From The Email Bag: Are School Shootings Caused By Toxic De-Masculinization?
On the general subject of school shootings, I got a long autobiographical email from a listener that, I thought, hit at least one nail right on the head.
I can’t reproduce much of the email without giving away information about the guy, so I’ll just summarize.
My listener is in his mid-thirties. He first attended high school in New York City, in what sounds like one of the outer boroughs: “Italians, Irish, some Hispanics, Blacks, and Jewish people — working class and lower middle class.” Being a nerdy type, he was bullied. He learned martial arts to fight back, and got some peer respect.
Then his parents got rich and the family moved to an upscale suburb. I’ll let him take over here, with some slight editing.
Moving to the suburbs was a complete culture shock. First, all my peers were now Chinese, Indian, Jewish and white with no Hispanics and blacks. Because of my nerdy demeanor and working class background, I was quickly outcasted. But whereas the abuse in NYC was physical, the abuse I suffered now was passive-aggressive. The bullying was more of gossiping, ignoring, stealing items, etc. There was no way for me to fight back physically and prove myself. The one or two times I did, I was labeled by the teachers as a troublemaker and seen by the students as a dangerous element (in today’s environment, I would be stigmatized as a budding school shooter).
Luckily, I got a better social environment in college and made some lasting friends. But my high school experience puzzled me. I always pondered why the environment was so passive-aggressive.
I have now come to the conclusion that the suburban schools had been feminized. As I remember, almost all the staff were women. Anti-bullying policies had been put in place to halt physical violence. The unintended side effect was that it merely shifted the bullying. Instead of physical bullying among men, a bullying that could allow you to raise your social status by fighting back, the bullies became like catty women, using passive-aggressive means to bully.
The only means to stop it are to tattle-tale, which lowers your social status. Even then, the teachers may turn against you if they are friends with the bullies in question or if the bullies make a better impression than you. At most, the teachers will try to understand the bully, making you feel frustrated in outcomes. Or you can fight back physically, which does nothing to raise your social status and gets you labeled as a potential school shooter.
Under such a scenario, when you are a social outcast, it’s near impossible to raise your status. It’s why people who are stuck in this role turn to nihilism, then school shooting. It’s really the only way to show the world of your pain or get any attention when you are so low on the totem pole.
This aligns with other commentaries on the Florida school shooting, a couple of which my emailer links to — this one, for example.
Executive summary: The feminization of our society → victimhood culture → inability of adolescent males to socialize into natural dominance hierarchies.
Toxic masculinity, these people are saying, isn’t the problem; the problem is the very toxic de-masculinization of our society.