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This post originally appeared on the KatyKatiKate Facebook page. I'm reposting it today because The Atlantic decided to publish a piece with the thesis that the left is scared of Jordan Peterson because he just makes too much sense, and we're threatened by the quantity of sense he's making, and our children are learning what extensive sense he makes, I felt it was time to reintroduce my antithesis:

Jordan Peterson is the Dan Brown of Buttheads Who Prefer Nonfiction.

OF COURSE Jordan Peterson is popular right now. Of course people are buying his bestselling book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos."

To a certain kind of person, Jordan Peterson is as reliably satisfying as a Dan Brown book and has the same relationship with true facts, which I would label as #casual because I'm feeling sweet today.

Like Dan Brown, Jordan Peterson is a professor who decided to start writing books.

Like Dan Brown, Peterson is a savvy participant in pop culture and can place his volksy, paternalistic theories to scratch the itch of the dissatisfied zeitgeist. Like Dan Brown, he is pedigreed and just square enough to come across as legit.

Like Dan Brown, Jordan Peterson takes real facts and places them in wildly fallacious and suggestive contexts.

Ask Jordan Peterson why some people have a pee-pee and some people have a hoo-ha, and he’ll say “Well, there are biological differences between sexes.”

Judges?



Correct. A real fact placed in relevant context!

Then ask Jordan Peterson why women have historically struggled to reach equal representation in government, and he’ll say, “Well, there are biological differences between sexes.”

Uh… judges?



Technically true, but whatchu trying to say, hombre?

He's done nothing but report the same true fact, but in the second example he did it in a way that suggests that women are biologically unsuited to power, politics, or government. But he didn't say that outright, and the reason he didn't is so that if you ask him, "Are you saying that women aren't as good at politics as men?" He can back away from you spinning a finger around his temple and say, "Woah, woah, woah, crazy lady, I didn't say that!"

Jordan Peterson’s self image is basically Harvard Symbologist Robert Langdon. PROVE ME WRONG. He LIVES to mansplain how concepts that have derogatory or harmful meaning to real people in contemporary contexts are ACTUALLY totally fine because #RandomIrrelevantFact. "Ahhhh, okay, I see, Professor Peterson. The Klan hood isn’t actually a symbol of racist hate and murder. It’s just that we sheep were too stupid to know WHY we were offended by a Klan hood. Because we should have known it’s ACTUALLY a Spanish priest’s robe! Which is definitely where my head SHOULD HAVE GONE, since I live in a Spanish Archdioce-- OH WAIT."

I’m not saying that it’s factually inaccurate to cite multiple interpretations of the same symbol, fact, or study. But I am saying that it’s academically (and socially) irresponsible for him to dismiss the humanity and lived experiences of people whose lives he’s never lived because he read a book about Spanish priests and that hood looks the same from his point of view.

(Me: It looks like it’s more fun for you to score points off of people who are offended by violent racism than it is to acknowledge your role in white supremacy and a legacy of bloody racist oppression.

Him, backing away, spinning his finger next to his head: Woah woah woah, crazy lady!)

The Spanish priests don’t legitimize the Klan; the Spanish priests reveal Jordan Peterson’s intellectual pettiness, and his willingness to recontextualize known facts out of fucking order, in an attempt to minimize the humanity of people with whom he disagrees.

(To be clear, that Klan/Spanish priest example is from The Da Vinci Code, not Peterson’s work. However, Peterson has made similarly “whaaa?” arguments. Oh, you'd like an example?

“I know it feels like you’re being oppressed by the patriarchy ladies, but ACTUALLY what’s happening is, see these lobsters? We’re evolutionarily linked to them, and lobsters live in social hierarchies too, so the whole idea that you’re being actively oppressed by a patriarchy is impossible, sweetie, despite your PERSONALLY HAVING BEEN FIRED for daring to ask for a raise so that you'd be paid equally to Joe, who has less education, less experience, and less responsibility than you. Because see, lobsters.”)

Like Dan Brown, Jordan Peterson is all about the male hero archetype. Men are, according to him, innately predisposed to orderliness, ingenuity, interesting ideas, assertiveness, strength, and #winning.

Woah! I just realized something! Those are all qualities that are highly prized by our society, too! I can think of TONS of famous leaders and successful heroes who exemplify these qualities and who happen to be men. What a shocking coincidence. Nothing to do with the patriarchy I’m sure. Because see, lobsters.

Side note: If you tested Flint citizens you would find that they’re predisposed to lead poisoning but that’s not a fucking personality trait now is it, JorJor? No. No it is not. These people have been poisoned by their environment and if you don't acknowledge the deleterious impact of the environment that shapes a person, then go back to ROOM, you rubbernecking tourist.

He cites studies that examine the personalities of people who have been socialized by patriarchal constructs that he claims do not exist. Then, SHOCKINGLY, the results of those studies REINFORCE THE PATRIARCHAL CONSTRUCTS, and then he hails them as proof that the construct is good and right, because this study concludes that women are best-suited to “aesthetics, industriousness, gregariousness, and agreeableness,” AKA raising babies, pouring your fucking coffee, and being easy for him to handle AKA the jobs that people expect women to do , and have encouraged and rewarded in us since birth.

Show me how his precious studies divorce the human being from gendered, socialized expectations that have, like a fucking brick wall, become the thing that we have to grow around if we want to find the sun.

Show me how the study factors in that wall when it determines the shape of the tree, because if it doesn’t, then its conclusion, that “trees just like to grow sideways. I guess we’ll keep planting them next to walls” is bunk. It’s fucking bunk.

At his core, Peterson assumes that unless he has experienced it, it does not exist.
At his core, Peterson prioritizes the comfort of people like him over the lives of people who are not like him.
At his core, Peterson thinks kids today are too whiny and entitled.
At his core, Peterson would have us believe that “equity” is a dog whistle, code for “suppression of liberty.” And in some ways, he might be right about that. As they say, when you’re accustomed to privilege, equity feels like oppression.
At its core, Peterson’s dogma states that equality is as oppressive as inequality. As if 100 pounds of chains and 100 pounds of grain both weigh the same, so they must be equal when carried down the street.

He shuffles facts like a 3-card-monte huckster who wants to BEAT YOU because in his mind, that’s the only way he gets paid.

Today, right now, there’s a guy reading Peterson’s book. He’s nice enough, about 22, has lots of friends, always polite. And he likes this book. It makes sense. People have been telling him that he needs to work on being more sensitive to how he talks to women at work and that seems like a lot of work and a LOT of apologizing. Girls like pretty things and being nice, so this book makes sense. Boys are strong and decisive, so this book makes sense. Chaos is bad and change is scary, so this book makes sense. Jordan Peterson’s entire career is based on telling the wrong people that they’re right. His work is a warm cup of cocoa to fearful bigots: “There, there. You’re wonderful. Everything about you is wonderful. It’s the postmodern neo-Marxists, they’re the problem. Linda in HR? She’s one of them. You just keep being who you are.”

Jordan Peterson would rather write a book legitimizing disrespect than learn how to respect others. And Jordan Peterson’s work is a balm for people who would rather read a book legitimizing disrespect than learn how to respect others.

Like Dan Brown, he’s a flashy pseudo-intellectual with a stylist, a publicist, a soupcon of substance, and a big crowd of fans with stupid faces who think that because he said it, it must be true.

And like Dan Brown, this Canadian canker sore is going to fester, ooze, and finally vanish. He’ll morph into a punchline sooner rather than later. I’m more than happy to let him do that.

But you know what isn’t going to fade away? The core tenets of his rhetoric: that equity is dangerous. That respect is less important than pride. That trans people need to ignore their identities to keep others comfortable, even at the expense of their lives. That feminism causes school shootings. That oppressors need not change, except to become more proud of their oppression. That a man stands up to interlopers who ask him for fair and equal treatment, because that’s just not how we do things in these parts.

Sorry, team. But racism, sexism, transphobia - these aren’t disco and double-knits. They’re not just going to go out of style like Dan Brown’s unbearable prose. They’re not just going to become hilariously dated like Jordan Peterson’s argument that the patriarchy isn’t oppressive because lobsters.

We’re going to have to kill them. The -isms, I'm saying, not the lobsters. 

We’re going to have to get our hands dirty. Sure, the good professor claims to have incontrovertible evidence that women are too agreeable to advocate for themselves, that we're too sweet to ask for equity and too ill-informed to make compelling arguments for our own humanity.

But if Peterson knew his asshole from the chalice symbol embedded in the Last Supper, he'd be able to see that the chaos he so wants to vaccinate our society against with his 12 rules for life isn't chaos at all. It's just progress. And whether he knows it or not, Jordan Fucking Peterson, the Dan Brown of literate buttheads, is a fucking fan of progress.

How do I know?
Because lobsters.


*** If you liked this post, share it! Please no copy/pastes. This is my work.

*** If you fist-pumped and want to turn it into a fist-bump, you can do that here!



*** reposted from the KatyKatiKate FB Page while we finish up the new site ***

I watched this Frontline piece the night it dropped. I HIGHLY recommend it. You can probably watch it free on pbs.org. 

Documenting Hate is a remarkable piece of reporting, and a good reminder as to why we must, must, MUST have a robust free press.

11 minutes long but worth it

I will also say that while it’s important for journalists to cover these groups accurately as hate groups, it is NOT important for civilians to try to engage in “dialogue” with white supremacists “to see what their problem is.”

Fascism needs dialogue to try to validate itself as a legit opinion or political choice. No. I do not tolerate intolerance.

These people are not seeking answers; they enjoy and are committed to perpetrating racist violence. They are not confused or misguided; they are well-informed, consenting, zealous bigots. Education is not the issue. Dialogue will only reinforce the fallacious belief that white supremacy is worthy of debate, and it’s fucking not.

You wouldn’t try to “come to the table” with a child molestor who traveled from state to state going to the zoos and the public pools. You wouldn’t “have a heart-to-heart” with your neighbor who poisons dogs on your block. Because it’s wrong.

Notice that it’s easy for us to think unequivocally when we’re talking about someone hurting children or animals.

But it can be uncomfortable to give the same clear, forceful NO when we’re talking about someone who wants to kill people of color, or someone who had killed or beaten black people and people of color.

If you watch this clip and your first instinct is to criticize the consequences, make excuses for or try to save these white supremacists, recognize that right now, you are more comfortable cooperating with white supremacy than you are in conflict with it.

We all start there, because this is America and it’s in the air we breathe. But you don’t have to stay there.

Conflict with white supremacy.
Conflict hard.
Reject white supremacy.
Do not debate white supremacists. Do not invite them to the table. Because even if you’re trying to save them, you’re still feeding them, too. No. Say it with me: no. Say it louder.



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New strategy for blog subscribers who aren't on social media: Reposting the Facebook posts on this blog so you still get the goodness to your inbox. #StillNotAnInnuendoISwear 

Reposted from the KatyKatiKate Facebook Page: 

While I'm working on a complicated piece about a complicated person, sometimes I need to remind myself:

If Inside Out taught me anything,
it’s okay to be sad.
Even about something that once made you happy,
or happy enough.

It’s okay to look back on a person you loved,
in a time when you were happy,
and feel grief for the poor young thing you were,
that you thought this was love.
That you were happy enough.

It’s okay to listen to music and sit,
and wait to remember.
It’s okay to break up
with what you thought you were,
what you thought love was,
with “happy enough.”

It’s okay to ask yourself what
what
you were thinking
when you defended him.

It’s okay to feel furious at the poor, dumb thing
you were, that you took the side
of the person who fought in the battle against you,
on the battleground of you,
for possession of you.
(Don’t forget how young she is,
so much younger than you are now.
Don’t forget she was happy,
or happy enough.)

It’s okay to choose not to be funny.
It’s okay to resist the punchline.
I’m not kidding.

It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay.
It’s okay to sit and wait to remember
all the fucked-up ways he worked you, like the anatomy volunteer for the fine-gauge needles he slipped in,
that left no marks under your skin:
like the way you look for a certain kind of secret reassurance,
the way you believe that nobody else believes in you,
that you should be grateful.
The way you feel relief when someone tells you
you’re safe, now, I’ve got you, come with me, I’ll walk you home.
The way you know your next line, and believe yourself when you say it:
“Thank you.”

And it’s okay to be delighted
when that safe, saving, person who loved you
(and so many others, you learn)
in the way only he could love you,
which was against you,
upon you,
and in possession of you,
gets fucked,
absolutely pounded by karma.

It's SO okay, girl.
It’s okay to smile.

It’s okay to cry in public, too,
by the way.

It’s okay to look unhinged
when you’re swinging free,
unlocked from your frame,
until you spin to the ground like a wayward shutter.
It’s okay to stare at the sky and wait for what happens next.
It’s okay to laugh while you’re crying.

It’s okay to stop laughing.
It’s okay to discover a secret story
within the facts you’ve worn smooth over the years.
Funny story: this is not a funny story.

It’s okay to still love him.
It’s okay to believe he still loves you.
You’re not broken.

It’s okay to be terrible company.
It’s okay to have nothing to say.
It’s okay to be quiet.
It’s okay to wait.

You’re not broken,
and you’ll be more
unbroken soon.

Until then, it’s okay.
It’s okay.
It’s okay.
*** This post was written as a draft and never published. As I combed through the drafts before finalizing the new blog page, I found this one and just. had. to publish. Thank you for sticking with me through a long radio silence here. Please enjoy this post, and stick around - a new, pretty site is just around the corner.***

On Identity Politics

Consider yourselves warned.

The next person who says the words "identity politics" to me is getting a piping hot loogie to the eyeball. And I have a cold. That nug could blind a motherfucker.

It may not be as eloquent as the kind of balletic one-two punch takedowns you hear in A Few Good Men, but I think it'll do the trick.

But why, Katie? Why? You might be asking yourself.

Why are you so pissed that you're going to hork a pox of blindness upon anyone who puts together two perfectly innocuous nouns: identity, and politics?

Oh, you wanna know why?

I think I'm entitled.

You want answers?

I WANT THE TRUTH.



(the truth:)

Son, we live in a white supremacist patriarchy, and that white supremacist patriarchy is guarded by men with guns and laws and all the fucking power.

Who's gonna dismantle that hierarchy? You?

YOU, LIEUTENANT WEINBERG?

I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.

I tell Jerry from Omaha to take a goddamn seat in the conversation about a woman's right to choose. "You can't tell me I don't have a right to talk about this," he says. "What makes you think your opinion matters more than mine," he says. "Stop playing identity politics," he says. I have the responsibility to explain to Jerry that yes, my opinion about a uterus does matter more than his, because I actually fucking have one, and the laws that Jerry supports will affect my corporeal self ONLY SLIGHTLY more than his theoretical ethical stance on whether he has the right to storm into my internal organs and defend my own cells from my lady brain.

You weep for the good old days and you curse "identity politics." You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that "identity politics," while annoying to you, probably saves lives.

That intersectional feminists and activists and advocates and liberal snowflakes, while shrill and incomprehensible to you, save lives.

That"identity politics" 
is code for "not my problem
and I'm not gonna pay to fix it."


You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want identity politics. You need identity politics.

We use words like privilege, empathy, equity. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending our own equality to you. You use them as a punchline.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man that rises and sleeps under the blanket of freedom that I am trying to knit together, and then mocks the manner in which I am knitting it.

I would rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and start talking to your friends.

Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

Did you engage in identity politics on your blog?

I did the job--

DID YOU ENGAGE IN IDENTITY POLITICS ON YOUR BLOG?




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support my work through Patreon 
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Hi hi hi!

I'm writing here so if you've subscribed to KatyKatiKate but don't follow my social media, you'll get this update straight up your inbox (#notaninnuendo #unlessyouwantittobe).

The blog facelift process took a lot longer than I anticipated and that is 100% my fault.

When we transferred the blogs from this platform to the new one, I had to go through and completely reformat, retag, and recategorize every single post.

Just for a glimpse of what that looked like, you should know that every time I used italics, bullets, a gif, or an image, additional line breaks appeared as if by the hand of the devil himself.


So a line that originally looked like this?

Would have looked like this:

So a line that originally

looked

like this?

NBD, right?

OK but I love italics almost as much as I love bullet points, gifs, and jpgs, and I have about 800 posts.

That was a shitload of backspacing, let me tell you. And yo, half of that was on a LAPTOP so I was trackpadding like a motherfucker.

I love this blog and I love you and I LOVE GIN so normally I would just pour myself a G&T, pop on Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" on repeat, and reformat straight through until I either went insane or was fucking done.

But now I've got a weekly show on The Young Turks (Smart Mouth!) and I'm learning how to, you know, convincingly appear human in front of a camera, and I'm developing exactly 44 minutes of kickass, topical, nuanced, funny content every week which means I spend about 44 hours learning about whatever the fuck is going on. ASK ME ABOUT BRETT KAVANAUGH. ASK ME, MOTHERFUCKERS. I KNOW ALL OF THE THINGS.

Please believe that I'm not complaining because this is exciting as hell, it's just that's why it was hard to make time to sit down and fucking backspace.

When I originally wrote the facelift post, I pointed readers to my Facebook and Twitter to get their KatyKatiKate fixes. I've been working really hard to share interesting stories, give fresh takes, host kickass gif parties, and ask important questions over on social media while this blog has been rejuvenated.

And thank you. Thank you for your patience. Thank you so much for sticking with me, especially because I know a lot of you are very new to my work.

Please email, PM or DM me if you have any questions. The new blog has format DONE, fonts PICKED, logo IN PLACE, PAGES built, and is getting its final images locked down and I'm hoping to get my ass trained on that shit in the next week.

I miss this blog. I miss it so much. I miss writing 3,000-word pieces that are chock full of obscure movie references and so many profanities. I can't wait to start writing for you again.

I MISS YOUR BUTTS.

Talk soon.

xoxo





Wait, what's happening?

The blog is getting a facelift, which means that I won't be adding new posts HERE until the new site is built. Probably a few weeks.


behold
the new blog header
probably
Wait, but why?

Why the facelift?

I mean. I don't think I need to answer that question for you.

The original site wasn't built for ease of navigation. When I built that site, my average readership was about 70 people per post (Hi, mom!). Today, it's more like 20,000 because like that crying kid in Homeward Bound and Shadow the flinty old man dog, WE FOUND EACH OTHER AGAINST ALL ODDS! And because I love you, you can pick if you want to be the crying kid or the flinty old man dog.

The mobile experience is... clunky, if I'm being kind.

And honestly, it's just time for a refresh. 

Or, sorry, were you asking why no new posts?

Because I have to transfer all the old posts to the new site so it can be built out, and after I do that transfer it doesn't make sense for me to keep creating new content HERE. 

But... but... but... are you just going to disappear?

Oh hell no! 

You know I never shut up, boo boo! I love producing sweet, salty, gamey content for you. This blog page will continue to exist until the new page is built and we re-route it. So you can go deep into the archives and go nuts. I'll probably share some classic #tbt posts.

And here's what's going to happen: 

Look for daily micro-posts on the FB page.

If you haven't already liked/followed that page, please do that TODAY so you don't miss my first micro-post! 

I'll also be cross-posting on Instagram.

So like/follow me on Insta if you prefer that to FB.

And you can always reach out to me via email!


Thanks for being kickass listeners, readers, commenters, giffers, LOLers, angry-facers, and sharers! 

Much love, and I'll see you over on FB & Insta. 

xo

Katie


This is my work.
If you found this post valuable
support my work through Patreon 
or PayPal

Follow KatyKatiKate on Facebook & Twitter & Instagram

Get an email when I post something new

I don't make a dime.
100% of proceeds go to anti-sexual violence organizations

... AND CHECK OUT MY PODCAST
with Ronit Feinglass Plank
and Larj Media

We talk a lot about toxic masculinity.



It seems like people are starting to confound the meaning of the term. And I think they're doing it on purpose. Talking to you, trolls of 4chan.

"Oh, so you're saying that masculinity is TOXIC," they say. "That's SEXIST against MEN," they say. "MAN-HATING C**T," they say. And I don't abide that kind of dehumanizing talk. Call me what you will, but I am not a YOUNG MALE HORSE.

colt
it's a colt
wait what were you thinking

To them I say, STOP BEING WILLFULLY OBTUSE CHAD.

If I said, "Woah, that's a rabid prairie dog," would you intentionally misunderstand me and yell at me for being a dingbat who thinks that ALL prairie dogs are rabid?

I didn't say that, bro.

When I refer to "toxic masculinity," I'm not labeling all masculinity as toxic. Just like when I say, "Oh shit, there's a rabid prairie dog coming at you," I'm not saying that all prairie dogs are rabid.

Also, if there were a rabid prairie dog bearing down on your ankle, would you rather I shout out the foamy little fucker, or announce that:

"There are SURELY non-rabid prairie dogs in this area! Scores of them! I once dated SUCH a non-rabid prairie dog. We still email sometimes."

we heard you alan
#notallprairiedogs

But I am saying that some prairie dogs are clearly foaming at the mouth, and something could be spreading through the colony, and sometimes you can't tell the sick ones just by looking at them.

So LISTEN UP:



No, not all masculinity is toxic.

But yes, some is. And when I talk about toxic masculinity, I'm not talking about your beard or your necktie, unless your necktie tried to feel me up or your beard punched a guy because it was sad and didn't know what else to do with sad feelings.

When I talk about toxic masculinity, I'm talking about:
  • Repression of feelings like sadness, fear, insecurity, and the related behaviors like crying, hiding, or talking about feelings. Ex: "Boys don't cry! Be a man!"
  • Overexpression of anger through behaviors that are violent, erratic, and intended to dominate. Ex: "What'd you say? You can't talk to me like that! (Punch.)"
  • Need to be strong, dominant, and alpha, and ensuing fear of expressing "weakening" feelings or behaviors like affection, vulnerability, tenderness, kindness, gentleness, grief. Ex: "My wife just had a baby. Whatever, let's close the deal.
  • Sexual entitlement and violence. Ex: "You know you want this."
  • Transference of responsibility for feelings, actions, and consequences to women. Ex: "You just made me so mad."
  • Mocking or rejecting men who do not adhere to these "dominant," "alpha male" standards of behavior. Ex: "Don't be a fag, Mike. Hey everybody look at Mike, he's all butthurt like a little girl."
  • Extreme fragility, because his sense of self is dependent on the idea that he is dominant rather than the idea that he is inherently valuable just for being who he is, therefore his worth is challenged by every situational shift and must be constantly reasserted.
  • Passing on these behaviors and attitudes to their kids. Devastatingly.


A real-life example:

About a month ago, I heard a grandpa at the climbing gym tell his 5-year-old grandson, who had just fallen off a wall while bouldering and knocked his chin on a hold on the way down: "B-N-E-C! B-N-E-C! You remember what that means?"

The little boy held his hiccuping breath and tried to hide his tears as he nodded.

"Well, what does it mean?"

The little boy recited in a shaking voice, "Boys never ever cry."

The grandpa nodded and gave the boy's shoulder a good shake, not a violent shake, just a "Good man, snap out of it," shake, and sent him off to do some push-ups.

Of course, because I'm me, I tore my face open, howled at the moon as a Feminist Werewolf, and then went over to the little boy with my own son.

"I saw what happened," I said quietly, casually. "You fell off the wall and bumped your chin. I bet that really hurt."

The little boy nodded.

"You know, I remember one time my husband, Chicken's daddy, he fell down and bumped his knee, and you know what? He cried. Chicken's grown-up tough daddy, he cried because it hurt to bump his knee, and that's what people do when they're hurt. They cry and feel sad or scared, everybody does. Boys, girls, grown-up men and women, everybody."

Listen, I know that might sound a little heavy-handed but consider the fact that my first draft script went something like this:

You know what, kid?
Fuck that guy.
Yeah, I said it.
He's emotionally constipated and he's probably gonna die real soon.

Walk with me into the future, my child.
There is nothing wrong with you, your feelings, or your tears.
There is no reason to fight with your body.
You are perfect exactly as you are.
Your feelings will not hurt you, and they can't break anything. Feel them. 
Fuck your grandpa. 
And fuck your daddy, too, if he talks like your grandpa.


Toxic masculinity feels like it's everywhere - on the bus, on your Twitter, on the news, in your kids' cartoons, at the dinner table, at the g-d climbing gym for rockin' tots.

We spend a lot of time trying to identify toxic masculinity out loud, because we're praying that awareness will make a difference. We hope that awareness is the problem. We hope that all you need is a heads-up.

That you could be aware and willfully poisoning the air we breathe is not an alternative that we want to consider, not when you're our fathers, friends, and sons.

So we say, sometimes gently, sometimes furiously, "LOOK! Right there! There it is! The thing that we keep talking about that hurts everyone and is the root of so many devastating wounds!"

We spend a lot of time identifying what toxic masculinity looks, sounds, and feels like. And let me tell you, it's SUPER rewarding and SO MUCH FUN!

my uncle just told my boyfriend
that he's "so gay"
because he offered to rub my back
where i'm sore from having cramps
omg omg omg
i can't wait to tell him
that's homophobic toxic masculinityyyyyyyyy
here at grammy and pop-pop's 50th wedding anniversary party

squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


Like, remember the last time you popped a zit that was like right on your nostril, in the hot zone of face agony? Remember the last time you found yourself at the crossroads of "allow this festering sore to linger because you know how much it's going to hurt" or "lance it with shaking hands in eye-watering agony because you know that's the only way it'll heal"? SO FUN, RIGHT?

Anyway. 
I don't want to talk about toxic masculinity right now. Seriously, I'm tired.

Today, I want to talk about nontoxic masculinity,
which exists, too!
YOU CAN EVEN CHOOSE IT!


shout out to
geeks gone wild
for the meme

I want to talk about role models for the next generation of young male feminists.

These are role models who NOT ONLY would never tell a little boy to stop crying, but who would turn to that grandpa and instead of punching him in the face to prove their dominance, they'd say, tenderly, "Who hurt you, Frank? You're safe now. They can't hurt you anymore."

They're strong. They're brave. They're kind. They cry.  They are...


Nontoxic Masculine Role Models!


1. Terry Crews/Terry from Brooklyn 99


Masculine...



This man is a mountain of dancing muscle wrapped in brown skin and a shaved head. He looks like someone's "Ultimate Tough Guy" drawing came to life. He puts the m, a, s, c, u, l, i, n, and e in masculine. His character on Brooklyn 99 is ripped, shredded, and doesn't take shit. He's a boss.

... But Nontoxic!

He's not violent. Terry (the character) is fearful of violence and isn't afraid to express that fear. He's sweet. And gentle. He shows love, affection, vulnerability. He's into his family and farmer's markets.



And Terry Crews (the man) himself has trusted us with a story of his own sexual assault. Talk about strong. Talk about brave. Talk about vulnerable. Talk about empathetic. Talk about emotional availability.



IMPORTANT NOTE:

There's an argument to be made that the reason that Terry (the character) has the luxury of being open about his penchant for vulnerability, yogurt, and farmer's markets because he's physically imposing and carries a hypermasculine appearance. Nobody is about to bully this guy.

But you know what? I think that Terry (the character) creates an even greater expectation of what we'd consider to be "masculine" qualities and behavior BECAUSE of his super macho appearance, and the fact that he's a person of color. So he is flying in the face of a pretty strong wind when he builds his daughter's doll house in the evidence room and pops the top on his strawberry yog'.

And Terry (the man) is flying in the face of the same strong wind when he comes forward about his own sexual assault, challenges power structures that want him to remain silent, and admits feeling small, feeling afraid, feeling dominated.



2. The Queer Eye Crew

Masculine...



These guys are physically fit, very strong, healthy, sexually expressive, and socially confident. They travel in a bro posse and Bobby Berk rebuilds entire suburban homes in like 20 minutes, nbd.

... But Nontoxic! 

They're also empathetic, physically affectionate, emotionally available and vulnerable, supportive, verbally kind and tender in a way that risks something. 




When they express their love or support for the men they're making over, they're risking being rejected, and they do it anyway. It's incredibly beautiful to see. 

They're also silly! And affectionate with each other! 



When was the last time you saw bros snuggling on the couch? Do you think it's because men don't want snugs? 

No fucking way. 

Everyone wants snugs. You know how I know? Because bros snug their dogs but they're scared to snug their friends. All this to say these guys are MASCULINE and also THEY GET SNUGS! It's 2018 and ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU, CHAD!

IMPORTANT NOTE:

When it comes to toxic masculinity's impact on the LGBTQIA+ community, I am not a primary source. Certainly, there are unique iterations of toxic masculinity that particularly affect queer communities, and while I can't speak to that, Jeff Leavell did in Vice and it is WORTH YOUR TIME.


3. Lin-Manuel Miranda

Masculine...




Rich, powerful, successful, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a rapper from NYC, a father of two, and a certified fucking genius.

also he raps about sportsball


... But Nontoxic!

Dude, you can't FIND a clip or a tweet of this guy not feeling ALL the feelings. He cries more than I do. Well, that's not hard to do. But he cries more than Ryan does, and that's a high hurdle.



He's emotionally accessible, loving, inclusive, positive, gentle, creative.



He sings and dances. He tweets about his wife and kids with so much tenderness. His family is a source of joy and humor, but is never his punchline.



4. Chris Evans/Captain America


Masculine...

I mean:


I just...


Right???

sweet baby jesus


... But Nontoxic!

Captain America is a principled, sensitive, deeply empathetic former dweeb whose years of experience on the bottom of other people's shoes has given him the ability to use respect and kindness as a means of human connection rather than social currency to purchase his own domination.

Chris Evans recently spoke to an interviewer about playing a total fucking dick in a show on Broadway, and he did exactly what the fuck a nontoxic masculine ally should do: acknowledge that it's hard to learn, but emphasize the importance of shutting the hell up when it's not your turn to talk.


the new york times

There are so many more, you guys. So many more.

Mr. Rogers. Barack Obama. The coach from Friday Night Lights. I'm planting a flag in the ground for Bob Newby from Stranger Things, who was courageous and smart, and also a kind nerd who learned to love himself without needing social dominance to do so.

All I'm saying is this: Guys, you don't have to look to pro athletes who beat up their wives and girlfriends. You don't have to admire homophobes and you don't have to follow your grandpa's fucking rules anymore.

It's 2018!
Come with me into the future,
where the expression "like a man,"
 doesn't mean hard, violent, stony, carnivorous. 

Join Terry, Lin, the guys of Queer Eye, Chris, and so many others, and be a man who is strong, brave, kind, good, sweet, gentle, sad, weepy, fearful. Be a human, is what I'm saying. Your full humanity is available to you. Right now.

The best news? The very best news of all? Is that your masculinity already is strong, brave, kind, good, sweet, gentle, sad, weepy, fearful. Your identity as a man is inextricably linked to the full breadth of your human experience. You just have to we willing to let yourself stretch out again.

Your worth isn't dependent on being stronger than everyone else in the room. Your worth doesn't care about context. It doesn't care about competition. Your worth is untouchable by other people. You're the person who decides its volume, its integrity. And it's been there since you were born and it'll be there when you gather your grandson in your arms and say, "It's okay to cry, babe. I cry, too."

And then I'll start crying... and then you'll cry harder...

like a man

Choose nontoxic masculinity.  It exists. Some pretty kickass guys are rocking it really hard, and right in front of you.

THAT WAS A TEST. Did you make the obvious joke to relieve your discomfort? Do you understand now that joke is rooted in your own fear of losing a sense of your own worth if we expand the definition of masculinity to include all kinds of guys?

OK! So. Keep working on it.

That's your homework. It's due yesterday.



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