“I IMPRESS A LOT OF PEOPLE. WHY ARE YOU NOT IMPRESSED?”
“I AM THE BOSS EVEN WHEN YOU ARE PRIME”.
“EVEN WHEN YOU ARE PRIME, I AM THE BOSS, OK?”
These are the weak arguments of Daryl Maguire, a disgraced former state MP who somehow managed to cheat Gladys Berejiklian into a romantic relationship. His story is an inspiration to men all over the world: no matter how harmless or pathetic you may be, someone can tolerate or, inexplicably, deign to love you. There is always hope.
The insecure, fragile masculinity that oozes from his every word is disgusting enough to evoke a hint of misandry in any person, especially if you realize how typical it is. Every woman knows Daryl. Most of them have probably dated one of them. The world is drowning in poisonous male anxiety.
It comes in a variety of forms, some more destructive than others, but a common factor is a worldview that equates masculinity with dominance. The extreme version looks like Andrew Tate, accused rapist and traffickerwho taught millions of assistants to maintain their ego being misogynistic, abusive jerks.
We can thank cult leaders like Tate for spawning a subset of boys and grown men of comparable maturity who view masculinity through the lens of penis measurement competition. The bottom line is that instead of wanting have the biggest cock they dream of existence the biggest dick, and fuck other people to feel good. In any case, they are even cruder than the torture metaphor might seem.
Move to the softer end of the spectrum and you’ll run into the Daryls of the world screaming “I’m the BOSS” into the void with all the power they can muster (about as much as an unpaid intern).
It covers the disgusting and the ridiculous. Most men are neither. But this pesky masculine insecurity remains—its effects are becoming ever more subtle.
US Senator Ted Cruz, a former presidential candidate, was once mercilessly toasted for accidentally liked pornography on twitter (few things are as hilariously ironic as a moralistic social conservative caught literally with his pants down.)
I tell this not to shame Mr. Cruise – it was perhaps the most humane and noteworthy act of his career – but to provide some perspective, because, surprisingly, it was only the second most excited moment on the platform. He surpassed it in 2021 by publicly drooling over a recruitment announcement for the Russian army.
The ad in question featured muscular, masculine shirtless men doing masculine things like push-ups, jumping out of airplanes, aiming guns and flashing for the camera.
“Holy shit. Perhaps an awakened, emasculated military “Not a good idea,” Mr. Cruise said, unable to contain his, um, admiration. Focus on his choice of words: emasculated. This is the key.
He favorably compared the staged Russian advertisement to that of the US military, which featured a real-life female soldier raised by two mothers.
He went on to complain that the US military is turning its soldiers into “pansies.” But not Russia! Russian soldiers were MEN.
His attitude would have been dignified centuries ago, when wars were fought exclusively by people sticking pointed objects into each other, and physical strength was a significant factor. In today’s world, the military is heavily dependent on technology and the people who run it. Strength still matters, but brains are just as important.
So it makes sense, doesn’t it, for the modern military to diversify its talents; recruit the best minds, not just the men with the biggest muscles. Hence the American advertisement. It was a clever, well-aimed message, and Mr. Cruz was too fascinated by the deltas of the Russian soldiers to see it as anything but weakness.
Helpfully, the Russian army continued to illustrate its stupidity with its colossal invasion of Ukraine. I don’t think push-ups are enough.
Anyway, emasculated. It was the word. To be stripped of male identity. Ask yourself: how fragile, how easily masculinity must be broken if it is threatened by an idea – sigh – women to serve in the military? And – double breath – actively recruited? Aren’t real men capable of working alongside the opposite sex? Does it somehow reduce them?
This is the same energy that corrupted Daryl Maguire in his apparent desperation not to feel in the shadow of a powerful woman. “Even when you’re prime, I’m the boss.” It’s not great. The right relationship is a partnership of supportive equals, not a struggle for supremacy. Too many men instinctively perceive their partner’s success as a threat.
True masculinity is more reliable, more self-confident. He does not seek dominance or exclusion from others. It doesn’t need verification. He sees little value in selfishness and cruelty. It is drawn from the reserves of character, from a calm and deliberate mind.
The version above, the one that values physical strength and aggression and demands that others be impressed, or worse, subdued, is the definition of a schoolyard. This is what we considered masculinity when we were boys. It’s a pitiful childish view of the world.
I was reminded of the Cruz episode this week, when parts of the internet took a wary look at another American politician, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Mr. Kennedy, an anti-vaccination conspiracy theorist, is running a losing campaign against Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2024.
Still at the height of his popularity following his appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast, as expected, Mr. Kennedy has posted several shots of him training shirtless on social media. The parade of fans considered this to be evidence of his suitability for the presidency.
“This guy, according to the media, has no chance against decrepit Joe,” said one such expert.
Okay, hi buddies, I’m a media guy, and I’m telling you now, using my extremely basic analysis and understanding abilities, that yes, Mr. Kennedy has absolutely zero chances against Joe Biden.
It doesn’t matter how pumped up he is. It doesn’t matter if he can bench press on a Toyota Hilux, climb Mount Everest naked, or rip a tiger’s jaw off with his bare hands. The guy, whose fan base is mostly Covid truthers and alt-right Twitter trolls, is not going to run for the mainstream progressive party nomination.
There is no female equivalent to this nonsense. Show me just one woman who thinks that Gwyneth Paltrow should be President of the United States, despite her goofy insanity, just because she had the self-discipline to achieve a slim figure. Nobody thinks so! That would be idiotic!
But we’re besieged by people who are wrong Rogan’s friendly ignorance for true political wisdom. And it’s not that the RFK fan club is just run by people who think that lifting weights and lowering them back will allow them to neutralize infectious diseases. They also think that he is capable of operating nuclear weapons.
There is a reason why democracies choose their leaders in elections rather than squatting contests. Executive power comes from the mandates of the masses, not from some farcical sporting ceremony! The skill sets of prime ministers and bodybuilders have little in common.
In the end, it’s a matter of priorities. What is more important to you gentlemen? To be the “boss”? Do you consider yourself “impressive”? Control women? To be the person the eternal internet teens praise in a weird masturbating tone?
Or perhaps there is more value in being a decent person.