Pozzland Dispatch: Boys Will Not be Boys

The instantly notorious APA “Guidelines for emasculating Psychological Practice with Men and Boys” (full PDF here) is a concern-trolling operation, claiming to address the crisis of men not seeking help because of their own toxic masculinity. I mean, if you can’t trust a coven of gender theorists, guys, who can you trust?

“Though men benefit from patriarchy, they are also impinged upon by patriarchy,” says Ronald F. Levant, EdD, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Akron and co-editor of the APA volume “The Psychology of Men and Masculinities.” Levant was APA president in 2005 when the guideline-drafting process began and was instrumental in securing funding and support to get the process started.

Men, especially white men, will not be relieved of their duty to belly-ache like women and minorities, who will be belly-aching about us. Which doesn’t mean we’ll be belly-aching about them, of course. We’ll be belly-aching about us, really.
There is the social justice concept, originating I think from black women, of “emotional labor”; white men will be expected to take up their share of emotional labor.

Prior to the second-wave feminist movement in the 1960s, all psychology was the psychology of men. Most major studies were done only on white men and boys, who stood in as proxies for humans as a whole. Researchers assumed that masculinity and femininity were opposite ends of a spectrum, and “healthy” psychology entailed identifying strongly with the gender roles conferred by a person’s biological sex.

Critical theory has to ignore biology and evolution, but we don’t. Theory won’t even allow historical perspective; certain universal notions of masculinity have prevailed across cultures, like strength and resolve–which the APA pathologizes, carefully, in the intersectional context of the Poz–so doesn’t it follow, especially absent biological/evolutionary explanations, that cultivating these traits in men has been a necessity for civilization?

But just as this old psychology left out women and people of color and conformed to gender-role stereotypes, it also failed to take men’s gendered experiences into account. Once psychologists began studying the experiences of women through a gender lens, it became increasingly clear that the study of men needed the same gender-aware approach, says Levant.

The study of women’s “gendered” experiences being such a success and all. Every one can see how happy women are. We put trannies in their public restrooms and they hardly batted an eye.

This vision of masculinity may summon up an image of a closemouthed cowboy, à la John Wayne. But there’s more to masculinity than macho swagger. When the rules of manliness bump up against issues of race, class and sexuality, they can further complicate men’s lives.

The fact of the matter is race and class do figure heavily in the crisis in masculinity–the APA’s vision of men as aggressive, violent, over-sexed bullies suddenly makes sense if we apply it to black men separately.

Likewise, the Me Too movement is launched on the degenerate behavior of Hollywood’s Democratic donors, and all men are condemned.

So it’s a little galling to the normal guy just trying to survive the onslaught that comes out of Hollywood, and Madison Avenue, to be lumped in with them, by them:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: