Political correctness in the last twenty years or so, and perhaps quite a lot longer in some forms, has seen the explosion of diversity and multiculturalism and the promotion of many ethnic minority rights and other what are seen as minority rights, too. Masculinity particularly has been attacked, diminished and sidelined, and in some senses so too have men. White men are a kind of all purpose bogeyman now, and to be honest some of that is not without reason. Men in general have been on the receiving end of all kinds of societal anger, resentment and hate, again, not without some justification. Masculine values and ideals are also under fire from many quarters too, and are seen as a problem. Of course, many men from all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds and many countries feel marginalised, and probably many women feel that it is not before time. Of course, within this fall other factors such as class, racism, nationalism and other things, not all men being equal after all. But, in short, men, masculinity and masculine values seem almost superfluous, almost redundant and not needed anymore. Men have become emasculated.
Now some people, even some men, may say the emasculation of men is not before time, and the feminisation of society is a welcome change. Some may even say that more women in power, in positions of authority and in politics, business and other spheres of human activity that have often been the sole preserve of usually powerful wealthy upper and middle class white men is a good thing, too. But, to be fair, many institutions tend to be dominated by men whoever they are and whatever background they come from.
Working class masculinity is portrayed as negatively, and usually often as erroneously as racists portray black people or Jews or immigrants, or virulent sexists portray men or woman, or homophobes portray those who are gay. The working class are almost always portrayed by middle class writers or journalists or opinion formers, and very rarely portrayed by those who are or have working class backgrounds themselves. This often results in what are really extremes being portrayed as normal, so we either have the shaven headed, tattoo covered thug with can of strong beer in hand, or sometimes the saintly version who bears up and remains cheerful no matter how crap things are. One thing most of those writers seem to forget is we are all just human beings at the end of the day. But working class masculinity is seen now as almost completely negative. Of course, many of us rebel against this, but those of us who are smart, rebel in a smart way by being more masculine, looking more masculine, not being afraid to be men, and even grow beards these days! Men should be men. Women should be women. Never the twain shall meet!? Well, no, not exactly.
The real perniciousness of course is that the supposedly clever, informed and clued up in the media, politics and the world of academia, particularly in the US and the UK, instead of challenging stereotypes and prejudices either pretend they don’t exist, subtly and sometimes not so subtly go along with those prejudices and don’t allow any real debate on issues around class discrimination, racism, sexism, homophobia and the like unless it comes from a very narrow politically correct agenda. In short, the people who claim to be liberal and open minded have become some of the most narrow and closed minded and illiberal people around. Some of them scream racist and fascist at people now merely because they have a difference of opinion from what a friend of mine called the New Orthodoxy, which I suppose is the idea that if you aren’t an ultra politically correct roving anti racist, anti sexist and anti homophobic champion of the oppressed, you don’t deserve to be heard. I’m waiting next to hear of books being burnt because they aren’t politically correct enough, or because the writer has had the temerity to hold an original and different thought from the PC Thought Police, on their quest to save the world from fascism and intolerance, except their own fascism and intolerance of course.