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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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JD Ryan
JD Ryan
2 years ago

That would be “Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man’, by the Byrds, off 1969’s Dr. Byrds and Mr Hyde. When do I get my internet points? Can I spend them, anywhere?

David
David
2 years ago

Pajama Slave Dancers’ “Homo Truck Driving Man”?

anacanapana
anacanapana
2 years ago

It’s weird when you hear something that confirms something you didn’t even realize you already knew.

Bina
2 years ago

“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.

Well, now I know what PoxPuerilis is insecure about.

Sarah’s not sleeping with HIM, either!

“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

So, I guess this guy whose dad named him “su” is also projecting, then. Because I’m certainly not insecure about my vagina, and neither is anyone else I know. But we all think Donnie Drumpf’s pussy-grabbing brag is (a) bullshit, and (b) super gross. Also (c) probably emblematic of quite a few insecurities about his own (cough) “mushroom”.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
2 years ago

He looks so ridiculous at the wheel of that truck, like a cross between a pouty little kid and an extremely constipated elderly man who’s trying to take a dump.

I read that article earlier today. None of it surprised me. (I realize it’s merely showing a correIation.) I think the insecure macho types live vicariously through him. It’s second-hand wish fulfillment for them. They wish they could behave like a spoiled seven year old, disrespect people – especially women – and seemingly get away with it all.

The song in the caption…is it “Street Fighting Man” by the Rolling Stones?

Ichthyic
Ichthyic
2 years ago
freneticferret
freneticferret
2 years ago

It probably doesn’t say much in my favor that the only song coming to my mind is ‘Truck-drivin’ Girl’ from Phineas and Ferb

Ichthyic
Ichthyic
2 years ago

song is obviously truck drivin man by Skynyrd.

though I’ve often thought these modern snowflakes probably more model themselves after Rush’s “workin man”

Aaron
Aaron
2 years ago

I admit to being a little bit suspicious of the Washington Post article. First of all, it’s one survey, correlation does not equal causation, and so on – all points the authors themselves acknowledge.

But that’s not my real issue. I’d be very interested in seeing a broader survey of negative search terms in conjunction with voting patterns. I suspect that what we’re seeing is simply that people who are angry and dissatisfied with their circumstances – for whatever reasons – are more likely to vote Trump. And, well, duh: the whole premise of Trump’s campaign was that everything was fucked, and he was going to fix it.

Ichthyic
Ichthyic
2 years ago

I suspect that what we’re seeing is simply that people who are angry and dissatisfied with their circumstances – for whatever reasons – are more likely to vote Trump. And, well, duh: the whole premise of Trump’s campaign was that everything was fucked, and he was going to fix it.

shall I quote you what’s going on, from the man who likely unintentionally started the GoP down the path of exploiting this to build a voter base to begin with?

“”If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

-Lyndon B Johnson

Johnson grew up in the South; KNEW there were wayyyy too many people there already that his quote describes, and decried those who tried to exploit them.

so of course, after he left, that’s EXACTLY what the GoP did.

Fuck, Nixon even LABELLED it the “Southern Strategy”.

I rather call it, the Southern Tragedy.

150 years in the making, and still going strong.

JD Ryan
JD Ryan
2 years ago

I think that was some DJ that was dissing their somewhat radical shift to full-blown country with the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album, if my fragmented memory serves me well.

bekabot
bekabot
2 years ago

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

I get it, but just imagine if (say) Celine Dion had put those up. There’d be a wailing and a gnashing of teeth fit to split the heavens and calls for Holy War would arise tout de suite. We’d be asked repeatedly how much more proof we need that we’re at the mercy of forces beyond our ken. And so on and so on, ad infinitum. Just pointing it out.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

Not at all surprised to hear there’s a correlation between Trump supporters and erectile difficulties, given the amount of time alt-right bozos spend complaining about how modern women don’t give them pants feels.

Equating masculinity with “ease of getting an erection” seems kind of problematic, though.

Uly
Uly
2 years ago

Okay, hilarious as these results are, I feel like they’re a little dubious.

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
2 years ago

Both of my friends are women, so I got it easy in the masculinity department.

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
2 years ago

heebee – On a quick glance, I can’t tell if that tweeter is being sarcastic or actually condoning ED shaming. I hereby denounce it as poorly worded sarcasm, at best.

dust bunny
dust bunny
2 years ago

men who are secretly insecure about their manhood

I like that they think it was ever any kind of secret. Maybe from the guys themselves?

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
2 years ago

So, since they project everything, they think everyone project everything.

A new level of “it’s alway projection”, I guess.

Spaniard in the Works
Spaniard in the Works
2 years ago

I have not heard the Byrds version of “Drugstore Truck Driving Man”, but I have heard the version Joan Baez and Jeffrey Shurtleff do in Woodstock (which they dedicate to “the Governor of California… Ronald Reagan (he pronounces it as “ray gun”)….ZAP!)

Jo
Jo
2 years ago

Men aren’t insecure about their penises

That’s laugh out loud funny for me. Not because I’m happy that men are insecure about their penises – I don’t want any gender or group to have negative feelings about any part of their body.

It’s funny because anyone who has had sex with men or listened to them talk honestly knows that insecurity about their penises is almost a given. Women typically have many more body insecurities, of course, but it’s amazing to me that even an incel would deny this particular male anxiety.

Tony
Tony
2 years ago


‘404 file not found’ when trying to read the WaPo piece.

****
Ichthyic:
Its more than 150 years strong. That was the underlying basis used in the creation of the Western notion of whiteness. That thought process that was at play bc the PTB in the 16th and 17th centuries wanted to prevent slaves and indentured servants of different backgrounds from joining forces. To ppl placate poor whites, they dangled some carrots in front of them. Told them they were better than Black slaves. Gave them a measure of power. Later, they also empowered them further by giving out rewards for the capture of runaway slaves.

(Recommended listening Scene On Radio podcast, “season 2”, Seeing White, a multi part series that examines race in the US through the lens of whiteness. Episode 2 covers the creation of race and whiteness in this country)

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
2 years ago

Oh, us men aren’t “insecure”. We just acknowledge the harsh reality of having a less than perfect penis.

[/manbrain]

moregeekthan
moregeekthan
2 years ago

I am always sceptical of web-search studies like these, as it is too easy to massage the data to get the results you want. That being said, Trump is a scrarily effective demogogue with a campaign that seems to have been focus-group tested to appeal to insecure men. It would be shocking if there wasn’t a disparity.

Of course, all the folks taking this personally are showing we can add statistics to the list of stuff they don’t understand. It would be like if someone released a groundbreaking study that Hillary voters were much more likely the be women than Trump voters, and I complained that I am a man who voted for Hillary, so the study is clearly wrong.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

I realize it’s a bit obnoxious of me at this point to keep citing the Chapo guys over and over again, but that interview they did with YouTuber Contrapoints was 50 minutes of some of the finest analysis of these CHUDs my ears have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Every second, like the sweetest honey.

Give it a listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXVifPBCUfo

I bring it up because around the midpoint, the Chapo folks point out that when it comes to these freakshows and their online personas, they cannot, I repeat, cannot help but give away too much of their own insecurities. In everything they do. And they will deny it until the day they die.

“What?! Whatdya mean I’m afraid of my masculinity?! I’m the manliest manly man that ever manned up! YOU’RE the soy boy cuck that wants to let large brown men into the country to seduce their virtuous white girlfriends who will run away with their various Muslamic/Latin charms. YOU’RE the one who views copious amounts of cuckholdry porn! YOU’RE the one with the Blacked.com subscription! Don’t look at my browser history!”

Their self-awareness has been so eroded by their ironic detachment that they don’t even know they’re projecting so hard.

Perfect case study, Mr. Dapperton. For those that watch Kevin Logan, he did one of those “Descent of Man-o-sphere” vids on the Dap, but for those uninitiated, this is the guy’s online persona:

comment image

Nope, no insecurities to be found there!

Bakunin
Bakunin
2 years ago

Can I complain that Mr. Dapperton is wearing his hat and gloves indoors, and sitting down still in his suit jacket? Like, if you want an air of old-timey sophistication and manners, go all the way with it. At least don’t wrinkle your jacket.

Also, surprise, surprise, he’s an AnCap.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@heebee
So do you agree with that tweet thread you posted that, “This is how we got Trump”? Is there a reason you’re linking to some who describes herself as, “Footsoldier of the Patriarchy” and “Thot Leader”?

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
2 years ago

I just read the tweet Heebee linked to and thought she meant that ED shaming is bad, and that shaming men like this cause them to go more chauvinist and become Trump supporters. The latter is stupid but I agree with the former.

I kind of feel sorry for men on account of all this penis shaming? I’ve seen people compare it to shaming women who are flat chested, but I don’t think it’s the same thing at all (saying this as a flat chested woman). After all, there are lots of women considered hot, like movie stars etc, with pretty small boobs. Even though big boogs is in the mainstream beauty standards, it’s really not on par with, say, being slim – it’s not that rigid a rule, if you get what I’m saying. Also, besides feeding babies, boobs are just a looks thing.

With dicks, there are jokes everywhere about small dicks being pathetic and men with small dicks always trying to compensate for this in ridiculous ways. Also, there’s this widespread idea that sex can’t happen without an erect penis and sex with a small penis will always be subpar. That’s not the case with small boobs. And it’s not just cis men who suffer from this – a trans guy friend recently posted on Facebook that could people please, please stop mocking small dicks as pathetic, because he’ll never have a big dick that functions as that of a cis man, and he feels shitty about this already, and worse every time someone goes like “looks like someone is compensating for something!” when a man buys a huge muscle car or the like.

We should really give this up.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

Yeah, I gave up any dick-related shaming a long time ago once it was pointed out how it reinforces their insecurity.

Still going to make fun of their hilarious cuckholdry anxieties.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
2 years ago

Yeah that cuckoldry thing is just ridiculous! Being insecure about a body part when you live in a culture that goes on and on about that body part is sad but natural, but that incel cuckoldry thing is just… straight out of their own assholery.

Rattus
Rattus
2 years ago

With respect to dick-shaming, I have to think that is mostly a male thing. As in, mostly men doing the shaming. I have never, in all my years on this earth, personally met a women who was in any way concerned about the attributes of her partner’s genitals, and my only concern has been with the oversized (yikes!) So, once again, men are doing things to other men (like murder and rape), and those men are choosing to blame women. *sigh*

heebee
heebee
2 years ago

My link was just about dick shaming being stupid. Slut shaming is stupid, boob shaming is stupid. Its all stupid

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
2 years ago

… my… [brain] is the biggest… it’s SOOOO big…
comment image

@ Rattus

men are doing things to other men (like murder and rape), and those men are choosing to blame women

Well, it CAN’T be men’s fault… we don’t HAVE faults, didn’t ya know???

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@heebee
Was there dick shaming happening? Is there a reason you felt the need to share that here?

(Also, that’s not just what that link was about, so maybe if that was your point you could just say that instead of wordlessly link dropping.)

Tim
Tim
2 years ago

As a proud bald viagra user, please dont assume we are all trump supporters. I look in horror as to what is happening to my southern neighbors

Pie
Pie
2 years ago

@kupo
Weeeeeell, you could look at a link between trump voting and searches for erectile dysfunction information and treatment as saying “lol, trump voters dicks” rather than “male insecurity is bad”. It might say something about your default outlook on the matter, though.

Maybe worth remembering that heebee was all #notallincels a couple of threads ago.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
2 years ago

… no, No, NO!!!

You’re all reading the WaPo article WRONG… They said “E.D.”, but they didn’t mean “erectile dysfunction, they meant…

ELECTILE DISFUNCTION

I’ll get my coat now….

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
2 years ago

Rattus wrote:

I have never, in all my years on this earth, personally met a women who was in any way concerned about the attributes of her partner’s genitals, and my only concern has been with the oversized (yikes!)

The only woman I know who has engaged in actual dick shaming – as opposed to social insults when the woman in question has never seen the guy’s dick – is a dom, and she only does it with her subs who are into humiliation.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
2 years ago

Ok maybe I’m rare then, but I’ve heard lots of women causally through out some joke about ”what’s he compensating for?” when someone is being macho stupid in certain ways…
heck, I’ve done it myself!

I have a female friend who’s a dog handler security guard. Lots of male dog handlers like to hype up how SUPER TOUGH their dogs are, and she joked that ”they wanna believe they’ve got on leash what they lack in their pants”. I thought that was really funny, to the extent that I drew a picture of a macho guard talking up his dog while a sort of x-ray showed his miniature dick. Posted it on social media. Lots of women thought it was at least somewhat funny.

At the time, because I was stupid back then, I just saw such jokes as harmless fun when directed at macho assholes, but I’ve learnt better since.

dust bunny
dust bunny
2 years ago

re: “compensating for something”

I never thought this was a reference to having an inadequate penis, just to male insecurity and having something to prove. Dicks and related insecurities are at most a symbol of the more general thing, but usually what people mean by isn’t even related to dicks.

Am I being naive?

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
2 years ago

Well, it’s not like me and my security guard friend literally believed that those male guards she joked about had small dicks, and same goes when you talk about “compensating for something”. But yeah it’s a dick reference, even if it’s joking and not really literal. Took me some while to realize that even if it’s jokey and even if you don’t literally believe what you say, it still reinforces a dick size norm that’s actually harmful to men (cis and trans).

Pie
Pie
2 years ago

@dust bunny

I never thought this was a reference to having an inadequate penis, just to male insecurity and having something to prove

“male insecurity” and “having something to prove” are often used as euphemisms for “inadequate penis”, not least by many men themselves.

Am I being naive?

Or possibly just seeing emotional depth and complexity in a bunch of people who think that the only way to win at manning is to have an erection large enough to beat small animals to death with. Or at least want to pretend that it is.

Sheila Crosby
2 years ago

I’m not 100% sure that being worried about your dick 100% correlates to having a small dick or ED.

From my seat, it appears that Trump supporters don’t have the most wonderful grasp of reality. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of them are stressing over things like, “I’m only 6” ” or “I can usually perform just fine, but sometimes…” i.e. they’re normal (whatever “normal” is.)

Come to think of it, maybe a man who could talk to someone about his worries would be less likely to try web searches, and Trump supporters are men who can’t talk to anyone.

Sheila Crosby
2 years ago

Semi OT: https://theweek.com/articles/749978/female-price-male-pleasure?fbclid=IwAR09ySLwW9K37t_a329jwJCflu8n-x9lm4ap7Q6d7wlPa5DhC76A7SIcc0o

Or, since sex is the subject here, what about how our society’s scientific community has treated female dyspareunia — the severe physical pain some women experience during sex — vs. erectile dysfunction (which, while lamentable, is not painful)? PubMed has 393 clinical trials studying dyspareunia. Vaginismus? 10. Vulvodynia? 43.

Erectile dysfunction? 1,954.

That’s right: PubMed has almost five times as many clinical trials on male sexual pleasure as it has on female sexual pain.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

Globally, dyspareunia has been estimated to affect between 8–21% of women, at some point in their lives

Holy crap.

Nobody, really
Nobody, really
2 years ago

Well, I suppose studies do lend legitimacy to things that are painfully obvious. It’s not like this is exactly news, as it quite plain that many male Trump supporters are compensating for inadequacies, whether real or imagined. I’m not talking about dick size either – I’m talking about their masculinity and feelings of self-worth in general. After all, feelings of inadequacy is also what leads people to racist behaviour, as Lyndon B. Johnson so clearly recognized.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I suspect a lot of this is because a not insignificant segment of the cis male population prefer women who are “tight.”

Thanks to patriarchy, female sexuality is thought to be about pleasing men. Not about women’s pleasure, well being or health. Losing the baby weight and having a non-stinky vagina are important issues that get a lot of press. Painful intercourse? Meh, pain and suffering is just part of being a woman.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
2 years ago

I’m always horrified when I hear women who talk about being amazed the first time they had sex when it didn’t hurt. Not because I think it should; but because of how ingrained the message is that a woman’s first time will hurt, and all the implications that come with that (it should, sex isn’t going to be fun, it’s natural for it to hurt, the fact it’s natural for it to hurt is proof that good girls shouldn’t have sex and don’t enjoy it, etc. etc. etc.).

As a cis male, I can only imagine how much that messes with you. Plus, I can’t remember any sort of advice for boys suggesting that it might be possible to minimize the possibility of pain for the woman, and I went to school somewhere with relatively civilized sex ed.