Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) may have written a book called Manhood, which was released just earlier this month, but Jon Hamm—fairly well known for his, err, manhood—isn’t convinced the senator knows what he’s talking about.
In a new ad for Hawley’s Democratic opponent, veteran Lucas Kunce, the Mad Men star side-eyes Hawley’s right-wing masculinity grift, pointing out that the senator has nothing, really, to back up any of his claims of expertise on the matter.
“Manhood. You’d hope that means courage. Courage isn’t something you can give speeches or write a book about,” Hamm, who was born and raised in Missouri, says in reference to Hawley’s book. “It’s not sitting on the sidelines while others sacrifice, or denying help to those who did. It isn’t putting people down or trying to control them or using your own power for profit or ambition.”
As Hamm speaks, the ad is overlaid with headlines and text pointing to Hawley’s most extreme stances, ranging from his support for his wife’s efforts to get medication abortion banned, to his votes against health care and resources for veterans.
The ad then hits Hawley for his actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection, including pumping a fist in support of pro-Trump insurrectionists invading the U.S. Capitol—all while later being seen running through the Capitol hallways, fleeing for his life. “In Missouri, you can’t fake courage,” Hamm says. “We’re the ‘Show Me’ state. Courage is something you have to show us.”
“If you want to be told about manhood, some guy wrote a book about it,” Hamm concludes. “But if you want someone to show you courage, send Lucas Kunce to the Senate.”
Kunce is a Marine veteran who’s previously run for U.S. Senate in the state—but regards his race against Hawley in 2024 as winnable since Hawley’s politics have shifted in recent years to almost exclusively fixate on culture war bullshit. “[Hawley has] just done creepy things, like write books telling everybody how to be a man, and if you don’t do what he says then you’re not a man,” Kunce told HuffPost earlier this year. “So we’re going to hold him to task for all of that. He’s obsessed with what everybody else is doing in their bedroom, at work, on the internet, in the doctor’s office.”
Over the last several weeks, Hawley has made a string of press appearances to promote his book, parroting out the usual bullshit on gender roles and male breadwinners. Of course, beyond the fact that he really has nothing to show for what makes him an expert on any of this, it’s all a fairly well-traveled, unoriginal schtick, too. Just last week, Donald Trump Jr. rolled out his little masculinity magazine. Ousted Fox News star Tucker Carlson at least threw in some whimsy with his own approach to bemoaning the decline of masculinity, introducing testicular tanning into the cultural lexicon.
Hawley is a Harvard grad who’s devoted his career to using his power to take rights and resources away from those with substantially less power. Using this to grift his instructional guide to masculinity onto bookshelves is one thing. Trying to grift his way back into the U.S. Senate on dubious claims of being a manhood expert is pathetic.