UT-Austin 'MasculinUT' Ad Campaign Treats Masculinity as a Mental Illness
At the University of Texas at Austin, the Counseling and Mental Health Center has discovered a terrible new scourge afflicting men: MASCULINITY.
There are a number of horrific symptoms of this mental health disaster, according to UT-Austin: rape, violence, and binge drinking, just to name a few. There is also talk about how awful it is that masculine men are competitive, are not emotional enough, and are way too aggressive.
This is what the school calls “restrictive” masculinity: Apparently, masculinity restricts men from being like women. The Counseling and Mental Health Center thinks that’s a problem, as you’re about to learn from this hard-to-believe-it’s-real poster it released:
There is nothing masculine about the person in that poster. Nothing at all. I’m not trying to pick on the person, but I am simply not 100 percent sure whether he or she is male or female. Is this what the school is attempting to teach? Masculinity actually means "androgyny"?
Not according to this next hard-to-believe-it’s-real poster:
He doesn’t identify as masculine, so I have some good news for him. He’s not masculine.
But the person in the first poster taught us that masculinity means androgyny. Is this person mistaken in his definition of masculinity? What is UT-Austin really teaching here?
Here’s one more yes-it's-real poster, which -- accidentally -- gets to the root of this campaign:
This campaign was designed by people who do not like men.
Maybe they’re feminists, lesbians, or "soy boys" who have a negative impression of masculinity because they never felt like they measured up. But mentally healthy people are not this horrified and frightened by masculinity.
In fact, if you are terrified of masculine behavior, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to work through it in a therapist’s office -- just not one on the campus of UT-Austin, apparently.
Let me inject the truth that’s entirely lacking in this program.
Men don’t need to be more like women. The more like women they become, the more unhappy they will likely feel. As a general rule, the more feminine a man is, the less other men will like him, the less women will like him, and the less he will like himself.
Some men who fall short of masculine ideals either give up or internalize the idea that masculinity is bad -- “I’m not like those jerks” -- rather than undergo the difficult work of becoming more masculine.
But of course, masculine doesn't mean "jerk." Jerk means jerk.
And lashing out at masculinity because you feel left out makes you the jerk.
Other men will listen to this man-hate dressed up with psychobabble that the University of Texas at Austin is pumping out, and will come to the conclusion that being less masculine will help them get laid. That is a false conclusion.
For all the rhetoric you hear to the contrary, women prefer masculine men. In the real world, guys who think they’re going to benefit with women by being less masculine almost inevitably run into a very different reality:
If women wanted to be with women, they’d be lesbians.
Contrary to what the University of Austin at Texas would like you to believe, masculinity is not a bad thing. It’s not a mental health issue.
If you’re being threatened by a thug and the police show up, will you be hoping a masculine officer arrives to rescue you? Or a feminine one, who -- as the poster says -- likes to "cry and show vulnerability"?
If a surgeon is operating on your brain, do you want a surgeon with nerves of steel? Or an emotional surgeon who will break into tears the first time something goes wrong?
Are the masculine cop and the surgeon with nerves of steel mentally ill?
The men -- er, folks in these posters don’t need to redefine masculinity. They need to become masculine in the first place. I know, I know, I probably "misgendered" someone, and he’s now crying in his "safe space" while the University of Austin at Texas is planning another poster for him.
Here's the truth about masculinity that you’re not going to hear at the University of Austin: This entire planet has been shaped by masculinity and we’re better for it.
You want to know what masculinity is? It’s the soldiers who poured onto the beaches of Normandy knowing the Nazis would strafe them with machine gun fire. It’s the old-school industrial titans who lifted this country up on their shoulders and helped create modernity -- the exponential boom in quality of life we’re still riding today.
It’s the first responders who ran toward the danger on 9/11 while everyone else ran away.
It’s Dad: the rock everyone in the family can lean on.
It’s being upset and worried until your husband looks you confidently in the eye and says: “It’s okay. I can handle it. No problem.”
It’s the UFC fighter, the extreme athlete inspiring us at the limits of pain tolerance and mental fortitude, the cop confronting an armed-and-dangerous murderer, the fireman running into a burning house to save your child.
If UT-Austin wants to crap all over those people by falsely describing the worst behaviors of a few bad men into a damning indictment of masculinity, then on behalf of all the men out there without flowers in their beards or nail polish on, they can go straight to Hell.