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  • Writer's pictureTuur Verheyde

The Macho Pissberg

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

As an immediate consequence of the revelations surrounding famous Hollywood sexist pig Harvey Weinstein, women across the world have used this opportunity to shed a light on the true nature of Rape Culture and Patriarchy. The ubiquity of sexual harassment and catcalling is truly astounding and disgusting, but I personally believe that this is just the tip of the piss-drenched iceberg that entails the horrible and repulsive symptoms of an inherently toxic masculine culture. I am sure a lot of women know what I am talking about. To avoid ‘mansplaining’, I would like to direct this piece directly to men, and urge them to consider the following ways in which toxic masculinity has insidiously influenced their own attitudes and behaviours towards women. Women among you, feel free to comment and, if necessary, to correct me if I say anything inaccurate. As an important first step, I encourage women to speak out and share their experience with their friends. I also urge men to take special care to listen to these experiences, and allow them to influence you.

As we have seen, sexual harassment seems to be rather ubiquitous among males these days. Acts of catcalling, groping and other inappropriate behaviour towards women are still baked into our culture. Ironically, the political and social emancipation of women seems to have coincided with a growth in disrespect of women. Symptoms of a toxic patriarchal attitude go further than mere acts of preening. Acts of sexual assault, rape and gender discrimination are not only covered-up, but actively diminished and justified by a rhetoric that more often than not proceeds to immediately victim-blame, shame and question any woman who speaks out. However, coming to term with this, speaking out against it, as the Harvey Weinstein debacle has caused many to do, is only just scratching the surface of how masculine dominance has deeply infested and poisoned our culture.

Men among us must acknowledge that old inherently patriarchal ideas are deeply embedded into our culture. The damage of these ideas may vary, but they are never innocent. The association of femininity with vulnerability, sentimentality etc. is one that is particularly hard to get rid of, as it is deeply rooted in our social, cultural and historical background and in traditions of gentlemanliness and politeness. Other ideas, however, are less self-evident and more asinine. For example, the phenomenon of slut-shaming seems to be the modern equivalent of an ancient misogynistic idea, mainly that of the whore-virgin dichotomy. Going as far back as Ancient Greece (as many classicists among you will know), this idea was inherent in society as women were expected to be faithful and chaste, while men were given more sexual freedom. Today this idea lives on in the connotative difference between the words ‘slut’ and ‘player/fuckboy’.

As many of you know, religions all over the world seem to have a problem with women being considered equal. The inherent misogyny in monotheistic (and to a lesser extent) polytheistic traditions are a complex matter and one I will not discuss here. Needless to say that anyone who uses a religious justification for discrimination against women is just another sexist who cowardly hides behind old myths and scriptures to hide his own insecurity.

Speaking of insecurity, I feel it is time to discuss a more broad issue: Namely, the inherent economic and social disadvantage women STILL experience. Yes, the wage gap exists. Yes, the glass ceiling still exists. Yes, women should not have to choose between children and a career. Men among you, please remember that casually dismissing women who openly talk about this is just as slimy and disgusting as excusing rapists. Dismissing a woman’s experience, simply because she is a woman is a fucking disgusting act of sexism and the root of many things wrong with our society. Furthermore, acting like ‘equality is here’ and all them damn SJWs and Feminazis are exaggerating and are really eying female supremacy is another groundless generalisation that expands the rhetoric of a few extremists to encompass an entire movement with the goal of discrediting the struggles of the female gender. Want to find some proof of the continued injustice? Listen to the rhetoric of pro-lifers, look at how female voices are treated in the video-game industry, or the movie industry… Look at the backlash against women in the media, and look how quickly people resort to rape-threats and sexist abuse to silence a woman they disagree with… By now, any man of intelligence and integrity must acknowledge that Toxic Masculinity is a phenomenon that continues to negatively influence to lives of women of every age, race, nationality etc.

But let’s not stop there. Toxic masculinity is also damaging to a number of groups other than women. Think about how transphobic and homophobic hate crimes are almost always done by groups of males trying to ‘prove’ their own masculinity. Think of how deeply homophobic and transphobic rhetoric is steeped in alfa-male macho chauvinism. Think of how masculinity-enforcement in general is often intertwined with violence and aggression (and how these stereotypes are used by the far-right and religious fanatics to further their cause.) Think of how gender-stereotypes of masculine conduct are limiting and poisoning boys around the world, and how they are often afraid to express themselves, out of fear of being called slurs and being ostracised.

I ask men to think twice before continuing the macho alfa-male talk when they are among friends. I ask them to think about how the idea of ‘manliness’ has been (and is still being used) to justify bullying, to stir up young men to die in wars that have nothing to do with them, to suppress the talents and urges of both boys and girls to fit in the patriarchal standards of what is male and what is female. Think about the millions, probably billions of boys and girls who have lived their entire lives unhappily, unfulfilled, imprisoned in a unfair system that forces them to follow arbitrary social, political, sexual rules based only on the genitalia they were born with. For me, to think about the murder, the rape, the oppression and the squashing of potential all in the name of ‘decency’ and ‘decorum’ makes my blood boil with fury. We, as men, as women, as non-binary people owe it to our ancestors who were ensnared by the totalitarian way in which gender-roles were assigned and enforced to break this wicked and evil system, burn down the patriarchy, rid the world of toxic masculinity and finally build a world in which morality and identity are no longer bound to primitive ideas of sex and gender.

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