Beware the lonely, angry men

It’s unclear how widespread such atavistic views about men and women are on the American right. Fears of emasculation under modern conditions have a long history in this country, and among American conservatives in particular. Recent trends appear to have tapped into and reactivated that tendency. Having a president for the past four years who unapologetically exemplified (and rewarded) a crudely primitive form of masculinity no doubt contributed to this. And right on schedule Trumpism’s intellectual defenders have stepped up to the challenge of providing it with pseudo-philosophical justification.

That’s unfortunate for several reasons — not least because teaching young conservative men that they will find girlfriends and wives by thinking and acting as if they are owed female adoration is exceedingly unlikely to work. The same goes for teaching men that women who fail to respond warmly to displays of preening self-regard are mentally defective. None of it will help these young conservatives to become less lonely, sexually frustrated, or emotionally unfulfilled.

On the contrary, encouraging misogyny in American men is liable to make their loneliness, frustration, unfulfillment — and anger — far worse. We should all understand by now how dangerous that can be — and that it’s unlikely to end well for anyone concerned.

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