“I Miss Big, Wet, Embarrassing Kisses From My Father,” John DeVore wrote yesterday on his Medium site, Humungus.
It was a one-day-later reflection on a truly awful tweet—one that is (thankfully) already fading into the morass of toxicity that this election cycle has unleashed. John Cardillo, a right-wing pundit, captioned a photo of Joe Biden hugging his son with the question: “Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you?”
“The message is both muddy and crystal clear,” DeVore writes:
Cardillo is plainly suggesting there is something… off… about these two men. …
This story is part of The New Self-Help: 21 Books for a Better You in the 21st Century.
When I first began injecting testosterone, I clocked the changes primarily in aesthetic terms: the T-shirt that now fit me, the graceful curl of biceps, the glorious sprinkle of a beard. I loved being a man; I loved having a body.
Those first few years of testosterone injections coincided with a period of anxious headlines about men in economic turmoil. Post-recession, surges in suicides, drug addiction, and even beards were all blamed on a broader insecurity about the massive loss of jobs…
I spent most of my twenties in New York chasing women. With my shy, sensitive demeanor, they thought I was safe: a “nice guy.” “Boyfriend material.” But I see now that I was less interested in a relationship than the validation of a woman’s desire. Once I had it, I lost interest. I’d run off looking for the next person to give me that rush of being wanted and needed, then the next. Each time, I became deeply depressed.
The men are at it again.
This time, they’re crowding into Nashville bars and throwing Frisbees in the middle of Prospect Park and showing the world that a little pandemic ain’t gonna stop them from havin’ a good-ass time. They’re logging on to tell people who are self-isolating that they’re ignorant, weak, and allergic to fun. Some of these men are gonna die shortly, and probably take your grandma along with them. But for now, they’re flipping that ‘rona the bird and showing it who’s boss.
This is extremely on-brand for my people. If the coronavirus had ravaged the globe…
Since the #MeToo movement ignited a national outcry about the rampant sexual harassment and abuse in industries from film and television to politics, workplaces have been much more attuned to the way “traditional” (some might say “toxic”) socialized masculinity can contribute to gender inequality, bias, and sexual misconduct.
But even progressive companies can struggle with “masculinity contest cultures,” according to a paper published in the Harvard Business Review last year. These cultures may include harassment and abuse, but the more “benign” elements will also sound familiar to many office workers:
... taking on and bragging about heavy workloads or long…
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Just be one!
— Meditations, 10.16
Over the past few decades, there’s been a resurgence of interest in Stoicism. People often confuse stoicism (lower-case), a coping style that involves suppressing or concealing emotions, also called having a “stiff upper-lip,” with Stoicism (capitalized), the ancient Graeco-Roman school of philosophy. Some crudely equate “manliness” with being tough and unemotional (lower-case “stoicism”). I think there’s a more nuanced way to understand how Stoic philosophy might inform a modern man’s conception of his role in society.
Cameron Maybin is hitting a solid .284 for the Yankees, but the outfielder’s most winning contribution to his team is the hugs he delivers in the dugout.
After each homerun, players walk through the dugout getting high fives, then get one last reward: a warm embrace from Maybin. Now fans are hugging in the stands, too, and even making T-shirts to commemorate this new baseball tradition.
“Hugging just makes people feel good,” Maybin told the New York Times. “Everybody needs a good hug sometimes. Even when you don’t think you want one.”
A publication from Medium on personal development.