Based on all the dumb shit I've been told about how men allegedly are and women allegedly are, I've concluded the following: Being masculine is apparently just like being a proud lion, it is an intrinsically superior gift of strength and wisdom bestowed on men by the universe that women must stroke and honor (or else). But it is also a zero sum game, so if a woman does even one thing deemed too proud lion-y for her gender, she can instantly take away her lion man's masculinity mojo, rendering him the worst thing in the world a man can be: Less Effective.
This is the weird contradiction of sexist thinking: One the one hand, the entire universe's job basically seems like it's to be a fluffer for the male ego. On the other hand, why? Because women have some dark witchy ability to steal male power (and take their baby)? If it's so easy to steal the power away, why haven't we just taken it? And if women were as naturally inferior and nonthreatening as we have been led to believe, wouldn't we need way less supervision? One thing is for sure: Wherever there is female progress, there are cries of BUT YOU'RE EMASCULATING ME directly behind it.
Take a recent piece on Slate, where Amanda Hess writes about a thing that ran on Vulture/NYMag from a male producer claiming women "virtually control" cable TV. So it follows that the success comes with a price: It's that these "alpha females" emasculate their husbands on the daily. As Hess makes clear, in spite of some real progress in the industry, women, with just 26 percent of key gigs from the 2012-2103 season of cable/network TV, emphatically do not control cable. Moreover, anyone who sees those stats as control is clearly uneasy with even a smidge of barely gotten gender parity.
But what stays with me here is this recurring narrative about gender where every little jump ahead women make is viewed on some level as a threat to the time-honored institution of dudeness. In the original piece, for instance, in order to be an "alpha female," you only need reach levels of achievement any reasonable person would consider awesome in a dude, like wanting success or nabbing a high-paying job. But zoom out and put these achievements next to a man who didn't get his universe-issued success, and well, you may as well be kicking a (smirking) stiletto directly into his (wincing) ballsack. (Even better is when commenters on the piece offer advice: "These women should be attracted to submissive men. Their lives would be easier and they would be taken care of in a way that they're used to." Yes, because the only solution is to pair dominant with submissive. It's just what makes sense! Cool gender timez.)
Curious, I looked around for more examples of how to accomplish this piece-of-cake emasculating every one is doing lately and found this super true and not terribly misogynistic at all list. Turns out it is mad easy to break a dude's masculinity spirit and rule the world. If this stuff is actually reliable, we should have a female president by next week in spite of how that would violate laws about how elections and stuff work.
All we gotta do is:
Get a Good Job
Step one to putting a dent in the universe of lion pride is being paid well by a company who values you. Just imagine how your husband would feel.
Make a Salary So Much as $1 More
Step two is to out-earn him, stripping away from him the only thing he knows how to feel good for because the culture has totally poisoned his idea of self-esteem and that is your job to tiptoe around forever and never trigger at great personal cost to yourself.
According to repository of lion pride, AskMen, all you have to do to chip away at the mansion of lion pride you're lucky to be living in is step 3: offer up your "pearls of wisdom" when they are not needed (hint: they are never needed). Having an opinion to a guy is like saying "I know something," and worse, it's like saying "I know something and I think I should say it out loud." Even worse, it's saying "I know something, I think I should say it out loud, and I think that is ok." Wrong wrong wrong. (And emasculating!)
Offer Help in Any Way (Especially in Public)
Men don't need help — especially not from women. So step four: Offer it! As we've already tried to tell you, opening a guy's door is basically a ceremonial bat to the balls before surgically removing them. Alternately, did you know that when you offer a man your girly car (electric blue Renault Clio with fluffy pink seat covers) to drive because his is in the shop, you're just doing it so women won't check him out, which destroys his ability to feel like hot shit? Make him walk. Nothing is more masculine than a guy walking because his car is in the shop. Oh and if you really want to insult him, adjust his tie before he goes into a big meeting, so you can instantly transform him into a schoolboy on the playground getting his PB and J with the cwusts cut off.