwear to my thighs and shoot it in there, but I didn't want it clumpy, so I'd kind of shake it and bring it up, and I'd poof it out a bit," a 46-year-old South Carolina woman testified during litigation against the company in 2018. Which is presumably what the company meant by its tagline "Better for Baby, Better for You."
Now, in the interest of fairness, we should point out that the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer has not been conclusively demonstrated. But the evidence has often been clear enough to convince a jury, and the company's deliberate obfuscation of the presence of a known carcinogen in its product doesn't help.
J&J is currently facing tens of thousands of lawsuits, and in June the Supreme Court refused to overturn a $2.1 billion jury verdict awarded to a couple of dozen plaintiffs alone. Hence, the company's boot scoot into the open arms of Texas's secretary of state, whence was begotten LTL Management LLC, a corporate garbage bin for the company's talcum powder liabilities.
"On October 14, 2021, LTL Management LLC, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This action was taken to resolve all claims related to cosmetic talc in a manner that is equitable to all parties, including any current and future claimants," began the company's extremely unsubtle press release, before hastening to assure shareholders not to worry their pretty little heads.
"Johnson & Johnson and its other affiliates did not file for bankruptcy protection and will continue to operate their businesses as usual," they soothed.
OH, THANK GOD.
"To demonstrate its commitment to resolving the cosmetic talc cases and remove any financial objections to the process, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to provide funding to LTL for the payment of amounts the Bankruptcy Court determines are owed by LTL and will also establish a $2 billion trust in furtherance of this purpose," it continued. "In addition, LTL has been allocated certain royalty revenue streams with a present value of over $350 million to further contribute to potential costs."
In case you didn't catch that math, J&J, a company with $25 billion in cash reserves, is parking $2 billion plus some pocket change in the LLC — an amount far less than its current outstanding jury verdicts — and telling the women to fight for it. And on Friday the company asked a court in North Carolina to put a hold on pending talc litigation in light of the bankruptcy filing.
Which sounds pretty sleazy, right? But if you think about it, isn't the company the real victim here?
Haha, piss off. But J&J is going to give that one the old college try.
In a call with shareholders Tuesday, reported by NPR, J&J CFO Joseph Wolk insisted the company's product was safe and blamed greedy lawyers for forcing it to stiff its creditors.
"There's an established process that allows companies facing abusive tort systems to resolve claims in an efficient and equitable manner," Wolk said, before pivoting to claim that it was actually judges forcing the plaintiffs to battle it out for pennies.
"It's really the bankruptcy courts that will ultimately decide this. It's not plaintiff attorneys. It's not Johnson & Johnson," he said.
Well. Bless his heart.
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All culture war, all the time.
A week ago, conservatives had a freak out about the NEW Superman coming out as bisexual in the upcoming Superman: Son of Kal-El #5. But it seems that was just the tip of conservatives' WAR ON SUPERMAN.
On October 16, during the DC Fandome online event, chief creative officer and publisher of DC Comics Jim Lee announced that the Man of Steel's motto would be "evolving" from the well-known mantra that he fights for "Truth, Justice and the American Way." The new mission statement for Superman will now be "Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow," which is both aspirational and more hopeful for a Superman for the next generation.
Cue Fox News going for another round after the announcement:
The video features well-known comics fans [checks notes] Leo Terrell, Lara Trump, Raymond Arroyo (who made extremely homophobic remarks to Laura Ingraham when discussing the sexuality of Superman last week), and Alicia Acuna. Arroyo and Terrell particularly complain about DC Comics "changing the origins of Superman" to cater to "wokeness."
This narrative was furthered when Fox News published a story of the colorist on "Superman: Son Of Kal-El" quitting over this change. They were so excited to add their new favorite phrase "cancel culture" to their Superman outrage that they created a new word which has yet to be corrected as of this writing:
We can only assume that Superman's "wokness" is delicious, out of this world stir-fry.
In its article, Fox News links to disreputable Comicsgate propaganda website Bounding Into Comics. Both articles published part of a rant colorist Gabe Eltaeb gave during a four and a half hour YouTube livestream run by Comicsgate's self-appointed leader, former DC Comics artist and bigot Ethan Van Sciver.
After telling an anecdote about The Joker creator Jerry Robinson, Gabe Eltaeb went on a rant that was published in most conservative websites.
I'm tired of this shit. I'm tired of them ruining these characters. They don't have a right to do this. [...] It's not about gay or anything like that. What really pissed me off was saying truth, justice, and a better world. Fuck that it was Truth, Justice, and the American way. My Grandpa almost died in World War II [...] We don't have a right to destroy shit that people died for to give us. It's a bunch of fucking nonsense.
Arguably, no one is destroying or taking anything away by adding more diversity and creating new characters. But Eltaeb continued with his rant against "SJWs" (Social Justice Warriors), as Comicsgate likes to call anyone not in their hate group.
They call us bigots and racist and shit [...] they're the fucking bigots.
Funny that Eltaeb has an objection with them being called bigots or racist considering the "hightlights" of the livestream (which included comics has-beens Jon Malin, Dan Fraga, Graham Nolan, Aaron Lopresti, Art Thibert, and Billy Tucci) that all these conservative publications left out:
- Van Sciver using a homophobic stereotypical "lisping" voice
- Van Sciver saying they are going to "give Superman HIV"
- Art Thibert referring to LGBTQ+ as a "sexual preference"
- Making a "joke" about a character raping the new Superman
- Jon Malin, after Dan Fraga asking "What's next after this," saying that they will pivot to pedophilia and saying "You're gonna have Batman fucking Robin."
- Gabe Eltaeb comparing LGBTQ+ to bestiality after Malin's rant
That last part (and possibly leaking story information weeks prior to Van Sciver to get the hate machine going) is why Eltaeb was probably fired, as posited by this piece by Bleeding Cool and this pinned tweet from Eltaeb (whose Twitter is now in protected mode) in which he describes being "pushed" out rather than "quitting."
Eltaeb's and Fox News's meltdowns are both a word salad of conservative dog whistles and ahistorical. "Truth, Justice and the American Way" did not originate with the first Superman comic books by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. In fact, Superman's original motto in his first appearance in Action Comics#1 was one that today would fit more progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Bernie Sanders or, as Comicsgate likes to say, SJWs:
Superman for President in 2028!DC Comics
As noted by this piece in Variety, the version of the motto conservatives are screaming about was created for the "Superman" radio serial in the early 1940s during World War II. But even as early as 1948, in Superman's first film serial, it was adapted to "Truth, Tolerance and Justice," as noted by the writer of Superman Smashes The Klan:
"Truth, Justice, and the American Way" was first used in the 1940s Superman radio show, but didn't become ubiquitou… https://t.co/LYJSHtQmrD— Gene Luen Yang (@Gene Luen Yang) 1616245897.0
The "American Way" motto was revived for the "Adventures of Superman" TV series that aired in the 1950s (during the Cold War paranoia and McCarthyism) before it was changed again to "Truth, Justice and Freedom" in the 1960s on the kids cartoon series "The New Adventures of Superman." The "American Way" part came back in arguably the most well-known version of the character, 1978's "Superman: The Movie" starring Christopher Reeve.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the new slogan lets the new Superman live up to of the original Superman's (his father Clark Kent) oldest nicknames: "The Man of Tomorrow." The nickname, which debuted in 1939's "New York World's Fair Comics" #1, has long been associated with Superman. But with both Supermen embracing diversity, advocating to fix climate change and optimistically fighting for a better future, never have we more needed Superman as "The Man Of Tomorrow" and a symbol of hope for EVERYONE.
Both in the comics pages and in pop culture.