Recently, the Cornell Daily Sun published a Letter to the Editor from the Women’s Resource Center, denouncing Trump and championing themselves as Cornell students’ savior after keeping their opinions to themselves for so long:
“…we are speaking out now to say we stand with everyone who has felt their identity, their family, their country, their religion or their community attacked by Trump’s hateful and dangerous invective. You did not deserve his vitriol or our silence.”
They go on to tell us what populations of Cornellians are “especially vulnerable,” including undergraduate women.
Their decision to speak out about the deservedness of Donald Trump’s remarks does nothing to help those individuals who decide to take his remarks personally. If anything, their broken silence only adds to the disturbing culture of claiming victimization that exists on this and nearly every college campus across the country, starting with perpetuating the dangerous myth of “toxic masculinity.”
For anyone who has not had the misfortune of hearing about this non-issue, different articles and websites define it in a variety of ways. The general consensus is that toxic masculinity sets out a pre-prescribed set of guidelines about how men should behave, including keeping his emotions to himself, attempting to sleep with any girl that crosses his path, and punching anyone who angers him. Some authors even go so far as to assert that this sort of expression of the male gender “hurts men as well as women” and “erases gender-nonconforming people completely.” Of course, this idea goes hand in hand with the unrealistic notion that the patriarchy harms us in almost all aspects of our lives.
Lately, I’ve heard an increasing and alarming number of women name the patriarchy as the reason for certain female behaviors and disadvantages that are perceived in our society. While it may be easy to throw the blame onto our male counterparts, what does that say about our ability to rise up the career ladder? Accepting the false idea that society irreversibly places us below men creates a glass ceiling that doesn’t exist in reality. Why should any of us accept the idea that the patriarchy limits us, or believe that we’re hurt by men conforming to normal stereotypical behaviors?
In regards to violence, chalking it up to toxic masculinity does nothing to assist perpetrators or victims of the kinds of crimes that are associated with toxic masculinity. Are there men who commit horrible crimes? Absolutely. Does every man who works out so that he can impress girls go on to become a serial killer? What about the kid who got into a fight on the playground in junior high? The individuals who grow up to make national headlines for their heinous crimes don’t do so because they’re masculine; they do so because they are mentally unstable. Condemning boys for doing what comes naturally to them, and then blaming it for the problems in society is illogical, and quite frankly, just plain wrong.
At the end of the day, we as women are naturally predisposed to be more emotional and nurture our loved ones more than men. That doesn’t mean that the opposite behaviors displayed by males are wrong—we need both so both girls and boys can grow up and know the difference. Men and women are fundamentally and biologically different, and perpetuating the myth of toxic masculinity tells women that we are victims of the patriarchy when that could not be further from the truth.
In an election cycle with the future of the United States in the hands of either a wealthy businessman with little political experience or a criminal with a disgusting track record, it’s truly disappointing that even the most committed Social Justice Warriors can’t find anything more substantive to concern themselves with. What about the real issues, like our ever-deepening national debt under the Obama administration, or national and border security, or the murder of millions of unborn children? If media attention is any indication, the more pressing issues are those such as toxic masculinity made up by women who need another excuse to feel victimized.
To my fellow Cornellians: Stop looking for excuses to play the victim, and get informed about the issues that really matter in this election and to our country. The opportunities for success at such an incredible university really are amazing, and weighing ourselves down with the idea of “toxic masculinity” and the myriad of other social justice “issues” that threaten those who decide to feel victimized do nothing to help us accomplish our goals.
And finally, to the authors of the Women’s Resource Center article: I’m sorry to disappoint, but I for one will not be “condemning” Mr. Trump in favor of a candidate whose actions have been proven far worse than any words he could say.