Criminalizing Masculinity


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, Ct. The book is a bombshell.

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.

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 three-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 Schwartz`s point that feminists have defined masculine performance and attitudes, such as a protective role toward women and children, as sexist and anti-woman 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 Dept of Behavioral Sciences at West Point. Hallums, a “soldier of the old school,” was brought to West Point because of concerns over the school`s deteriorating military and disciplinary standards.

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.

Consider, also, the case of Admiral Stanley Arthur, vice chief of Naval Operations, veteran of 500 combat missions in Vietnam, winner of eleven Distinguished Flying Crosses, and commanding officer of U.S. Air Forces in the Gulf War who was in line for appointment by President Clinton as commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific.

When a female lieutenant washed out of helicopter school, she blamed it on sexual harassment and enlisted Senator David Durenberger in her cause. The Navy refused to capitulate but agreed to have Admiral Arthur review the record.

Unlike Durenberger, Arthur was unaware of, or unwilling to pander to, the new sexual politics. When documented performance inadequacies prevented Adm. Arthur from overturning the Navy`s decision to wash out the lieutenant, he became caught up in the “scandal.”

Feminists saw his decision as proof that Arthur was guilty of keeping women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and out of combat. Durenberger put a hold on his appointment, and the Navy sacrificed its hero on the altar of political correctness.

All Adm. Arthur did was his duty, but feminists had defined military duty as a masculine agenda. Thus, Arthur was guilty of “sexism.”

What makes it possible for extreme irrationality to run roughshod over fact, not only in academic zoos but also in society`s most disciplined institution, the military? Schwartz answers that the subjective and the emotive have been elevated over the objective and reason. What counts is not what men do but what women feel.

Women have been taught to feel victimized by men to such an extent that all expressions of masculinity are offensive to feminists. Men who have caught on to this dynamic minimize their vulnerability to charges and destruction of career by becoming effete and showing that they are “in touch with their feelings” and “share your pain .”

Now that masculinity is criminalized, men who are not allied with, and protected by, feminists cannot succeed. Any doubts about this can be expelled by examining how one woman, Lt. Paula Coughlin, was able to destroy so many male naval careers with Tailhook.

It is ironic that American males, demonized and second-class citizens in their own society, are at work liberating Afghan women from Bin Laden and the Taliban. Perhaps the American male should reconquer his home front before he shows his prowess abroad.

Paul Craig Roberts is the author (with Lawrence M. Stratton) of The New Color Line : How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy

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