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Slob Shaming

Unknown to many feminists the internet “manosphere” is abuzz with indignation at being told to “man up” by Kay Hymowitz. Check out the original article here and a few representative responses here and here.

Now their response was mostly naked sexism but their anger was genuine and I feel somewhat justified. This is not for the reason you might think. It is not because my “masculinity” is threatened. It is because I am a feminist.

Consider what being told to “man up” really means. Anybody who has taken introduction to women’s or gender studies can tell you it is the harshest gendered language. For the phrase “man up” to make sense you must assume that there is a certain way men must act to be men-in other words they must take on traditionally male gender roles. Hymowitz unironically does just this.

Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children. Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This “pre-adulthood” has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it’s time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn’t bring out the best in men.

She evokes past gender roles in such a way as to shame men who do not voluntarily take them ...