Sean Penn is mostly an idiot, and when he isn’t being stupid, he amuses himself by making shitty movies and smacking Madonna around. And let us not forget his vapid yet angry political pontifications, his full-throated support for brutal communist dictators like Chavez and Castro, and a host of other reflexively anti-American, hard-left stances.
But shockingly, he recently said something that made a lot of sense, and was perceptive, although I think that was largely by accident.
But when it comes to how he views masculinity, he is old school. He recently told one newspaper: “I am in the club that believes that men in American culture have become wildly feminised… I don’t think that [in order] to be fair to women, we should become them.”
What did he mean by those comments? “I think that men have, in my view, become quite feminised,” he reiterates. “I have these very strong women in my life who do not take masculinity as a sign of oppression toward them. There are a lot of, I think, cowardly genes that lead to people surrendering their jeans and putting on a skirt.”
What’s that you say? “It’s also fantastically hypocritical.” Well, yes, because masculinity is a trait that does not include beating up your wife. Call me old fashioned, but I think most masculine men would agree.
But his words resonated with me, in particular this weekend, as I watched the storm of the century dump an incredible five inches of snow on my part of the Northeast. The hysteria over the last several days was vomit-inducing, as the media tried (and…sadly…succeeded) to whip up fear of a damned winter storm. Yes. It snows quite often during the winter, and up until several years ago it was just one of those things. But now the fear of everything must encompass normal weather. Run for the stores! Buy up all the milk and bread and eggs! Shelter in place! Do not drive unnecessarily! Bundle up…you may freeze to death in the sub 20s temperatures!
Traditional roles for men and women are being systematically degraded, to the point at which the historical role for a man…to care for the physical safety and comfort of his family…has been upended, and the current expectation is for him passively to accept whatever may happen and simply wait for help. And mostly to be afraid; but damn! Those capris look great!
Penn doesn’t understand that true masculinity has nothing to do with gender politics or America’s stance on Armenian independence or Universal Basic Income, and has everything to do with things that he consciously rejects; the traditional roles for men and women that society has created over many thousands of years.
Smacking Madonna around (it wasn’t because of her shitty music) or advocating for same-sex marriage and the concurrent degradation of traditional roles isn’t supporting masculinity. It is supporting the destruction of those traditions that support the clear, obvious, unambiguous differences between men and women.
And even worse, his hatred of all things of the West, including the glory of Western philosophy and American Exceptionalism, may seem to him to be some sort of new-age response to the imagined ills of the West, but in reality he simply supports non-Western mores and morals, like the Muslim world’s rejection of equality of men and women. Yeah, it’s too complicated for his pea brain, so let’s just go with his excellent point that America is being feminized, and let the grown-ups do the rest of the thinking about it.
The fact is that American men are being feminized by their teachers, by the people who produce advertising, by their politicians who are too cowardly and craven to push back against the post-modern nonsense that sex/gender is a social construct, and a society that has prioritized pleasure and entertainment at the expense of those traditional masculine attributes like self-reliance, caring for those who cannot care for themselves, and a dozen other things that are mocked and minimized by the enemies of tradition, and of America.