The Soft War against Masculinity

By Roberts, Paul Craig | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 18, 2001 | Go to article overview

The Soft War against Masculinity


Roberts, Paul Craig, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Byline: Paul Craig Roberts

If you are a heterosexual male of any race, tear yourself away from the war on terrorism and let Howard S. Schwartz inform you of your real enemy. His book, "The Revolt of the Primitive: An Inquiry into the Roots of Political Correctness," has just been released by Praeger Publishers in Westport, Conn. The book is a bombshell.

Mr. Schwartz, a professor of organizational behavior, shows that feminism has metamorphosed from demands for gender equality into gender warfare against masculinity. The feminists' holy war against "toxic man" is as ferocious in its way as the Muslim holy war against the West.

The virulent form of feminism attacks male sexuality and has succeeded in criminalizing masculinity itself. Feminism criminalized masculinity by inventing attitudinal crimes and conflating them with behavioral crimes.

Mr. Schwartz shows that the routine destruction of male military careers and the disproportionate response to the Tailhook "scandal" have everything to do with feminist perception of masculine attitudes and nothing to do with concrete acts of sexual abuse, harassment or discrimination.

Do you remember the female Marine who complained of sexual harassment because she experienced the 3-mile morning run as "demeaning to women"? If a male had made such a complaint, it would have been regarded as frivolous, and he would have been asked if he had chosen the right service. The female's complaint, however, was taken seriously. The top brass stopped the exercise while the charge was investigated.

This recent news event underlines Mr. Schwartz's point that feminists have defined masculine performance and attitudes, such as a protective role toward women and children, as sexist and antiwoman and have lumped expressions of masculinity together with actual acts of harassment and abuse.

Consider the case of Col. James Hallums who was removed in 1997 as chairman of the Department of Behavioral Sciences at West Point. Col. Hallums, a "soldier of the old school," was brought to West Point because of concerns over the school's deteriorating military and disciplinary standards.

Col. Hallums' unabashed manliness, however, was out of step with a feminized military. Female faculty members charged him with sexual harassment and "creating an intimidating environment." One of his offenses was that, returning from exercise, he walked through the department in a sleeveless shirt and exercise shorts. His confidence in, and display of, his masculinity was considered by female faculty members to be an offensive act.

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