11/17/2005

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Those Hunky, Masculine Warriors

Those Hunky, Masculine Warriors

One of the best and most incisive blog writers on the Internet, in my view, is Digby, and this post -- exploring the psychological motives of those belligerent, chest-beating warmongers who adopt the posture and language of a fearless masculine warrior even though they have never actually fought anyone and never would – illustrates why Digby is worth reading every day:

Vietnam... provided two very distinct tribal pathways to manhood.

One was to join "the revolution" which included the perk of having equally revolutionary women at their sides.. The other pathway to prove your manhood was to test your physical courage in battle... It's not just the willingness to die it also involves the willingness to kill. Men who went to Vietnam and faced their fears of killing and dying.. put themselves to this test.

And then there were the chickenhawks. They were neither part of the revolution nor did they take the obvious step of volunteering to fight the war they supported. Indeed, due to the draft, they allowed others to fight and die in their place despite the fact that they believed heartily that the best response to communism was to aggressively fight it "over there" so we wouldn't have to fight it here. These were empty boys, unwilling to put themselves on the line at the moment of truth, yet they held the masculine virtues as the highest form of human experience and have portrayed themselves ever since as tough, uncompromising manly men while portraying liberals as weak and effeminate..

many men who are unable or unwilling to demonstrate [the manly warrior] attributes through their actions -- either due to a lack of physical strength or personal courage -- find it necessary to compensate for this glaring deficiency in their manhood resume. And so they turn to the only thing they are capable of doing..: talking tough, advocating battles that other men fight, striking the pose of a warrior while sitting in their suburban living rooms..

.. there is simply no denying that there is something missing inside men like this -- what is missing are the precise masculine-warrior attributes they revere. The contrast between their belligerent, tough guy rhetoric, on the one hand, and their physical awkwardness, their history of avoiding rather than seeking physical conflict and war for themselves, and their unseemly need to establish their own manhood the only way they know how (with risk-free words), on the other hand, is really too glaring not to notice.


Really, all one has to do is take a look at some of the he-men tough guys who shriek about the warrior mindset and showing toughness (while mocking those with different views as weak, soft, effete, and being unwilling to fight), and one immediately sees the visual proof for what Digby says about their psychological motives.

Here are some of America’s great warriors -- the ones who will beat their chests in front of you (from behind the keyboard) and mock those ("liberals") who, unlike them, are weak, mushy girly-men who lack the manly virtues which our warrior-heroes exemplify:

Richard Perle
Fred Barnes
Jonah Goldberg
Paul Mirgenoff, the Powerline Brigade
Karl Rove
Instapundit
Hugh Hewitt
Rush Limbaugh

Is it really a great mystery why guys like this have a gaping, unfulfilled need to establish their manliness and warrior credentials through political dialogue, the only route they could find for doing so?

Just listen to the painfully revealing defense which tough-guy Jonah Goldberg gave for the war in Iraq:
Q: If you're a kid and you've had enough of the school bullies pants-ing you in the cafeteria, what's one of the smartest things you can do?
A: Punch one of them in the nose as hard as you can and then stand your ground.

Or,in Jonah's case, get someone else to punch one of them in the nose as hard as they can for you, and have them stand their ground for you, while you stay at home in your underwear.. Jonah is candidly telling us -- albeit unintentionally -- why he supports the war: because bullies picked on him, and he needs some way to fight back.

What else is there to know? Just look at them.. they have found the only way available to them to at least feel like hunter-warriors -- they play one on the computer, the television and the radio by striking the warrior pose, and by mocking in others the attributes ..which they, though their actions, have demonstrated..
posted by Glenn Greenwald | 7:59 AM .


Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Those Hunky, Masculine Warriors

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