Please Be Toxic With Your Masculinity

Stacey Lennox

It's really simple. I do not take out the trash unless it is urgent and a son or spouse can not be found. I also do not mow the lawn, pick up dog poop or do much of anything that involves hand tools unless it has become so urgent I must address the issue. It is not because I am not smart enough or strong enough to do these things. I quite simply don't want to and am extremely glad the men in my life somehow sense this.

I will however be quite alone if I sit down on a Sunday afternoon to watch a football game or two. My boys do not like spectator sports and would rather be hunting, fishing or doing something that involves vehicles with two wheels. Unless it is Superbowl Sunday and the men in my life hang out until I make a pan of obnoxious nachos. And chicken wings, in three flavors. And sliders from this insane recipe I found on Facebook. The men in my life are also not likely to join me if I go for a pedicure. Their haircuts cost $10 and they hate the mall. They wear pretty much whatever I bring home to hang on them. As long as it is not pink, certain shades of yellow and the jeans do not qualify as "skinny".

And yet the Duke University would like help these glorious creatures that I adore understand they are somehow limiting me by being the manly men they are. According to Heatstreet:

The Duke Men’s Project, launched this month and hosted by the campus Women’s Center, offers a nine-week program for “male-identified” students that discusses male privilege, patriarchy, “the language of dominance,” rape culture, pornography, machismo and other topics.

The student newspaper’s editorial board endorsed the new program yesterday, insisting it was “not a reeducation camp being administered by an oppressed group in the service of the feminization of American society.”

Nine whole weeks. To undo all the amazing ways they oppress me by being sensitive to my aversion to hand tools, feces and yard work. To stop letting me know when I look pretty. They also should not dare to tell me how awesome that philly cheesesteak slider was, I may feel tied to the kitchen!

It is their privilege to clearly understand that when mama ain't happy, nobody's happy. This is how broken things get fixed. It is how homework gets done and why my son has never been brought home in the back seat of a car with flashing blue lights. It is also why they clearly understand when all the ways they oppress me have become too much, a girl's night out is never objected to and I am free to put in as many hours as needed to grow the business I love. Even when that means take out for dinner.

At Duke. it seems pornography is also a problem that needs to be addressed. Nevermind this is at the behest of the same movement that is bringing you #FreeTheNippleand annual "Slut Walks". The very same one that fought "rape culture" by supporting "Jackie" and #MattressGirl. Third wave feminism folks. It's a logic pretzel you may not want to attempt to unravel.

It's to the point as a woman I don't even know what I am supposed to celebrate. Having my boys recognize their privilege and insist I share in chores I hate at 50%? The ability to walk around topless while chastising men for looking at pictures of the same? Women who lie about being raped to ensure the "narrative" of rampant misogyny and "rape culture" persists to support obsure academics in Women's Studies programs at overpriced liberal arts universities? It's really confusing.

So, everyday I make a choice, to love the men in my life with all of their glorious toxic masculinity intact. To love the life, careers and family we have built together including all the lessons learned and tears shed. I just hope my daughters have the opportunity to choose from the wonderful diversity of ways men can be so toxic and choose the type of relationship , career and lifestyle that suits them best. It's the best gift real feminists gave me. That and knowing I never have to apologizing for my choice.