Let me see if I have this right.
According to the American Psychological Association, if a little boy wants to be a girl, that’s good. If a little girl wants to be a boy, that’s good. But if a little boy wants to be a boy, that’s bad.
That’s what I what I take away from a 36-page report on “masculinity ideology” out this month in the magazine of the nation’s largest professional organization for psychologists. Looking back at 40 years of data, America’s headshrinkers have decided that it is bad to be male.
At least as most societies throughout history have defined male.
“Traditional masculinity,” the experts have decided, “is, on the whole, harmful.”
They didn’t feel that way at Iwo Jima. Or on D-Day. Or anywhere else American manhood has taken a stand for good. On the job, in the fields, marching across a bridge – when Americans have decided it was time to man up, good things have typically happened.
Some guy flew across the Atlantic, some other guys walked on the moon, some guy stood up in the face of assassination threats and said he had a dream.
From the men of Valley Forge to the Buffalo soldiers, to the men who have stood up to brutes and tyrants, and pushed back frontiers of science and civilization, masculinity has had a useful role to play.
And it has been accepted.
But ironically, in this era of “born this way,” men are now judged defective if they happened to be born manly.
The nation’s psychologists have decided that traits they ascribe to “traditional masculinity” are hurtful. Specifically: Being stoic, having a drive to achieve, being competitive, wanting to avoid looking and being weak, finding enjoyment in adventure and risk, having the potential for aggression, being uncomfortable appearing feminine, having the potential to engage in violence.
These traits, which cultures around the world have typically seen as strengths, are now defined as weaknesses and defects, and societies that reinforce them are wrong.
That’s what psychologists say.
Which is why you should stay away from psychologists.
In the further prostitution of science to the cause of politics, the headshrinkers have gone off the cliff.
Here’s the truth: People are individuals, and any individual can have and choose whatever traits fit his or her nature and desire. God and the Declaration of Independence made us free to be who we are – to pursue our own happiness, and to live as we choose. That’s the American ethic.
Some traits might be more or less common in one gender or the other. That can be because of innate biology, upbringing and cultural tendencies. But it is an undeniable truth. Men tend to be like men and women tend to be like women.
That doesn’t mean that one is less of a man if he has fewer of the traditionally masculine traits, or that a woman is less of a woman if she has fewer of the traditionally feminine traits. Likewise, a man is not diminished by having feminine traits, nor is a woman diminished by having masculine traits. There is broad, natural, healthy variability in who we are, including the way we express the biological truth of our gender. That variability is part of the genius of our species. It strengthens our families and societies.
But there is also strength in our typical gender manifestations.
It is good that a large percentage of women have a gift for nurture, and it is good that a large percentage of men will fight if you threaten their family.
The competitiveness and daring of many men is the consequence not of a failed culture, but of testosterone – a gift from either God or Darwin which is intrinsic to human nature. Trying to get boys, men and society to deny that intrinsic nature is oppressive and wrong.
“Research suggests,” the psychologists’ association summarized, “that socialization practices that teach boys from an early age to be self-reliant, strong, and to minimize and manage their problems on their own yield adult men who are less willing to seek mental health treatment.”
See what they did there?
They listed a string of virtues and declared them flaws. Maybe they’re worried about losing business because “traditional masculinity” produces men who are tough and individualistic and don’t buy into the crap of the analyst’s couch.
This is a psychological castration, which will lead to weaker men and a weaker society – more prone to both confusion and invasion. And it will lead to fewer and more troubled families, as men are made less capable to be successful husbands and fathers.
This report and its basic assertion are somewhere between insane and evil, and a further illustration of how in this modern world the institutions and professions of society have turned against society and its best interests. They teach error for truth, and spread sorrow and weakness.
Every little boy and girl must be free to be who he or she was born to be.
No matter what the nation’s psychologists say.