Can anyone explain to us what conservative writer James Poulos is saying in this column about masculinity, femininity, Pink, and "life in the days of Rihanna?"
Poulos writes, "what matters about life in the days of Rihanna is how desperate we are to show that roughing and toughing up our women is a price we're happy to pay to be as free as we are, and to know it. Any civilization capable of producing Angelina Jolie — and 'Fox,' her traumatized, superhuman, suicidal character from last year's Wanted — has to be free, right?" He also cites a music video scene in which Pink makes out with herself as an example of... something. We'd like to quote another recording artist: Huh? What?
But maybe we're just tired. Maybe Poulos is trying to make the same point as Harvey Mansfield, who writes that if women have too many opportunities to display courage, we may see a "loss of tenderness, and the loss of esteem for tenderness, in women." He asks, "do we really want two tough, aggressive sexes instead of one tough, the other tender?" Is "one tough, the other tender" really what we have now? Is that what we want? Regardless of the answer, it's clear to us that neither abusing someone nor tolerating abuse should be described as "tough."