For as much as I talk about being a man, I want to be clear that I haven’t always felt so certain in myself. Gender has actually been quite a struggle for me at times.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working my way through Abigail Shrier’s work on exposing both the social contagion of transgenderism harming young girls and the layers of gender identity-reinforcement that exist in schools, in the government, and in the medical establishment.
Behind my bolt locked door
The eagle and the serpent are at war in me
The serpent fighting for blind desire
The eagle for clarity
Months ago there was a young man in a Jewish group I participate in at times who was struggling with how to match his sexual identity to the Orthodox branch of Judaism that best fit his spiritual perspective. Despite an unabashed loathing of all things Reform (made abundantly clear whenever possible), he was in the process of converting with a Reform rabbi.
Understandably a lot of people just didn’t get it, to a…
“Words can be like tiny doses of arsenic; they are swallowed unnoticed, appear to have no effect, and then after a little time the toxic reaction sets in after all.” (Victor Klemperer)
When I lived in Baltimore, violence was a reality of life. Walking to the bus stop with my mom one morning, a large man passed us swinging a metal baseball bat with a bow on it. A present, I thought, and smiled. He beat a woman near to death with it after forcing his way into her apartment on the other side of our block.
A wrong turn…
Some days America feels like a country of toddlers. He said, she said, and everyone is more committed to obstructing progress than even trying to get along. How do we get out of this mess?
Maybe you heard. Earlier this week Democratic lawmakers in Texas fled the state, maskless and onboard a private plane, to prevent a quorum from being reached in the Texas legislative body. Once in D.C., they gathered for a press conference to sing “We Shall Overcome,” and one of them even tweeted out a picture of his first meal as a “fugitive.”
To be fair, they’ve…
How we came to this point, and how we might re-center ourselves in preparation for the next wave of culture crusading.
About twenty years ago, my high school organized a political debate between its Young Republican and Young Democrat clubs. On the hot button issues of the day like climate change and the War on Terror, there was definite disagreement in approach.
But when it came to civil recognition of same-sex relationships, we found a rare note of unity. To our generation, the influence of religious fundamentalism was already giving way to a concern for protecting America’s democratic core.
Why do otherwise intelligent people believe that radical ideologies will improve their lives? It’s because they’re seeking an actual solution they don’t see offered anywhere else.
The way my grandmother talks about her communist neighbors as a girl (or the way her parents brought food to enslaved Soviet prisoners of war), you might get the impression that there was a degree of camaraderie or empathy there between them.
To my knowledge, none of my late relatives were outright communists themselves. Empathy — as flat as that sounds — was the more likely limit. You grew up in the same land…
From heroes and heroines to the nameless ex-factory workers who haunt this city’s bars, the fate of textiles in a society that shrugged.
Apart from the story of Abraham nearly sacrificing his son, Isaac, the first myth I remember hearing when I was a kid was the story of Arachne besting Athena in a weaving contest.
I appreciate the way my memory splices those two stories together. …
Race-based class discrimination at a Pride event isn’t an abnormality, it’s the latest expression of a culture war defined by demonizing the working class.
Where the cultural left understands class, it’s as an identity category to only sometimes position alongside other identifiers like race, gender, and the like.
But unlike these other groupings, class can be (and is) easily dropped. It’s the one of these which isn’t like the others, and the category most readily associated with people the left hates acknowledging — the working class.
Class is quantifiable. It’s directly related to material limitations on opportunity and economic power…
Men can just be men. Sometimes men have sex with each other. Sometimes men have sex with women. This actually doesn’t have to become a central part of our identities.
I value a degree of ambiguity with my sexual identity, and in that sense, I genuinely love that some people are convinced I’m heterosexual while others insist that I’m a homosexual.
In truth I’d like to decline to identify. I think I do enough identifying as a man already. Sexual identity, while a useful metric for a lot of contemporary identity politics, isn’t as useful to me as an individual…
What I’ve found since I started writing again is my voice, actually. I have a lot to say on American culture that isn’t necessarily being said by anyone else. At least not in the way I would say it.
Years before we called anything “cancel culture,” there was a man I was spending some time with as I cut my teeth on the ins and outs of blogging professionally.
He was a writing tutor at the local community college, and he kept an eye on my work, which at the time was the most exciting new thing happening in my…