The ‘progressive’ rejection of the very concept of masculinity is harming young men and painting them as a problem to be solved, writes Gus Carter in the new issue of the Spectator. Here’s an excerpt.
The polling company YouGov found that just 8% of people have positive views of white men in their 20s, by far the lowest of any ethnicity or age group. Males are routinely presented as inherently dangerous, aggressive and animalistic, incapable of controlling their own instincts. You can see it on public transport, where government adverts announce that staring is sexual harassment. Us blokes can’t even be trusted to use our eyes properly.
Teenage boys are routinely disciplined by their schools for even the most minor infractions of an insurgent sexual politics. A friend’s son at a smart English day school was recently hauled up for the crime of unprompted communication with a girl. The boy had sent a message introducing himself to a student from another school. There was, according to the friend, no sexual element to the message. It was a simple greeting. No matter. That kind of behaviour is unacceptable.
This moral shift has been encouraged by social media and an expansive higher education sector that delights in tearing down the old order. Things we once took for granted are merely ‘constructed’ – and anyone who disagrees is a misogynistic privilege-hoarder. The new believers are able to muster online, forcing their revolutionary worldview into the wider culture and on to institutions that simply want a quiet life.
Look at the ‘Global Boyhood Initiative’, which is writing a new curriculum – currently being piloted in a couple of London schools – on gender equality for children. Last year the GBI published a report on the state of U.K. boys that starts by suggesting that gender is “not tied to sex organs” and then goes on to call families “gender and heterosexuality ‘factories’”.
A cottage industry of ‘toxic masculinity’ tutors has emerged following the Everyone’s Invited scandal, a wave of anonymous allegations of sexual impropriety at Britain’s top private schools that began in 2020. One such company is Beyond Equality, which sells its services to hundreds of U.K. schools, putting on workshops in which they tell boys to strip themselves of the “restrictive, burdensome armour” of masculinity. The reason, they say, is to create “communities that are safe for everyone” and to put a stop to “gender-based violence”. The implication is clear: men need to be reprogrammed.