The Toxic Assault on Real Masculinity


Todd Huff – The Toxic Assault on Real Masculinity

Old-fashioned Gen X’er

I’m from Generation X. And if I’m being candid, I’m extremely happy about that.

As a kid, I drank from a water hose. I played outside all day long – sometimes far from home. And when I started talking to girls, I had to call their house phone, which was often answered by their parents.

I was a small town USA kid. My world was low-tech. Simple. And very fun.

I came of age right about the same time that Al Gore was busy inventing the internet.

As my favorite comedian Nate Bargatze quipped, “Whatever I did in high school was a rumor. It can’t ruin my life.”

I owned a pager.

I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 23.

And my first social media account was Facebook when I was 31. Candidly, I still kind of regret making that decision.

I understand I’m a bit old-fashioned.

Ok, maybe very old-fashioned.

And while I don’t long for ‘the good ole days,’ I also recognize that there were certainly good things about those days.

One of those things was the understanding that men and women are different.

Masculinity is not toxic

I was raised to be masculine.

And masculinity is not toxic.

Yes, there are toxic men.

But newsflash: there are also toxic women.

If we get right down to it, choosing to exhibit toxic behavior has absolutely nothing to do with gender.

It has to do with the human heart.

Neither masculinity nor femininity are toxic. They are complementary characteristics that God created so that human beings could function better together.

Perhaps that background will help provide a little context for what I want to spend the remainder of this column discussing.

The man vs bear ‘debate’

By now, you may have seen what some are calling the ‘man vs bear debate’ on social media.

This trend has had a couple of variations, but essentially, it involves the following question: Is a woman safer if she is alone in the woods with a bear or a man?

Now, let me start off by acknowledging that there are absolutely men in the world who have done atrocious, wicked, and unspeakable things to women.

If this has happened to you or someone you care about, I’m very sorry about that.

These men should face the consequences of their actions, up to the maximum extent allowable by law.

Perhaps we should even increase the penalty for violent acts. I don’t know.

But what I do know is that none of this makes the question about which is more dangerous – a man or a bear – some difficult conundrum.

There are good men in the world

While it is true that some men are a menace to society and pose an existential threat to women, most men do not.

Pure and simple.

There are good men in the world today.

There aren’t nearly enough, no doubt.

But to deny that there are good men is a dangerous game to play.

Good men want to participate in society.

They want to use their masculinity for good.

But when we claim that all men are evil or conflate healthy, godly masculinity with abusive or unjustifiable violence, we actually make real men harder to come by.

The impact this nonsense has on young men

When young men who want to fill their proper role in society see women who claim that they’d rather be alone with a bear than with them, it surely doesn’t encourage healthy masculinity.

In fact, it actually causes some men to withdraw from society.

Or to become less masculine.

Or to give up on pursuing a healthy relationship with a woman altogether.

These are all terrible outcomes for our society.

Look, I get the point that some women are trying to make by claiming they’d rather be alone in the woods with a bear than with a man.

I also get the trauma that some have had at the hands of a man.

That’s horrible.

But claims that bears are safer than men are not to be taken seriously.

A solid dose of reality

Have you actually watched National Geographic?

Polar bears and brown bears are extremely dangerous.

And black bears have been known to attack people, too.

If women had anywhere remotely near the number of encounters with bears that they have with men, the number of attacks and deaths would be virtually too numerous to count.

I can’t believe I’m even having to write these words.

What a crazy, crazy world we live in.

I’m the father of 2 daughters. They are my world.

And I would die for them.

Of course, as I’ve told my girls, I’d prefer they not put me in a position where I’d have to take such drastic measures.

But I absolutely would give my life for them.

And you know what?

I’d defend other women in distress, too. In fact, I have.

And I’m not the only one.

There are many more like me.

So you’ll forgive us if we can’t take this so-called ‘debate’ seriously.

Conservative, not bitter.


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