Surprise. The War on Women is a War on Democracy
Right wing politicians in Congress are just doing what man box culture requires of them
The Republican Party is systematically attacking decades old legal protections for women, which, not coincidentally, happens to be an effective way to undermine our larger democratic institutions as well. Yes, it’s political, but the far right’s war on women is rooted in our generations old dominance-based culture of masculinity. And this assault against women’s rights is taking place at every intersection of race, religion, economic inequality and even bodily autonomy.
As a matter of policy, those on the far right continually seek to subjugate any population that they view as different, along with any group predisposed to more democratic, less authoritarian forms of governance. Those who are actively undermining the empowerment of women are also peddling white nationalism and the corporate takeover of American political institutions. In the US, voter suppression continually targets African American communities, immigrants, the poor and so on. But it is our bullying dominance-based culture of masculinity that underpins all of this; the ugly simplicity of the man box culture default: always bully, attack and suppress any group viewed as non conforming.
Man box masculinity will always seek to subjugate any population (women, POC, LGBTQ) other than it’s own, even as it also demands the bullying and domination of all men inside it’s internal male hierarchy. This is why millions of men seek to dominate all of those around us without a second thought. Because our man box culture of masculinity brutally ingrains this dominance model of manhood in us starting in infancy, while also bullying our natural human capacities for connection out of us. In the process of being bullied into hiding our need for connection, we adopt the behaviors of those who bully us.
Men and women buy into man box culture, thinking they can scramble high enough up the ladder to avoid being chewed up in the gears of the machine. But they can never go high enough to escape the brutal disconnection and isolation inherent in a domination-based model of society.
The resulting cost to men, especially white men, in man box culture is epidemic levels of social isolation. Relying on domination instead of connection as our default in personal and professional relationships is deeply isolating. The health impact is equal to smoking, dramatically increasing our levels of heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and more. Cancer metastasizes faster in lonely people.
Man box culture mandates dominating anyone we see as different from ourselves as a larger societal performance of its basic internal tenet: dominate all. Right wing politics, rooted in man box culture, therefore MUST undermine democratic institutions.
Its absurd to wait for conservatives in Congress to condemn Trump’s destruction of our democratic institutions, his caging of brown kids, his attacks on women. Whether they will openly admit it or not, for white conservatives raised in man box culture, Trump is finally doing it right.
Which means, we haven’t sunk to the bottom. We’re only getting started. The deeply trauma induced, domination-based model of masculine culture that drives MAGA, Trump, white nationalism, and the GOP has no bottom. They will never be satisfied, sated, done attacking. Man box culture must always double down on domination, always.
The simple fact is, until we finally break the generational cycle of man box bullying, violence and policing that our sons, brothers and husbands are subjected to, we will suffer from the oppression and violence doled out by the wounded, broken men it creates. The loving work we must do for our young sons is to protect and grow their natural human joy in connection. To not let it be stripped away and replaced with a brutal culture of domination. This work is already happening everywhere; millions of our sons are questioning the isolating bullying choices of man box culture.
But we need to also understand that the white nationalist elites in power today? They will never stop coming for us, for women, LGBTQ people, for black and brown people, for Muslims and Asians and anyone else who they view as failing to conform. And the more harm they are are allowed to do, the more harm they will do next. There is no level of violence or abuse that will satisfy unfettered man box culture.
They’re coming for anyone who is not them. Which means it’s well past time to set aside our myriad of differences and join forces against our dominant man box culture of masculinity and the political violence it creates. But we have to get our act together. The fact is, because of our internal divisions and infighting, they’re winning and we’re running out of time.
Oh, and by the way, the universal answer to fixing all this? → Human connection.
“First see the culture, then fix the culture.” In just 75 pages, Mark Greene’s The Little #MeToo Book for Men deconstructs man box culture, offering men a powerful path to breaking free. Available world wide at Amazon.