Policy as an affirmation of masculine identity

Gender policing? What gender policing? Garance Franke-Ruta says what gender policing.

Niall Ferguson dismisses economist John Maynard Keynes’s work as the product of an “effete” sensibility more interested in talking ballet than building a family with his wife.

Daily Caller writer Matthew K. Lewis blasts coverage of the gun control debate and declares, “Newsrooms should also hire a few journalists who aren’t effete liberal p*ssies.”

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas dismisses fellow Republicans who considered voting for a de minimis gun-control bill as “squishes.”

Effete squish liberal pussies; we hates’em. We hates women too, because women are where all that effete squish liberal pussiness comes from.

This isn’t policy talk oriented toward coming up with the greatest good for the greatest number, reducing human suffering, or even securing the nation against foreign threats. This is something else — something far more primal. This is about perceptions of manliness, and about policy as an affirmation of masculine identity.

And what is masculine identity?

Not woman-like.

…today I think we see more and more expressions of cultural identity from white men qua white men, as they seek to claim a place of their own in the multicultural firmament. Sometimes this identity is described as being Southern, or rural; other times, as Lewis puts it, it’s about “redneck” culture. He contrasts this with having “a cosmopolitan background,” a.k.a. hailing from a racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse urban community.

“Cosmopolitan” also means Jewish, as does “New York.”

Lewis stuck with his insult against members of the press that they are pussies. By his use of asterisks I think we can all be certain he did not mean that they were kittenish; he meant that they are like women. That they are weak. Inferior. Because women are weak and inferior; they are vulnerable where men are impenetrable.

And they can’t throw. Effete squish liberal pussies throw like girls, and that’s why we hates’em.

Luckily, violence is not the only form of force. There are other ways of creating change.

Public shaming also has a power. Ferguson apologized because he was subjected to a great deal of criticism from people in his own world, people whose opinions mattered to his sense of group belonging. Cruz is getting some blowback from people in his own party who think that he’s acting like an immature jerk (not my words), though I doubt that will slow or stop his rise as a public figure unless it turns into high-level on-the-record shaming from his squishy party colleagues or cuts into his fundraising ability. Majority Leader Harry Reid has sought to help define him during these early days of Cruz’s tenure in the Senate, calling him a “schoolyard bully.”

Well quite. What you get when you have people who hate everthing perceived as female and weak is, inevitably, a bunch of bullies. Not pretend bullies like “FTBullies” but real ones. Public shaming of that mindset is much needed.


  1. ajb47 says

    Wait. You throw like *girls*? I didn’t realize the other side had a good reason for what they’re doing. I mean, it all makes sense now. (Hold it again — No, no it really doesn’t.)

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Aw, c’mon.

    Everybody repeat after me: effete /= effeminate.

    Do we owe this confusion to Spiro Agnew and his vile speechwriter William Safire, or does it go back even further?

  3. bad Jim says

    And Buchanan.

    pusillanimous pussyfooters
    nattering nabobs of negativism (written by Safire)
    hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history
    an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.


  4. Silentbob says

    @ 2 Pierce R. Butler

    Hmmm. I’m not sure Pierce. From the link you provided…

    Word Origin & History

    1621, from L. effetus (usually in fem. effeta) “unproductive, worn out (with bearing offspring)” lit. “that has given birth,” from ex- “out” + fetus “childbearing, offspring” (see fetus). Sense of “exhausted” is 1662; that of “morally exhausted” (1790) led to “decadent” (19c.).

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