When should men take a punch?

The recent Gillette ad has sparked questions about what constitutes masculinity. Over at the Simple Justice blog a discussion ensued about whether hostile the reaction to the ad represents men being fragile snowflakes. Scott Greenfield suggested that certain objections to the ad give rise to the accusation of fragility, “since men can’t take a punch.”

There are a number of reasons why it is masculine for men to take a punch (both literally and figuratively).

Perhaps the most common is to protect others. Men often put themselves into the line of fire (again, both literally and figuratively). Protection of others is a hallmark of masculinity. We call men that fear to protect the vulnerable and innocent cowards.

Men are also expected to take a punch when subject to insignificant insults, especially those that lack significant consequences. Men who can’t handle when a random person on Twitter calls them names are fragile snowflakes. It’s also why men take physical and verbal abuse from women without complaint.

These two cases are very different. In the first case the man takes abuse on behalf of an innocent and often fights back. In the second case he takes abuse without complaint on behalf of someone who doesn’t deserve it.

A man is fragile if he fears to fight when he should and fragile when he fights back when he should not. In the second case he owes his assailant nothing. What does he owe the person he protects in the first case?

The expectation of feminism is that men take a punch because to fight a woman back is not masculine. Men are expected to sacrifice for women (the first case) while ignoring any attacks on manhood or their person (the second case). Those who complain are called whiny babies and those that fight back physically are abusive. However, because women are emphatically not held to the same standards, this expectation implies that women are more fragile and abusive than men.

If women are truly equal to men, then men would not be required to take a punch in defense of women (the first case) or to ignore attacks against their person by women (the second case). The claim that men and women are equal contradicts the demands placed upon men. On one hand, men are supposed to be so very different from women with increased demands on their person. On the other hand, they are supposed to be equal to women in every way. This contradiction logically results in Dalrock’s Law of Feminism:

“Feminism is the assertion that men are evil and naturally want to harm women, followed by pleas to men to solve all of women’s problems.”

Feminism states that, when attacked by a woman, a man should always assume it is the second case and not the first, and take a punch for her. Feminism also states that when a woman is attacked, a man should always assume it is the first case, not the second, and take a punch for her. A women is never expected to take a punch for him.

P&G, the maker of the Gillette ad attacking men, highlights this:

“At P&G, we believe that the requisite skills to succeed as leaders in 2018 and beyond include the ability to be empathetic and inclusive. Given the critical role men play in advancing women and in achieving gender equality

But what if the consequences of the second case are not insignificant? What if the ad or attacks on manhood actually harm real life masculine expression? Then the feminist premise self-refutes. The man that does not fight back against real harm is the fragile snowflake coward (the first case).

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