Two small changes have men up in arms. The first is language changes for certain Marine positions, changing infantryman to infantry marine, for example. The second change to offend their sensibilities is in the Miss Teen USA pageant, which will be replacing the swimsuit competition with an athletic talent portion, in athletic clothes. These whine tastings reveal a perverted, weak, insecure, and above all sexist way of being a man.
Any masculinity that is threatened by the presence or acknowledgement of women is a poor identity indeed, as structurally secure as a house of cards. When men simultaneously are this weak yet demand to be treated as strong, when men can’t cope with gender neutral language because they need to dominate to feel safe, our culture suffers. Women suffer from the burden of feigning incompetence so that men might feel necessary, and men suffer from having such a poorly constructed, easily destroyed sense of self.
Men who are angry about the Marines admitting they’re not a solely male bastion are far more offended by women marines than they are by the language. It’s the existence of women strong enough to fight men and win that threatens them. If they can’t rely on size and strength to bully women, what does being a man even mean?
The men who are whinging about Miss Teen USA no longer featuring a swimsuit competition are perverts. They want to sexualize and gawk at teen girls, girls whose minor age is known and advertised. They are like the men who count down the days until a child star reaches adulthood, and then demand she produce porn. They know full well those teens are teens and not adults. That’s what they want.
I have to say men aren’t looking too good as a group right now. They claim to be strong protectors yet fold at the idea of a strong, armed woman. They throw utter tantrums about not getting to gawk at teen girls on stage, not realizing they are the reason the swimsuit competition was dropped. Beauty pageants are a controversial thing, but they award the largest college scholarships to girls. Did your scholarship application involve adults staring at and appraising your nearly naked underage body? Probably not. So why should girls scholarships?