16 thoughts on “Boys Will Be Boys, Alas

  1. How right you are! The author of those quotes couldn’t have struck a more perfect “petulant 12-year old pouting boy” pose if he had tried. Good eye!

  2. Pingback: Why They Hate Us (UPDATE: Not Emasculated, Just Immature) : The Sundries Shack

  3. Maha,
    I’ve been noticing more and more that the line of attack taken by the would be manly bloggers and posters of the right always takes this form:

    The accusation that protest is, somehow, a form of childishness.

    What I mean is that “jimmie” up above thinks that lodging a protest with one’s own government is identical to a “petulant 12 year old pouting boy.” I’ve seen this trope over and over. Anti-War protesters are “childish” and “reckless” and “sixties radicals.” When its pointed out that the “sixties radicals” who protested the Vietnam war are now in their sixties and seventies we are told that they are “still acting childishly” or are simply “overgrown hippies longing for youth.” I can’t link to cites because its so all over the place at this point but I’ve seen similar comments from right wing commenters pretty much any place that a discussion is taking place about rights and strikes and struggle and politics. There were lots of similar comments over on Digby’s thread about the police tasering a harmless motorist in which the motorist was chastised by the right wing for failing to have the proper (adult) response to authority which is instant submission. Again and again he (and the posters who were discussing the incident) were compared to “children” who need to be reminded that submission is the appropriate thing to do when faced with direct orders by a presumed authority.

    I’ve come to see that to true believing right wingers protest against unlawful authority, or against war, or against any government action isn’t seen as lawful or desirable or rightful at all. At base they don’t recognize the individual’s right of conscience or the constitutional right to petition for redress of grievances (changed, of course, from the original right to *instruct* our representatives). To me these are quintessentially *adult* acts. If something is wrong and needs to be righted it is adults who step forward to protest, to act, to change things. Its not a childish act at all. And yet these right wingers can’t imagine the act as other than that of a child. Why is that? Because they are caught up in a world in which authority is always a daddy figure and therefore protest against the daddy is always childish, petulant, unlawful, unreasoned.

    I’ve come to see the world as divided between authoritarian and non authoritarian personalities, following John Dean adn Bob Altemeyer’s definitions of an authoritiarian personality being one that slavishly submits to authorities. In a democracy there can be nothing more dangerous than an individual, like jimmie, who makes himself or herself a willing slave of authority and who denigrates the acts of other courageous individuals to protest unlawful or unwise use of authority. We are responsible for those we elect and those we give power to. No one else. There are no gods, or kings or daddies who we have not empowered by our votes. And we are responsible for their bad acts, as well as their good acts.

    The jimmies of the world want to put off that responsibility onto authority itself and to make themselves feel better about it they project this chidlishness onto others. They say: true masculinity has something to do with sex, or women, or cars, or trucks, or war not risking something (jail, loss of money, loss of social status) for an ideal. And more than that, they are actually childishly afraid of protest–afraid that it will call attention to the individual and the individual’s responsibility in a democratic system. They want to relax and think that politics and law are all in the hands of kings and princes and not something that each of us has to work to guarantee. Its hard to reconcile this with their hysterical attachment to the second amendment, an individual privilige which none of them would be willing to defend if it weren’t associated with a powerful group of manly authorities like the NRA. They’d all be afraid of being labled “criminals” for unlawfully holding a gun. Your true patriot, used to taking responsibility for his own actions, would go ahead and protest an unlawful law by *breaking it* and payign the penalty. These would be patriots, like jimmie, would simply stand around and sob.


  4. How right you are! The author of those quotes couldn’t have struck a more perfect “petulant 12-year old pouting boy” pose if he had tried. Good eye!

    Jimmie, dear, you are not only mistaking adolescence for manhood, you are mistaking being a brainwashed bleeping sheep for manhood.

  5. aimai — Exactly. I tend to think that a real man stands up for what he thinks is right. But to righties, a “man” is someone who checks his brain at the door and submits to authority.

  6. A guy who has to recharge his testosterone by fantasizing about naked women driving monster trucks has no business questioning anyone else’s masculinity.

  7. Male adolesence is all about confusing the urges of one’s “little head” with the reasonings coming from that thing on top of one’s shoulders. This boy-man has it in spades. I really thought I was reading something by General JC Christian.

  8. Christopher Hedges has been in wars in Central America, the Balkans, and the Middle East. He has seen the actual human beings who would be blown to bits by the kinds of military action jimmie seems to be eager for. To him, the people on the receiving end of the bombs are made of flesh and blood.

    Actual human beings.

    I think that aimai is correct in her observations about authoritarianism and the notion that “maturity” has to do with instant submission to authority figures. But there are differences between the Chris Hedges of the world and the jimmies that go beyond the authoritarian analysis. How real are the “others” that are on the receiving end of our plans and ideas?

    Perhaps “they” hate us because (1) we are in their face, (2) we want more than our share, (3) we think we are better than they are, and (4) we are clueless about them and don’t give a damn. People around the world are affected every day by decisions made in New York and Washington, and “we” have no idea about the downstream effects of actions taken in our name. We can’t be bothered to learn, since this would upset our peace of mind.

    This is the deadly sin of sloth. It is the willingness to guard our peace of mind by deadening our perceptions of reality. It is the aversion to mental and moral effort required to experience peace of mind at a higher level. Very hard to overcome. I cannot point my finger at others and pontificate about this, but I do stand by the diagnosis.

  9. “I suppose now we can they all think we’re a bunch of simpering milquetoasts who can be cowed into submission by a few beheadings and car bombs.”

    Jimmie needs to redo high school English, or get an editor that’s passed it.

    Isn’t the Mahadaughter available for such employment? Reasonable rates, I’m sure.

  10. I wrote in to that comments section:

    Note that the second man needed a porno fix because the first one unmanned him.

  11. Sorry, paste-up failure. What I wrote in was:

    “Let’s see now. One man defies the IRS as an act of conscience. Another man sees this and feels the need for porn. Yet it is the second one who thinks the first one is unmanly.

    It depends on what you think a man is, and what you think character is. In particular, is random aggression a sign of strength or of weakness?”

  12. Hedges’ words aren’t those of a man bereft of manliness; they are of a petulant teenager angry at the grown-ups.

    Gee, Jimmie..since when do 13 year olds pay income tax. It sounds to me like you’re back peddling because Maha called you out on your macho fantasy. You sound like one of those guy who carries a rubber in his wallet for emergencies…you know how that is for us macho types. 🙂

  13. If this were the 60s, “jimmie” would have an opportunity to show his manliness when he was drafted to fignt in an illegal and immoral war. I wonder then if he would start spending time in Canada because I believe he is not man enough to go fight in any war he advocates. If he is so manly, why isn’t he already over in Iraq.

  14. wow, sometimes a person’s idiocy is so pure and pristine that it needs no explication or elaboration. Thanks, little jimmie, for showing us the view into the male wingnut brain..right on thru to the other side.

  15. How does anyone know that jimmie is an actual man? This is the intrenet, after all. Maybe this is some radical feminist or cyberprankster who is writing all kinds of macho manly stuff and putting up a photoshop picture of a pudgy guy who couldn’t survive a 12 mile road march with a drill sergeant if his life depended on it. She or he may be laughing her or his head off at the responses of the outraged people who think they are talking to an actual male chauvinist pig. OK, Ti-Grace Atkinson, the game is up!

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