I recently read an article entitled “Guns and Politics: Trump and the Rise of the Alpha Male” by Susan Smith. She states that we have been instructed for 8 years by “a bunch of metrosexuals, pajama boys, and mom-jean wearing plouffes.” She complains of a general lack of masculinity of males in society and heralds the return of the "ultimate alpha male" in Donald Trump.
Now, I don't know how alpha Trump is, but this recent election in the United States might be a signal that masculinity is making a comeback. However, to be clear, I feel that a man can be masculine but not necessarily alpha. Plenty of masculine men are team players or artists, or not terribly outgoing, for instance. So Smith's emphasis on Trump's alpha nature is not necessarily the answer to a lack of masculinity in men, though it might signal a change of tone in society at large.
Donald Trump is controversial and this is not an article in praise or opposition of the myth or the man. But part of Smith's point is still valid. Trump is undoubtedly very masculine, and his popularity has surprised a lot of people. Perhaps our sense of his masculinity comes from his boldness with words and his carelessness with political correctness: a seeming readiness to dare people to criticize him for not following the rules. To some, it conjures Han Solo or Rhett Butler. Where we run in to danger is deriving a sense of masculinity from Trump's crass comments about women or his history with infidelity. Though some might seek to undermine society by describing such vices as natural to masculinity, we at Fascinating Womanhood relegate them to the category of weakness of character--something entirely separate from true masculinity and a thing that Trump needs to prove he has thoroughly reviewed and changed before he has our full confidence.
Despite his occasional crassness and bellicosity, many welcome Trump's confidence and apparent competence in leadership, and they take comfort in the notion that he will represent America's interests from a position of strength in the world--that he will at least not weaken the country by exhibiting fecklessness or indecisiveness, or by bowing to his ankles every time he meets a foreign leader. And yes, much of how effective Trump will be as a leader remains to be seen. This is not a political commentary so much as striking on an opportunity to observe and make a point about femininity and masculinity in America.
The thing is, a lot of people view our previous presidents as having been weak, incompetent, and easily manipulated. Trump may be scary to some, but his confidence and commanding presence is very refreshing to many women. His popularity highlights a mostly silent call from women that I believe has been building for decades for a return of real men to society, and for putting the breaks on holding gender neutrality as some sort of social ideal.
Women need men who are actual men; not wimps and those too sensitive to handle stressful situations without falling into a heap. You know, the kind that needs safe spaces and teddy bears to deal with any stress that comes along.
I want to be perfectly clear on this incredibly dangerous philosophy that is gaining traction: masculinity in itself is not toxic, and femininity is most certainly not weak or insipid. Both are critical for the building and maintenance of strong relationships and the family. And these things are the building blocks, the very core of strength of all nations. The future of this country and all countries depends on the physical and emotional hardiness of masculine men and feminine women, along with their willingness to be people of character and honor.
Fascinating Womanhood helps women understand our pivotal role and power to inspire the men in our lives to feel validated for being male. It teaches what real masculinity is and why it is as important as femininity in relationships, the family, and in society. We can and MUST inspire masculinity. When we inspire the best in men by being wholly female, everyone benefits.