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We wonder who the real men are

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Apparently, Josh Hawley went though on his threat to write a book about MANLINESS, with more or less the expected result:

Josh Hawley, best known for fleeing a mob he helped incite, has written a book on manhood. In Hawley’s defense, he began writing the book before everyone found out about the running-away situation. But it was, unfortunately, after he did the running.

In Manhood, the Missouri senator argues that men are failing, that American masculinity is under siege by “the left” (he rarely gets more specific), and that the solution to this crisis is Bible study and a resurrected appreciation for bygone masculine virtues like courage and strength, while leaving the caregiving professions to the ladies.

[…]

While Hawley isn’t wrong when he recognizes that something’s up with men, he wildly misses the mark on exactly what that something is. Specifically, he advocates a return to ancient values. He thinks all men need to get married, as a man’s job is to take a “vow” and then “endure” (which feels unnecessarily rude to his own wife). He mocks men who live with their parents, critiques unemployed men (especially those hooked on painkillers), and shames a former student for admitting that he didn’t feel ready to have kids. To be honest, I’m not sure I can imagine a less productive message than encouraging men to become fathers before they’re ready. Hawley is only interested in helping men live the exact same life that he himself leads, even if that life isn’t available (or even desirable) to them. According to recent studies, it turns out that a slight majority of Americans did not attend Yale Law School or receive campaign donations from Peter Thiel.

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No one, myself included, should read this book. I was prepared for all the God-talk; I was less ready for the dangling modifiers. Hawley is awfully repetitive and dull. For much of the book, he leans on familiar right-wing canards, such as that “the left” denies the existence of “men” and “women.” We all know this to be a straw man; nothing about acknowledging the existence and humanity of a transgender person suggests a denial of the same for a cisgender man or woman.

[…]

The structure of each chapter is, loosely: personal anecdote, biblical analysis, critique of “the left,” unrelated fact about Teddy Roosevelt.

This is my favorite review of a terrible reactionary book on manliness since Martha Nussbaum on Harvey Mansfield.

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