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Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens lose it over Harry Styles in a dress

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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KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
16 days ago

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.

My numbers might be outdated, but I remember reading somewhere that white men are becoming underrepresented in the US military, with Hispanic enlistment on the rise and Black men twice as likely, proportionally speaking, to enlist than their white counterparts.

Mrs Morley
Mrs Morley
16 days ago

Tastes vary of course, but I find Kwon Ji Yong butch regardless of what he wears.

(Bigbang Café)
https://youtu.be/kj-XYOr_3rQ

Alan Robertshaw
16 days ago
Hippielady
Hippielady
16 days ago

I’m guessing he’s never seen pictures of Jesus?

Dalillama
16 days ago

Male rockers have been wearing dresses for longer than Owens and Shapiro put together have been alive. And frankly, I’d like to see Shapiro try to lay one on Iggy Pop, even now.

Naglfar
Naglfar
16 days ago

The East knows this.

I could be wrong, but isn’t a common stereotype among racists that Asian men are less masculine than men of other races?

Terms like “toxic masculinity”, were created by toxic females.

Now I want a shirt that says “toxic female” on it.

Real women don’t do fake feminism.

It’s interesting Owens says this, seeing as it would imply that there is some “real” form of feminism that is good in her eyes.

Anyone who pretends that it is not a referendum on masculinity

Of course Ben extends his view that anything is a debate to imply that any time anyone does anything it’s a referendum. No one asked for his opinion.

Pretending that men dressing like women does not feminize men is ridiculous

All this time us feminist conspirators had been making elaborate plans to feminize men. If only we knew that all it took was making them put on a dress!

Of course, if cis men and their masculinity is this weak, I question why it’s so important anyway.

Because these are fundamental ideas for the preservation of civilization.

Didn’t Ancient Greek men, which he thinks are the pinnacle of Western Civilization, wear what he would probably consider dresses?

They’re undermining the civilizational compact that men and women [have], based on biology and in every human culture.

Cool. Once again he tries to make us sound bad but instead makes us sound cool.

As for biology, Ben, maybe you can ask Dr. Wife which gene codes for clothing.

they’ll tell your kindergartener that real men wear dresses

It’s been a long time since I was in kindergarten, but I don’t remember the subject of men in dresses coming up at all. I do remember that my mother refused to let me wear a dress to school, but that was a separate issue.

that tears at the fabric of not only civilization but family and the fabric of childrearing

Sounds fun.

everybody with half a brain knows this.

Speak for yourself, Ben, at least I know what a WAP is.

Alan Robertshaw
16 days ago

It used to be pretty common for boys to wear dresses.

comment image

That’s Franklin D Roosevelt.

Naglfar
Naglfar
16 days ago

O/T: Alek Minassian, the Toronto van killer, is on trial and his defense (and his father testifying in his defense) is trying to claim he isn’t responsible because he is autistic. Needless to say, the claims made that all autistic people are incapable of emotion or empathy are extremely harmful and also contradict the lived experience of autistic people. Regardless of the court’s ruling, this kind of argument being spread online in media is very harmful to autistic people as a group.

AJ Canberra
AJ Canberra
16 days ago

Funny, my son was in kindergarten last year, down here in Australia. I don’t recall any discussion of whether “real men” wear dresses at all. He didn’t tell me if there was. Almost like Ben is talking out his arsehole…

Makroth
Makroth
16 days ago

I had no idea western civilization was that fragile.

#WesternCivilizationSoFragile

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
16 days ago

feminizing masculinity

*facepalm

TacticalProgressive
TacticalProgressive
16 days ago

@Naglfar

O/T: Alek Minassian, the Toronto van killer, is on trial and his defense (and his father testifying in his defense) is trying to claim he isn’t responsible because he is autistic. Needless to say, the claims made that all autistic people are incapable of emotion or empathy are extremely harmful and also contradict the lived experience of autistic people. Regardless of the court’s ruling, this kind of argument being spread online in media is very harmful to autistic people as a group.

As someone who actually is on the autism spectrum: I despise people that make this anemic and abelist defense in the name of defending monsterous human beings who hurt and murder innocent people, as well as implying that because I am autistic: I am devoid of emotion or empathy. Needless to say if this were not the case: I would not feel emotional and emphatic compassion towards people who are victims of injustice (such as women, LGBT people, non-whites and other minorities) nor feel rage at the atrocities against those who persecute and advocate persecution of minorities or having dirt bags like this trying to cop to the claim that autistic people are uncarring, emotionless murderers for simply being autistic.

And I frankly find it and can affirm that it’s as harmful, abelist and demonizing of autistic people (if granted in distinct ways) as the nonsense, unscientific claim that “Vaccines Cause Autism”.

Last edited 16 days ago by TacticalProgressive
KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
16 days ago

@Alan Robertshaw

Thanks! I was surprised that the poorest Americans are actually slightly underrepresented, considering how often recruiters try to sell the military as a path out of poverty.

Fabe
Fabe
16 days ago

I wounder how much The music video for Queen’s I want to break free contributed to the fall western civilization.

Kestrel
Kestrel
16 days ago

I would love to have the emotional energy of Ben and Candace have. I am freaking out about the Covid-19 numbers here in the states. And then the canvassing board in Wayne county (where Detroit is) in Michigan refused to certify the results which could lead to Wayne county votes not counting flipping Michigan to Trump.

Democracy is at risk and these twits are worried about a dress??!!? Mr. Styles can walk down the street nude for all I care.

Naglfar
Naglfar
16 days ago

@Kestrel
Wayne County finally did certify the results after national pressure. Frustrating that it came to this, but ultimately resolved.

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
16 days ago

Kilts. Togas. Ministerial robes. Judicial robes. Bathrobes. Winter coats, down to the knees. Bib aprons. Lab coats. Artist smocks, down to the knees.

Lizard_People_Operative
Lizard_People_Operative
16 days ago

[quote]responsible manliness helped build civilizations[/quote]Yes, but, chucking tantrums over any deviation from a narrow and harmful ideal of masculinity is not responsible.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
16 days ago

Anyone who pretends that it is not a referendum on masculinity for men to don floofy dresses is treating you as a full-on idiot.

Does donning a floofy dress constitute generally voting in this referendum on masculinity? I guess then men who claim floofy dresses for masculinity would be in favor, and men who don the dress as a rejection of masculinity would be against. Apparently, results are still pending.

He began by not-so-subtly suggesting that men wearing dresses might deserve a punch in the mouth

So much for the tolerant right punch.

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.

Because they might not notice otherwise?

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

Damnit I was going to wear western civilization and now it’s ruined beyond repair.

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.

Civilization is is in danger of being canceled, but at least Harry Styles isn’t.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
16 days ago

I definitely have the feeling the far righter thrashing are more violent and desesperate theses days.

That being said, while I know personally some trumpards and neonazis, I don’t know of any people who ever took Shapiro seriously. I guess they exist, just they are quite remote from me apparently. And I sure hope they aren’t too numerous.

occasional reader
occasional reader
16 days ago

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

I have not read the article, but if someone had read it, is it written somewhere in it that men have to act like women ?
I mean, if i read an article of a famous male person wearing a clown costume, do i have to assume that i have to wear a clown costume to be considered as a manly man ? Even if the article just says that there is a circus in your town this week-end ?

Mogwitch
Mogwitch
16 days ago

Love how it’s SO obvious and natural that men and women are different and must be dressed differently, that we have to drill it into our kids and never let them see anything that contradicts it less they suspect otherwise.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
16 days ago

@KindaSortaHarmless

I was surprised that the poorest Americans are actually slightly underrepresented, considering how often recruiters try to sell the military as a path out of poverty.

Shitty diet and education, mainly. The poor diet means they can’t hack the physical, and the comparatively poor education voids them out. The days of a soldier being “a strong back and no brain” passed on about 50 years back, contrary to the stereotype.

Chris Oakley
Chris Oakley
16 days ago

Let’s pause for a moment to contemplate the irony of Candace Owens, one of the most toxic people of any gender walking the earth today, calling someone else toxic.

Naglfar
Naglfar
16 days ago

As a trans person, one thing that really sticks out with all these arguments is the weird no-win situation created. Somehow Shapiro et al are convinced that if a cis man puts on a dress he isn’t a man anymore, but in the same breath insists trans women are men in dresses. I mean, I don’t expect coherence or consistency from them, but that bit stuck out to me.

@Lumipuna

Damnit I was going to wear western civilization and now it’s ruined beyond repair.

It was probably a dress anyway. I mean, have you seen the Ancient Greek clothing?

@Ohlmann

I definitely have the feeling the far righter thrashing are more violent and desesperate theses days.

I’d imagine it’s because they realize Trump lost and are in the “anger” stage of grief.

I guess they exist, just they are quite remote from me apparently.

I had the misfortune of knowing a few but haven’t seen or heard from them since before the pandemic. I’d like to keep it that way. Unfortunately, judging by his book sales and speaking engagements, he appears to be popular, although it’s all within the conservative bubble.

@occasional reader

do i have to assume that i have to wear a clown costume to be considered as a manly man ?

Yep, better get your clown makeup ready. /s

AlexintheNT
AlexintheNT
16 days ago

Gosh. That YouTube clip is… look, if anyone wants me, I’ll be in my bunk. *fans self*

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
16 days ago

the argument that men in Scotland wear kilts, so men in America wearing dresses isn’t feminine is particularly stupid

So…no true non-Scotsman?

Why is this an invalid example? If anything, it proves that skirts/dresses/kilts/saris/togas are a cultural, not biological, marker of gender. There’s nothing inherently masculine or feminine about garments that aren’t divided below the waist.

His real worry: if women and men don’t dress differently, like star-bellied Sneetches, how can we tell who’s on top?

.45
.45
16 days ago

SJWs: “Black/trans/Mexican/etc/etc people are literally dying.”

Conservatives: “You people are SO sensitive, always looking for inconsequential stuff to whine about. Get a life.”

Also Conservatives: “A MAN IN A DRESS IS DESTROYING OUR WORLD VIEW!!!”

rv97
rv97
15 days ago

I’m pretty fucking pissed off with those who hold Shapiro’s and Owens’ attitude. Even among those who are more accepting they may still be inclined to view it as a solely white and/or showbiz thing.

LollyPop
LollyPop
15 days ago

I can remember when I was a young kid my parents dressed in drag for a party they went to. My dad was/is a bit of a hippy but essentially a man of his era, and the thing that sticks in my memory is the absolute glee he had choosing the high heeled shoes he was going to wear. Looking back, it kinda of stands out that men have been very artificially limited in their clothing choices and have a lot of fun when they get the opportunity to wear “taboo” stuff, and that Shapiro can probably calm down seeing as the experience didn’t damage me for life.

Last edited 15 days ago by LollyPop
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
15 days ago

I can remember when I was a young kid my parents dressed in drag for a party they went to. My dad was/is a bit of a hippy but essentially a man of his era, and the thing that sticks in my memory is the absolute glee he had choosing the high heeled shoes he was going to wear. Looking back, it kinda of stands out that men have been very artificially limited in their clothing choices and have a lot of fun when they get the opportunity to wear “taboo” stuff, and that Shapiro can probably calm down seeing as the experience didn’t damage me for life.

My ex used to get so excited when we would be going to a costume party and I would let him wear my clothes and heels and do his face. Men don’t get to express themselves this way on a regular basis, and I think it’s harmful to them.

Last edited 15 days ago by Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Viscaria
Viscaria
15 days ago

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.

Every time someone looks at a picture of pop star Harry Styles in a dress, someone with a uterus becomes infertile. It’s called science; look it up.

Edit: Oh no, I read this several times and copied and pasted it and somehow through all of that still thought it said “childbearing” instead of “childrearing.” I’ve become almost as embarrassing as Ben Shapiro. This is a terrible day.

Last edited 15 days ago by Viscaria
epitome of incomrepehensibility

I’ve become almost as embarrassing as Ben Shapiro.

@Viscaria – Not even close, don’t worry 😛

@Naglfar – you beat me to the joke about “fabric” and dresses 🙂

anonymouse
anonymouse
15 days ago

tears at the fabric of not only civilization but family and the fabric of childrearing

Why didn’t anyone tell me I could skip out on all the birth control side effects by having my husband wear a dress?!

Sheila Crosby
Sheila Crosby
15 days ago

@Naglfar is right about the inconsitency, of course.
It’s not the only one.
“We’re the party of FREEDOM!!!!ELEVENTY!
Also “We’re the party who tell you what you can wear! And whether you can vote! And your religion! And who you can have sex with! And whether that sex has to make babies! Because FREEDUM BABY!”

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
15 days ago

My ex used to get so excited when we would be going to a costume party and I would let him wear my clothes and heels and do his face. Men don’t get to express themselves this way on a regular basis, and I think it’s harmful to them.

It does not escape my notice that Halloween parties are always full of cishet men in drag. Frats at my college used to throw drag parties sometimes too. It’s pretty obviously a common desire among men to be more expressive with clothes and it’d be nice if we didn’t have to give men the costume party excuse to so without their masculinity being threatened.

Moggie
Moggie
15 days ago

Famously manly man Ben Shapiro is having a normal one? Must be a day which ends in ‘y’.

I’m not saying don’t pick up his CDs

CDs? Ben with his finger firmly on the pulse of today’s music there.

As for teaching kids about “manliness”: why? Teach them compassion, courage, honesty, intellectual curiosity, and fairness… you know, the traits which Ben lacks. They’ll turn out alright.

My only concern about Harry Styles in a dress is that it’s irresponsible to normalise clothes without pockets.

Citizen Justin
15 days ago

Ben Shapiro is kind of right here. It is not actually a referendum on masculinity for men to don floofy dresses, and he is actually a full-on idiot.

Alan Robertshaw
15 days ago

@ moggie

My only concern about Harry Styles in a dress is that it’s irresponsible to normalise clothes without pockets.

Duffelblog had a nice post about new body armour for women. It was exactly the same as the men’s body armour, expect pink, more expensive, and the army had sewn all the pockets shut.

Dizzy Lizzy
Dizzy Lizzy
15 days ago

@ Naglfar – My fear was that the defense in the Alek Minassian trial would throw all autistic people under the bus. I’m furious that this is actually happening and that the media is not refuting this harmful propaganda at every step.

North Sea Sparkly Dragon
North Sea Sparkly Dragon
15 days ago

 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. 

If it’s the case that boys and girls are so different, then boys wearing dresses and girls wearing trousers won’t make a blind bit of difference, and if wouldn’t need inculcating into children because they’d know it.

Society invests so much energy in telling people that ‘boy and girls are different’; what are they afraid of? That if the message stops being shouted so loudly then people would just be themselves rather than being forced to fit two narrow definitions? That actually, boys and girls aren’t all that different? That there excuse to abuse people will come to an end and will be seen for the violence it is?

Since what counts as being a girl and what counts as being a boy changes with place, culture and time period, and what might be for girls in one while the same is for boys in another, there clearly is no innate distinction. Humans are telling themselves stories again.

@Naglfar

Damnit! Just when we were finally starting to make some progress, that murderous scum bag and his family use the ‘it’s the autism’ excuse. Whether Minassian is autistic or not, doesn’t matter, he’s still a murdering terrorist. There was a paper (from Brazil, paid for by a university in France) in a Neuroscience Journal last week that claimed autistic people were too concerned about the potential consequences of our actions – they framed not wanting to cause harm as a bad thing because obviously if it’s done by autistic people it must be a bad thing – but that doesn’t square with this terrorist’s actions. It doesn’t support the defence’s ‘autistic people have no empathy therefore when they do things wrong it’s not their fault’ argument. Hey, I managed to find a good thing in bad research.

LindsayIrene
LindsayIrene
15 days ago

I wounder how much The music video for Queen’s I want to break free contributed to the fall western civilization.

Anyone else think that video was all Roger Taylor’s idea because he wanted to show off how pretty he was?

Lainy
Lainy
15 days ago

This reminded me of a really stupid play i was in in middle school. Called “if boys wore the skirts” and it was about this school being horrified about a boy wanting to wear pants and break the gendernorms. at the end of the play a girl he’s friend with puts on his skirt, he gets some pants and they hold hands.

Sheila Crosby
Sheila Crosby
15 days ago

Anyone else think that video was all Roger Taylor’s idea because he wanted to show off how pretty he was?

Gosh, wasn’t he though?comment image

Pim
Pim
15 days ago

If boys and girls / men and women are So Very Completely Different from each other and it’s Because Biology… Why would any parent ever NEED to impress this difference into their children? 🤔🤔🤔

Naglfar
Naglfar
15 days ago

@LollyPop and others

Looking back, it kinda of stands out that men have been very artificially limited in their clothing choices

I agree. Although I’m not a man, one thing I especially hated about living as a man was that limitation. On some level I wonder if men like Shapiro are projecting their frustration in that regard, whether they are angry with more liberated men who can wear what they like and express that anger by reinforcing the problem.

@North Sea Sparkly Dragon
I saw the study you’re referring to. No matter what we do, it’s pathologized. As for Minassian, he is autistic, but that shouldn’t be relevant to the case.

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
15 days ago

a free man, living in a western country, in a west by the way that is defended by white masculine men

 
Is this a good time to bring up Neil “Bunny” Roger, known for his sang-froid in combat as well as his flamboyant dress sense? Never mind, it’s always a good time: http://gayinfluence.blogspot.com/2012/04/bunny-roger.html

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
15 days ago

Yeah, really not happy about the “he’s not responsible for his actions because autism” defense in Alek Minassian’s ongoing trial, and I keep having to hear about it on the tv when I go into the lunch room. Everyone I know on the spectrum manages to not go around murdering people.

Autism Canada isn’t too happy about the claims either, but I don’t know how much attention the average person is likely to pay to their statement.

Alan Robertshaw
15 days ago

@ lindsayirene

Anyone else think that video was all Roger Taylor’s idea

The video was indeed Roger Taylor’s idea. The official story is that he wanted to spoof Coronation Street; but you may be on to something.

DrVanNostrand
DrVanNostrand
15 days ago

Let me get this straight. Manly men are so powerful that they can singlehandedly fight off raging hordes of barbarians, protecting all of civilization. But they can also be taken down by dresses? I guess it’s like their kryptonite.

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