When Harry Styles agreed to model a series of dresses and skirts for a Vogue cover shoot, he knew it would stir up controversy. He probably didn’t think he was going to be blamed for undermining civilization itself. But that’s what some right-wing opinion-havers would have you believe.
“Blexit” leader Candace Owens started the brouhaha with this melodramatic tweet:
She followed up with a swipe at feminism:
It wasn’t long until fast-talking dunderhead Ben Shapiro decided to chime in.
But Ben wasn’t content to simply share a couple of tweets on the issue, and so he took it to his podcast today, delivering a nearly half-hour rant on the subject, interrupted only by Shapiro reading out ads for luxury bedsheets and his publication the Daily Wire.
He began by not-so-subtly suggesting that men wearing dresses might deserve a punch in the mouth, and followed with a rambling, repetitive rant taking on what he, likes Owens, sees as a dire threat to western civilization: men in “floofy” frocks.
This excerpt will give you some of the flavor of the thing:
But Shapiro wasn’t just annoyed; he presented himself as a noble guardian of civilization fighting off the cross-dressing barbarians.
“This stuff matters,” he declared.
It matters. Because these are fundamental ideas for the preservation of civilization. Boys and girls are different. Boys and girls are different. And it’s important to inculcate in your children that boys and girls are different. And any parents who fail to inculcate in a boy that manliness is a good thing, and that responsible manliness helped build civilizations … any parent that does not teach their girls that femininity, meaning the protection of hearth and home in a different way than masculinity, is a good thing. Any parent that doesn’t teach their girls that is not doing their kid any favors. They’re undermining the civilizational compact that men and women [have], based on biology and in every human culture.
Dude, it’s just a man in a dress. Cis male musicians have been donning dresses for decades — from David Bowie to Kurt Cobain — and somehow civilization hasn’t come tumbling down.
But Shapiro thinks this is a Very Important Topic.
We shouldn’t be shy about discussing these issuesl the left certainly isn’t shy about discussing these issues. They’ll put these [ideas] in public schools, they’ll tell your kindergartener that real men wear dresses. And then you’ll be explaining to a five year old that real men don’t wear dresses. And I don’t feel that’s an acceptable ramification of our cultural discussion.
I really don’t think there’s much discussion of cross-dressing in kindergarten.
Shapiro throws in a weird racial aside:
Harry Styles is a free man, living in a western country, in a west by the way that is defended by white masculine men, as a general rule.
Shapiro insists he has nothing against Harry Styles. It’s just that when Styles puts on a dress he is TEARING APART THE VERY FABRIC OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION
I’m not saying don’t pick up his CDs; I’m not saying don’t listen to his music; I’m not saying don’t watch the movies he’s in. All I’m saying is that when you put out an argument that men ought to act like women and that this is a good thing you’re doing something that tears at the fabric of not only civilization but family and the fabric of childrearing and everybody with half a brain knows this.
Again, Ben, it’s just a man in a dress, a playful tweak of conventional notions of masculinity. How fragile is masculinity — how fragile is civilization itself — if it can be brought to its knees by a handful of pictures of a man in a dress?
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