Making men feel manly in masks is, unfortunately, a public-health challenge of our time

The maddening aspect of #RealMenWearMasks isn’t the message but what’s behind it: We’ve reached the point of this polarized pandemic where our current plan for salvation is convincing certain recalcitrant men that wearing masks is the testosteroney thing to do…

If more recalcitrant men will wear masks if we convince them that doing so makes them look like Jason Momoa or one of the brothers Hemsworth, let’s do that. Whatever. Sounds good. More than 123,000 Americans have died.

#RealMenWearMasks. Let’s spray paint it on every sidewalk in the country, hire skywriters to scribble it up and down the Gulf coastline. Get Lee Greenwood to write a song. Let’s hope other politicians get behind it, too. (Ahem, President Trump and Vice President Pence?)

But the messaging behind all of this is crap. It presents mask-wearing as something cool that men can individually do in order to be rugged heroes, deserving of accolades for their brave, manly choices.