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When the Most Destructive Words a Boy Can Hear Are 'Be a Man'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Any woman could tell you that a good man is hard to find. Some men don't measure up to what a woman wants them to be. Some are coarse, profane, mean and other bad things.

But most men are none of those things, and even bad apples in the right hands can become an appetizing applesauce. Besides, as almost any woman would ask, where's the alternative?

Nevertheless, there's a growing campaign on the left to denigrate men and something called "toxic masculinity" that is cited as a menace to women, the republic, mankind and all the ships at sea. A growing number of colleges and universities, which lately have become a source of a lot of toxic things themselves, are force-feeding young men the radical-feminist nonsense that "masculinity" is at the root of everything bad.

At Gettysburg College, a private Lutheran school overlooking the famous battlefield, students who "identify as male" are asked to watch a simplistic, distorted documentary on the aggressiveness of manhood and sit for a discussion by "campus leaders" about the harmful effects of "toxic masculinity." "The Mask You Live In," directed by feminist provocateur Jennifer Siebel Newsom, teaches that the "three most destructive words" a boy can hear growing up is "be a man."

Many universities across the country, including Dartmouth College, Duke University, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, The Claremont Colleges and Vanderbilt University, have set out to "purge" male students of toxic masculinity. This dreaded disease is blamed for sexual violence, body shaming, domestic violence, the "hyper-masculinized sporting culture" and even massacres of small children.

According to The College Fix, an online news site that closely follows news on campuses, a class at Dartmouth identifies toxic masculinity as having encouraged the mass murder at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, last summer. Male students at Duke and the University of North Carolina were encouraged to immerse themselves in studies of "violent masculinity" and discuss "healthier masculinity" and "gender fluidity." Duke wants its male students to reflect on patriarchy, male privilege, rape culture, machismo, pornography and "the language of dominance."

There's nothing wrong with discussing controversial and unhappy things; this is why young men -- and women -- go to college in the first place. But there's a well-founded suspicion that such classes are meant not for learning but indoctrination. The campaign, promoted by the savagely discontented and abetted in the magpie media, is meant to deny everything we've learned over the centuries about sex and the male-female relationship. Gettysburg College does not even speak of male students but of students who "identify as male."

The human male knows better. The suggestion that masculinity is a cultural creation is only marginally relevant to reality. "You can observe a lot just by watching," as the great baseball philosopher Yogi Berra famously said. And anybody who has watched little boys in rough-and-tumble play, taking risks that frighten their mother, and indulging a fascination with machines and gadgets rather than dolls understands why such little-boy behavior is rooted in biology.

The feminist writer Christine Hoff Sommers cites an experiment that found that female monkeys preferred to play with dolls more than male monkeys, which preferred toy cars and trucks. "Are male monkeys captive to a 'guy code'?" she pointedly asks.

She cites another study of sexual differences by researchers at the University of Turin in Italy and the University of Manchester in England. They confirmed "what most of us see with our eyes: with some exceptions, women tend to be more sensitive, esthetic, sentimental, intuitive and tender-minded, while men tend to be more utilitarian, objective, unsentimental and tough-minded." More masculine, you could say. Professors at distinguished institutions of learning might think they can erase nature, but if they try, they should pack a good lunch. It will be an all-day job.

Feminine frustration with men is natural and inevitable. Men can be stubborn, obstinate and unyielding. This can lead women to think and say foolish things. When radical Islamic terrorists inflicted one London massacre, Bette Midler tweeted to her friends and followers: "More sorrow and grief at the hands of madmen in London. Men and religion are worthless."

Hillary Clinton spoke not long ago at a Planned Parenthood gala where stiff drinks called Toxic Masculinity were served. She complained, "politicians in Washington are still doing everything they can to roll back the rights and progress we've fought so hard for over the last century." That she was deprived of the presidency by a man who celebrates toxic coarseness and hurt by a husband who was a toxic womanizer no doubt makes her think so, even as shards of glass falling from broken ceilings litter the ground under her feet.

James Goodman, a freshman at Gettysburg, demonstrates just how stubborn, contrary and hard to transform a man can be. "I got absolutely nothing out of the experience, other than a headache," he says. Just like an angry wife at bedtime.

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