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Fragile masculinity: Men’s Rights Activists outraged by research suggesting male Trump voters are worried about their dicks

He’s a White House truck drivin’ man: Donald Trump is TOTALLY secure in his masculinity

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By David Futrelle

The Washington Post caused a bit of a stir on the internet today with an article by two academic researchers offering some rather intriguing evidence suggesting that many men turn to Trump because his blustery assertions of manhood help to reassure them about their own masculinity.

The researchers, Eric Knowles and Sarah DiMuccio at New York University, prove their point, at least in a rough way, by linking geographical patterns of Trump support with internet searches reflective of common male anxieties — from “hair loss,” and “how to get girls,” to “erectile dysfunction,”  “penis enlargement,” “penis size,” and “Viagra.”

The researchers report “that support for Trump in the 2016 election was higher in areas that had more searches for topics such as ‘erectile dysfunction,'” even after controlling for an assortment of demographic factors.

In other words, male Trump supporters are more likely than male Trump opponents to be worried about their dicks. Literally and figuratively.

And this very much seems to be a Trump thing: The pattern didn’t hold for men who voted for John McCain in 2008 or Mitt Romney in 2012.

So do these sorts of internet searches really say anything about male fragility? Seems so. The researchers also conducted a survey of 300 men showing that interest in these sorts of subjects was indeed highest among men who

scor[ed] high on a questionnaire measuring “masculine gender-role discrepancy stress” — concern that they aren’t as manly as their male friends.

The researchers suggest, based on these findings, that “Trump appears to appeal” less to confidently masculine men than “to men who are secretly insecure about their manhood” and who take a certain vicarious pleasure in Trump’s macho posturings.

You can see this as well in the weird proliferation of “macho Trump” memes depicting the pudgy old dude as a musclebound he-man, as I pointed out in a post a couple of months ago.

Most of those reacting to the study on Twitter today tend to find it amusing, or obvious, or a mixture of the two. But Trump fans and Men’s Rights Activists (who are also mostly Trump fans) are crying foul.

In the Men’s Rights subreddit, the regulars are responding to the article with their typical reasoned, logical critiques — by which I mean insults and yelling from an assortment of people who clearly haven’t read what they’re yelling about.

“Hey Eric,” writes VoxVirilis, calling out one of the researchers by name.

It doesn’t matter how many feminist articles you write with Sarah, she isn’t going to sleep with you.

“Ah, projection,” writes boy_named_su

Men aren’t insecure about their penises, but women are about their vaginas, so they project

Men don’t vote for someone because they are insecure about some physical attribute, but I guess women must, so they project

Our old friend ThePigmanAgain has a somewhat confusing critique of the study’s methodology:

LOL! These are the same idiots who have a problem with Melania’s Christmas trees! No way am i bothering to read that crap.

Someone called paulkersey1999, meanwhile, goes with the classic No U response, declaring that “men who read the Washington post HAVE NO PENIS (or brain).”

I do so enjoy a spirited debate!

NOTE: Free internet points to anyone who can identify the song that inspired my photo caption above.

H/T to @DavidPeddicord  on Twitter for pointing me to the WaPo piece!

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Austin G Loomis
Austin G Loomis
2 years ago

Painful intercourse? Meh, pain and suffering is just part of being a woman.

To the best of my ability to understand it, that’s their “logic”: that the One True White Male Gawd Himself said “In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children”, just like how He said “The poor you shall have always with you”, and therefore any attempt to overcome either of these is spitting in Gawd’s eye. Podsnappery, pure and simple.

2 years ago

“NOTE: Free internet points to anyone who can identify the song that inspired my photo caption above.”

Sharp dressed man, ZZ top?

Red R. Lion
Red R. Lion
2 years ago


Painful intercourse? Meh, pain and suffering is just part of being a woman.

But if women enjoyed sex what would keep them from running away with Chad?!!?!/s

Seriously though, I never quite understood a lack of concern with female pain during sex since not many men enjoy sex with a woman who isn’t into it. Maybe it has something to do with that whole madonna/whore mindset that a lot of regressive men have?