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The 10 Most Ridiculous Responses to the #MasculinitySoFragile hashtag

It's Toxic Masculinity Man!
It’s Toxic Masculinity Man!

The #MasculinitySoFragile hashtag took off yesterday after a Buzzfeed article highlighted a bunch of products being marketed to men with some of the most cartoonish evocations of old-school masculinity you could possibly imagine, from grenade-shaped shower puffs for men to Man Chocolate.

The point of the hashtag was fairly obvious: to look at, and mock, the ways these ads try to capitalize on male insecurities and suggest ways men can free themselves from destructive stereotypes of masculinity.

Because, as these ads make clear, masculinity and femininity aren’t inscribed in our genes the way eye and hair color are; they are to a large extent cultural constructs, ways of seeing, ways of thinking, ways of acting that we learn from parents, peers, and, increasingly, the media  — hence the insecurity many men feel about their masculinity, and the ease with which advertisers are able to play on these insecurities to make money.

Talking about these constructs as constructs can help us to free ourselves from aspects of masculinity and femininity that are toxic or unnecessarily restrictive.

The #MasculinitySoFragile hashtag, like the Buzzfeed article that got the conversation going, broaches the subject in a funny way, telling guys that, yes, it’s ok to buy yourself a pink shower puff for $3 instead of shelling out twice that much for an Axe Detailer Shower Tool that looks like it came straight out of Gears of War.

So, naturally, the hashtag was quickly flooded by antifeminists and anxious men who saw the whole thing not as a deconstruction of the sort of toxic masculinity that’s making them anxious in the first place, but as an army of evil feminazis calling them a bunch of wusses.

Not realizing that the feminists were talking about the surprising fragility of cultural definitions of masculinity, the critics of the hashtag assumed the feminists were accusing  men of being fragile.  I don’t know the last time I saw such a colossal outbreak of not-getting-the-point.

As one observer sympathetic to the original aim of the hashtag noted,,

How did the “critics” of the hashtag get it so wrong? Let me count the ways.

1) They declared that it wasn’t MEN who were fragile, but FEMINISTS so there.

https://twitter.com/Bayonethics/status/646646983617175553

https://twitter.com/alWPWtom/status/646657930574569472

https://twitter.com/Luisedgm/status/646657724852342784

2) They offered to fight any feminist comers, to show the world just how unfragile they are.

3) They accused feminists who weren’t shaming men … of shaming men.

https://twitter.com/The_Extrange/status/646646321563176960

4) Meanwhile, others in their camp tried to shame women for being (allegedly) inferior to men at pretty much everything.

5) Sometimes they forgot to make an argument and just said “suck it.”

6) Others fell back on random insults.

https://twitter.com/matthewhummel/status/646783223867965440

https://twitter.com/_Jiggz/status/646830406885507072

7) They cast aspersions on the motivations, and the masculinity, of feminist men participating in the hashtag.

https://twitter.com/PolitiBunny/status/646816129902510080

https://twitter.com/AVoiceForMen/status/646843565478309888

https://twitter.com/LucasTemple/status/646832952702140416

8) Some of them decided to take the opportunity to cast aspersions on Barak Obama’s masculinity as well, because isn’t he like a feminist or something?

https://twitter.com/HensleywkAo/status/646664691146694656

9) A few used the hashtag to promote white supremacy, because why not?

https://twitter.com/UncuckTheRight/status/646887485566377984

https://twitter.com/ElStatelo/status/646752815168233472

10) They warned feminists that if they kept talking about how men are fragile — which, again, they weren’t doing — well then, these women wouldn’t be getting any more help from men with stuck jelly jar lids, and they could forget about having doors opened for them ever, much less having dudes treat them to dinner!

https://twitter.com/NotOne2bPC/status/646831693643542529

https://twitter.com/ThinkingWeasel/status/646769296899764224

https://twitter.com/juhawh/status/646829131175448576

Ladies: You have lost a POWERFUL ALLY today.

Never again will you have a nice dinner. Or eat jelly.

Tauriq Moosa probably did the best job of summing up the whole parade of nonsense.

Yep, that pretty much covers it.

 

 

 

 

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rick
rick
5 years ago

I stopped reading after a few tweets. The talking points are always the same, and they always come from the same oversimplified, meme based, internet dumb.

leftytgirl
5 years ago

Surprised this one didn’t make it in:

>#MasculinitySoFragile >Masculinity is toxic and oppressive Pick one, idiots.— Sargon of Akkad (@Sargon_of_Akkad) September 23, 2015

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

rugbyyogi
5 years ago

Ha! I need some furniture moving into the house today It’s too heavy to move on my own. It’s awkward and wide, I don’t think the world’s strongest man (or woman) would want to move it on his/her own. Guess, who I asked? A woman. And I’ll open my own damn jelly jar, thanks…

Anne
Anne
5 years ago

…And of cause lame Paul Elam ALSO jumped on the train. *Facepalm*

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

It wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of this confusion comes from just not being familiar with the feminist concept of masculinity. Someone needs to hit these guys with a clue-by-four and let them know that “masculinity” does not mean “definition of man.”

I saw one tweet asking how it is that “for him” products were the fault of men seeking those products out, but “for her” products were the result of corporate manipulation. I wanted to ask him if he’s ever seen a guy complaining about all the dark colors and hard edges stores want to sell him, and maybe he wants something pink and frilly, but apparently those are only for girls.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

Sad to say they have a point. In many cases #MasculinitySoFragile that men will let these bigoted basilisks walk them like dogs.

Ooh! Paul Elam weighed in. He’s always so interesting. Not at all hateful!

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

Dear smug feminists: Maybe #MasculinitySoFragile cuz you spent the last 40 years emasculating men.

…says Ms. Maglalang, whose husband ghost-writes all her crap.

freemage
5 years ago

You know, I’ve got a box of Q-Tips at my house right now. On the back, for some bizarre reason, they decided that in order to get men to buy their product (because they apparently think all guys share Roosh’s hygiene habits and thus, never want to get the wax out of our ears), they needed to list a bunch of other, tool- and engine-related uses you could put them to, with the list headed something like “The perfect tool for men”.

spacelawn
5 years ago

@leftygirl

I would post that “why not both” meme but i can’t 🙁

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

Attention feminists: If you emasculate civilized white men, you will be brutally raped by savage foreigners.

Ooooo, the “civilized” racist panic button! Push it harder, maybe it will work! [/sarcasm]

You do realize that if we can “emasculate civilized white men”, we can do the same to “savage foreigners”, right? I mean, the anatomy is all the same…

ColeYote
ColeYote
5 years ago

I was gonna make a comment about how silly it is to say my motivations as a feminist male are entirely to get sex with women, since I’m gay and all, but then…

“UncuckTheRight”? Are you fucking serious with that Twitter handle? Not sure if trying way too hard or not nearly hard enough.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

@freemage

That reminds me something funny that happened yesterday: I asked the cab driver (with my vision, I can’t drive) to stop by a chemists’ on the way home so I could pick up some hand sanitiser. “I thought you weren’t into that girly crap?” “Hmm? Oh, I use it to clean computer parts, it’s cheaper.” “… Oh.”

If they ever unnecessarily gender hand sanitiser, expect to see that on the packaging. =P

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

#MasculinitySoFragile that I’m gonna let women open their own goddam doors and pay for their own drinks/tickets/meals from now on…

Good. It means we won’t “owe” you any fucking smiles. Or sex. Or anything. Ha, ha.

Not that some of us haven’t been doing that (and more) all along, anyway…because (a) we can, and (b) we open doors for others regardless of gender, split dinner tabs, etc., as a matter of habit, and (c) we just don’t like to be beholden to sex-expecting assholes like YOU, okay?

(Srsly, does this dude not realize that this is one of our actual long-term feminist goals? Getting dimwits like him to fuck off with their patronizing bogus chivalry schtick and let us do our own thing? Yet they keep coming up with that as if it were a serious counterargument that should checkmate us all and strike us mute, when all it does is prove our point for us.)

#MasculinitySoFragile but not as fragile as a woman’s desire to pick up the check instead of opening her legs for an easy meal ticket.

Sex with an asshole (like YOU) is not an “easy meal ticket”, bubba. It’s prostitution, and it means that we are beholden, and stuck with you, and have to put up with your crap in exchange for a not-so-free meal. Fuck that noise. There’s a very good reason I don’t like random men doing me so-called favors. And neither do many other women. There’s always a catch, and guess what? WE DON’T LIKE BEING CAUGHT.

(On the other hand, it is nice to see him obliquely admitting that his manly manly manhood is indeed so fragile that he desperately needs to pay for dinner to get sex, and gets royally miffed when he’s denied by a woman who honestly doesn’t mind paying her own damn way. Once again, thanks for helping to make our point for us, bubba!)

spacelawn
5 years ago

@SFHC

Exactly how are hand sanitizers “girly”?

Kootiepatra
5 years ago

Meanwhile Reddit is in an uproar that Google is consulting with Sarkeesian and Quinn (among many others) about how to reduce online abuse. Of all the days to throw an anti-feminist fit, it’s particularly ironic to do it with this hashtag trending.

Woah
Woah
5 years ago

Mr. Kirby most of the men complaining about this are also terminally stupid.

scalyllama
5 years ago

Behind the door when a sense of irony was handed out.

Catalpa
Catalpa
5 years ago

@ David

Is #masculinitysotoxic also a trending hashing? Otherwise, I think you have a typo in your fifth paragraph.

brian
5 years ago

David: at the start of the fifth paragraph, you say “The #MasculinitySoToxic” hashtag. Maybe that’s a hashtag too, but the rest of the post is about #MasculinitySoFragile, so I assume this is a typo?

brian
5 years ago

@spacelawn
Everyone knows only girls care about being clean.

Falconer
5 years ago

Is there ever a handle that shouts “I am insecure in my accomplishments” louder than calling yourself ERWIN motherfucking ROMMEL ??

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

>#MasculinitySoFragile >Masculinity is toxic and oppressive Pick one, idiots.— Sargon of Akkad (@Sargon_of_Akkad) September 23, 2015

The concept that (white, cis-het, western) masculinity is so fragile as to need propping up with every fucking “rugged”, macho thing on the market, not to mention sex on demand (or, in a pinch, in exchange for dinner), IS what’s toxic. Thanks again, Sargon of Clueless, for conceding our point while trying to argue against it. We do appreciate that!
comment image

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

“Freedom of speech applies even to those who disagree with you”… TRIGGERED

…posted by a dude who is triggered by people he disagrees with, actually using their freedom of speech to mock a stupid yet persistent masculist myth.

O irony, where is thy zing?

mssunlight
mssunlight
5 years ago

Norovirus: it’s so manly!

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

#MasculinitySoFragile Open your own fucking jelly jar… And no, I’m NOT gonna lift that heavy box for you, ya whiny bitch

Oh, is that the best you got? Here’s how I open jars: I bang on the edge of the lid a few times with the butt end of a butter knife. This releases the pressure and makes it easy to turn. If it still doesn’t, I reach for my handy-dandy jar-lid grabber, and DONE.

And I can lift heavy boxes just fine, dude. I have strong legs. That’s right, it’s NOT upper-body strength that does the real heavy lifting, as you would know if you actually lifted yourself, bro.

Who’s the whiny one now, eh?

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

@spacelawn

The answer is either “Fucked if I know” or “Roosh’s unwiped ass,” depending on how snarky I’m feeling.

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

#MasculinitySoFragile. Because you can’t open the door for a feminist without issues. Only a real woman would thank you for the respect.

Careful, dude, your fragile is showing…

Actually, this feminist (who IS a real woman, because the only fake ones are the inflatable kind) has thanked her share of door openers.

And if you really respected women, you wouldn’t be singling any of us out as having “issues” for not liking to be beholden to your fragile male ego, dude.

And a feminist who opens her own damn doors IS “without issues”, because there is nothing wrong with women opening their own damn doors without a man’s “help”. Oops, looks like another fragile masculinity has made our point for us!

kylagb
5 years ago

They covered just about everything but Hitler. Usually there is a Hitler or nazi reference in at least one tweet. The Obama leap made me laugh.

freemage
5 years ago

It’s just Lewis’ Law all the way down, isn’t it?

greyskye
greyskye
5 years ago

I know since Thursday is my “loose all hope for humanity” day, I’m delighted to have gotten such an early start on it. The “rebuttal” hastag #femininitysofragile is so vile… David, a wealth of misogyny, violence and racism there for you as a follow up article.

I just don’t know where to start with it. It’s immediately the worst.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Oh, Michelle Malkin. The very concept of feminism emasculating men just proves the point. Have you ever heard women say a man is defeminizing her simply by having a differing opinion? No, because it’s masculinity we’re socialized into thinking is superior and must be protected.

R Cawkwell
5 years ago

They really missed the point of the hashtag. And demonstrated exactly what it is about, all at the same time. If only they were self-aware enough to realise that.

TheLulzWatch
TheLulzWatch
5 years ago

Book of triggering
You are a fragile lil snowflake, your ego is as weak as f***.
*triggered*
A blow up doll doesn’t technically count as a girlfriend…
*triggering intensifies*

mistressoflarry
5 years ago

Attention feminists: If you emasculate civilized white men, you will be brutally raped by savage foreigners.

If these guys are so easy to emasculate, what’s holding back the “savage foreigners” in the first place?

Re: Opening doors: as a feminist not only have I opened doors for myself, thanked others for opening doors or holding doors open for me, I myself have opened doors for others and been thanked for doing so, most recently by an older gentleman this morning at the post office. But the way these guys act you’d think if I held the door for a dude bro (I have), their nuts would drop off from shock (they didn’t).

Why is being a decent human to other humans so hard for these humans?

freddymurray
freddymurray
5 years ago

IRT “Open your own fucking jelly jar”

Just so you know, they sell tools specifically made for opening stubborn lids (some are even automatic). They’re primarily for people with arthritic hands, but they’re pretty handy for anyone with a weak grip.

So yeah, don’t need your strong manly hands after all, but thanks for the concern.

Falconer
5 years ago

Dear smug feminists: Maybe #MasculinitySoFragile cuz you spent the last 40 years emasculating men.

…says Ms. Maglalang, whose husband ghost-writes all her crap.

Did that come out somewhere? Last I head, which is admittedly years and years ago, they’d collaborated on some projects.

sn0rkmaiden
5 years ago

As a short woman with very slim wrists I learned a good trick for stubborn jars, just take a screwdriver and use it to lever under the lid, not enough to bend the metal, just enough to break the vacuum. I also keep a small foot stool in the kitchen for those high shelves. Remind me how helpless without a man I am again?

I remember when amazon was full of joke reviews in response to ridiculously gendered products like ‘For Her’ pink biros, I don’t seem to recall any angry feminists thinking those reviews were undermining anyone’s sense of womanhood, they were more annoyed at those condescending products. What these manbabies are proving on twitter is that they need their ‘Man Soap’ and ‘Man Sweeties’ in order to feel properly masculine.

Amused
5 years ago

@Bina:

I open jars by wrapping a rubber band or a rubber glove around the lid. 90% of the time, that creates enough friction to move the lid. Works on containers with sticky, dried material, too! — such as nail polish, honey, preserves, etc. The other 10% to the time, I slip the blade of a butter knife under the lid and wiggle it around trying to disrupt the airlock. My menfolk are pretty strong, but in those rare instances when I can’t open a jar, they can’t either.

greyskye
greyskye
5 years ago

So this whole thing hit http://cheezburger.com/637701/gender-norms-hashtag-masculinitysofragile-twitter-trending#comments – and I’m cracking up at the guys in the comments on the article mansplaining to each other and getting it completely wrong. It’s amazing.

BritterSweet
5 years ago

Opening doors and jars is, in my theory, a symbolic thing. It represents a man doing trivial acts of kindness for a woman (that women themselves can do) not because it’s nice to be kind to others but because of an unwritten cultural “contract” between men and women as a whole. If women stop coddling the male ego, men will stop putting in a minimal effort to help women. Or, they may stop the “protecting you by not killing you” thing they expect to be lionized for.

They missed the point of #MasculinitySoFragile, just like in #1, they missed the point of trigger warnings. That’s just like them.

ikanreed
ikanreed
5 years ago

What really sucks is that MRA types should be annoyed as shit at the whole fragile masculinity thing.

It seriously sucks for us men. To have to constantly reinforce your masculinity to meet an arbitrary and backward social standard. But feminists hate it for good reasons(i.e. toxic, abusive, and patriarchy attitudes) too, so the MRAs decide they have to love it.

dhag85
5 years ago

I have arthritis and haven’t been able to open jars in years. My wife does all the jar-opening around here. :p

ShockingTruth
ShockingTruth
5 years ago

David. C’mon now. You know better than this. The pink puff isn’t the cheapest option. The cheapest option is the grey blobby one that sort of disappears after a few washes from the dollar store. You have to pay for style. And the right to actually have it in your shower for more than a few days before the ether swallows it.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Lewis’s Law prevails once again.

vaiyt
5 years ago

As a short woman with very slim wrists I learned a good trick for stubborn jars, just take a screwdriver and use it to lever under the lid, not enough to bend the metal, just enough to break the vacuum.

As a man, I also do that. It’s much more energy-efficient.

brooked
brooked
5 years ago

I just want say Michelle Malkin is a terrible person. She rights for the terrible Vdare, the premier platform for blatantly racist paleoconservatives, and wrote a terrible book defending the WW2 Japanese internment that’s a crime against history. She also founded the terrible website/train wreck Twichy, which cherry picks random tweets in order to denounce the all powerful, yet impossible stupid, liberal cabal that’s ruining America.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Michelle_Malkin

scheibere
scheibere
5 years ago

Two comments for what it’s worth.

(1) Way to totally misunderstand what triggering is or what trigger warnings are for, dude. I bet this guy totally rocks logic: “Hey, stupid totally deserved the rape because her skirt was too short/she had drunk a cocktail/she was walking down the street at night! … What? Why are you upset?!! It’s only LOGICAL!” “Hey, deserved the bullying/beating because it’s NOT NATURAL! …. what? Why are you upset?! This is totally reasonable! First amendment! Free speech! You’re the real sexist/racist/homophobe/transphobe for trying to shut down my speech!”

(2) Who is actively ignoring boys’ education? Is it just because we don’t have articles and op-eds addressing education for boys? It’s not in the headlines therefore we’re “actively ignoring” it? Newsflash: we don’t write headlines about what’s going well. There are no articles about all the planes that landed safely yesterday. There are no op-eds about my peaceful and uneventful street. Just like we don’t need a “white history month” in the US because every month is white history month, just like we don’t need a “special caucus on getting rich white men into politics” or “conference on getting more people to watch men’s sports”, we don’t need special dialogue around boys’ education.

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

Strap wrenches do a good job on jars too. Plus they can be used on oil filters (wash ’em afterwards if you want to go back to jars), pipes, even tight bottlecaps if you can adjust them down small enough…

scheibere
scheibere
5 years ago

Sadly wordpress removed two key parts of my first comment… I guess I used the wrong parens. It should read:

I bet this guy totally rocks logic: “Hey, stupid [gendered slur] totally deserved the rape because her skirt was too short/she had drunk a cocktail/she was walking down the street at night! … What? Why are you upset?!! It’s only LOGICAL!” “Hey, [transphobic/homophobic slur] deserved the bullying/beating because it’s NOT NATURAL! …. what? Why are you upset?! This is totally reasonable! First amendment! Free speech! You’re the real …

rugbyyogi
5 years ago

the knife or screwdriver under the lip of the lid is a great tip… I learned it from my ex-husband. But I always try to give it a twist first, they don’t all need it.

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