Nah. You’re still being illogical. You can repeat the same fallacy until you’re blue in the face, but no amount of bluster is going to turn a keyboard warrior into someone who makes it an unpleasant task for a Navy SEAL to kick his ass. Thinking this is actually toxic masculinity, in that it is rooted in male fantasies about violence. A Navy SEAL is a highly-trained, highly-experienced warrior of the most elite degree. You’re never going to realistically rise above speed bump status to such a person unless you’re also an elite professional warrior of some stripe. If you want to bring guns or knives into the equation, your odds just got worse.

Tying masculinity to violence is also short-sighted. Large-scale war is no longer tenable for the human race. Following closely behind this, everyday violence is becoming increasingly less tenable. Fortunately, violent crime has been dropping sharply, and not because so-called manly men are out there dealing damage to all these bad, bad perpetrators lurking on every corner. Our survival as a species will ultimately rest in our ability to be a peaceful, entirely non-violent species. Otherwise, a willingness to inflict harm amplified by a lever of technology that we can barely even conceive through the lens of our rudimentary nuclear weapons will spell complete destruction. Why tie masculinity to something with such an obviously low shelf-life? You’re actually hurting the prospects of the entire human race with your insistence on tying violence to masculinity.

Sure, you make the defense that you shouldn’t seek out violence, but you also imply the violent men who initiate and win at street fights or who beat women and children are masculine because of their ability to deal damage to people. And, since you rate masculinity as a positive thing, you thereby assign a positive trait to these people.

Lastly, none of what I’ve said even brings up how ableist, anti-pacifist, and misogynist your claims are. Are you saying a person with severe physical limitations that prohibit him or her from being able to cause physical damage to someone else cannot be masculine? Are you saying someone who refuses to fight cannot be masculine? Are you saying a woman who identifies as feminine who can destroy you in a physical altercation or who is a deadly shot with a pistol is actually masculine?

Everything you are talking about is illogical and rooted in fantasy. It’s actually a product of the kings and generals of bygone eras needing men to fight for them. If you make men believe the only way to be manly is to be able to fight, then it is a lot easier to convince them to pick up a sword and go die on a battlefield for your cause. How else will they prove their manliness? Your concept of masculinity, then, has always been a prison for men — a method by which powerful men have oppressed men of lesser means. Ironically, then, it has been the men susceptible to this image of masculinity, who consider themselves the most physically able in the realm of damage dealing, who have been the most likely to die violent deaths and suffer the effects of violent trauma, both physical and mental. This is still the case today.

I’m still choosing the side of sensibility over violent fantasies. I’m not even sure if masculinity or femininity are real, meritorious things or just outmoded social constructs, but I’m going to continue to prize things like logic and healthy relationships with people, be they friends, family, or strangers, over learning how to stab someone in the throat. If that means I’m not perceived as masculine to some people, oh well.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store