You fucking idiot.
But I digress. I'm writing today, of course, in response to this whole diatribe of douchebaggery: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439040/male-physical-decline-masculinity-threatened
Go ahead, read it. I'll wait.
Preface: I'm a liberal. I used to be an apologetic liberal, because the rest of my family leans more conservative, but I'm done apologizing. I'm a proud liberal, but I don't want to plant myself in an echo chamber, constantly listening to the soothing murmurs from NPR that tell me exactly what I want to hear about the world. I did that for a while, appropriately enough when I was in grad school, and then I started disagreeing more and more with my dad, who is conservative and leaning farther and farther right the older he gets, and then I realized that his primary news source is FOX News, and I thought, "Well that's bullshit. All he's gonna hear from them is the conservative view." And it hit me that me listening to and reading NPR and not much else is no different. So I started reading The Atlantic and National Review and The Wall Street Journal in an effort to better understand where the other side is coming from.
Most of the time, NR and David French are conservative viewpoints I can understand, if not occasionally respect. But he lost me big time on this one. There are many reasons that physical strength as a prerequisite for masculinity is such bullshit (how strong do I have to be to be a man?), but I want to get right to the point. I think it's this kind of toxic masculinity that breeds "men" like Dylan Roof, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, etc. There is no answer to the question of how strong a man needs to be. There will always be a stronger man out there, so if you measure manliness by strength, you will always be found lacking. To an insecure young man, that really fucking sucks. Maybe you've got understanding parents who support you through this, but maybe you've got a big strong macho dad like David French who tells you if you're not strong you're not a man. Maybe your dad is so macho he verbally or physically abuses you because he knows that's the best way to toughen you up so you can be a big strong man. Maybe you get shoved in lockers or pissed on in the showers because you're not strong enough to physically defend yourself. Maybe the girls laugh at you as you're walking through the halls at school because they found out the big strong macho men peed on you in the shower. Or maybe none of this shit happens, but you still feel horrible and weak because you just can't figure out how to fit in.
What do you do?
Thankfully, most guys just get through it, somehow. Positive friends, a hobby, burying their noses in books, listening to death metal while they scream into a pillow, whatever. But maybe none of that works.
What do you do?
What's the most powerful tool easily accessed in America? The tool that instantly equalizes all physical limitations, assuming you have use of at least one of your hands? If you're an insecure you man, feeling like you don't have a place in the world because you're "weak," what do you do?
You get a gun. Because nobody is weak if they've got a fucking gun. What's the most powerful thing you can do with a gun? You can take the life of another human being. Call me weak now bitches! BANG BANG!
Weakening grip strength is not what's killing masculinity in the US of A. It's this toxic idea that you can't be a man if you're not strong.