I’m sure plenty of others are piling onto this piece of onanism in The Federalist:
Men were made for violence. It’s part of why they were created. To protect the weak. To fight for themselves and for nations. To compete and to win.
Actually – I apologise. Comparing it to mastrubation simply reinforces negative views of a healthy activity that’s good for your prostate*.
It is male myths time and yet another rightwing commentator asserting that men are just naturally a particular way and hence shouldn’t try to be something different…even though if men WERE just pre-determined to be that way, then they couldn’t change anyhow…so the whole basic premise of the argument doesn’t make any sense…but we all knew that anyway because it is just entry number three thousand in rightwing-media-trying-to-enforce-stupid-masuclinity-norms.
Others can talk about the rest of the piece but I just wanted to discuss this nonsense paragraph:
“Do you know why men like football? Why they watch boxing? Why Romans watched the gladiators slaughter each other? Because part of men was made for violence and their instincts draw them to it. We cannot suppress human nature. We cannot half-embrace who and what we are—how God made us, and how we are built.”
Oh! Yes! I think I do KNOW why men watch football! At least I know it must be the same reason that men (or rather SOME men and also some women but more men than women) watch competitive sports. Now that does include American Football and boxing which do both feature really big guys slamming into each other but…also includes these sports:
- Actual football – aka soccer
Of those the biggest sport in the world is soccer. It is an athletic, competitve game but unlike the two cherry-picked examples it doesn’t role play violence specifically. Also soccer players, while physically fit are not physically extreme examples of maleness. Cricket may be incomprehensibly popular to non fans** but it is a game that involves a lot of standing around. I’ll just point at frickin’ golf for awhile and say ‘look, golf‘.
On the flipside, the writer of this daft piece won’t have any experience with the sheer scale of women’s competitive sport. Non-Australians won’t be aware of just how enormously huge netball is as a participatory sport in Australia – it’s huge and not a new phenomenon either.
So, ‘why do men like watching competitive sport’ because LOTS of humans of both genders like competitive sport because it is exciting. That probably does have connections with how humans percieve the risk of violent conflict and inter-group rivalries but 1. not all men find it fun and 2. lots of women do find it fun.
The women who find competitive sport fun aren’t being forced into it, they are giving up multiple weekends and spending money on special clothing and equipment not because they are being brain washed by campus feminists. They are doing it because they find it FUN. They find it fun, presumably, for many of the same reasons that men who participate in competitive sport (including as spectators) find it to be fun.
The men who DON’T find competitive sport fun aren’t ’emasculated’ nor are they weak willed. They just don’t enjoy it. I do feel the need to snarky and dismissive about sports because I find that expectation of man=interest in sport annoying because it is so prevelant. However, it is easy to see that it is just a shallow stereotype because it is almost indistinguishable from an ethnic stereotype (a harmless but annoying one) that says ‘English person’=’knowledge & interested in discussing English Premier League football’.
No, I’m not pre-determined to like sport because I’m a ‘man’ anymore than being born in England has made me racially determined to have an opinion on the off-side rule or have a good assessment of the chances of Wigan Athletic*** winning the FA Cup.
*[when you are older: https://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/news/20090127/masturbation-and-prostate-cancer-risk#1 maybe]
**[I dislike cricket for strong personal reasons]
***[Are they even a Premier League side? Not only do I not know I can’t even be bothered to check Wikipedia to find out.]