What is muscular christianity and what does it have to do with Joe Rogan? We were joined by Derek Beres & Julian Walker of the Conspirituality podcast who are working on this very issue.
Christian nationalism has always been extremely obsessed with masculinity and extremely “muscular” for over two centuries. How prevalent it is in mainstream American culture ebbs and flows as times change, but especially during periods of crises (say a pandemic) it has historically tended to reemerge as a dominant political force. A lot of folks truly want to take us back to the Dark Ages.
Joe Rogan, in all of his 5’8” glory, is apparently the archetype of the kind of figure prized by this political and cultural movement. He professes self reliance, is already extremely wealthy, juices all the supplements all wrapped up in the American flag. If Flat Tummy Tea influencers are the people who attract women to these conservative cultish ideologies, Joe Rogan and folks who model themselves after him are the male equivalent. And while he used to have more left leaning guests on, lately under Covid-19 he’s made a hard and sad right turn.
Derek Beres is a fitness and yoga instructor and author based in Los Angeles. He is the Senior Editor at Eco & co-host of the Conspirituality podcast. Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/derekberes
Julian Walker has been teaching yoga in and around LA since 1994 . He is co-host of the Conspirituality Podcast. Julian also writes extensively on the intersections of cults, trauma, new ageism and yoga. Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/embodiedsacred
Recorded January 02nd, 2021
Kavanaugh Is the Face of American Male Rage
Men are being held accountable — and it has them mad as hell
This is why, I suspect, these men become so shocked and enraged when they’re asked to answer for their actions: When they say “nothing happened,” it’s not just a denial — it’s that they truly believe the incident was not a big deal.
.. Men accused of being abusers are demanding back their coveted spots as comedians, writers, radio hosts and more. How dare women take them away to begin with!
Yesterday, Kavanaugh was the face of that backlash — an avatar for entitled, white male rage in the U.S. Angry, sputtering, petulant — the judge could barely contain his fury over being expected to answer for himself. As Slate’s Lili Loofbourow put it: “This person does not seem to have a lot of experience coping with not getting what he wants.”
Instead of responding to questions directly, Kavanaugh repeated his professional and academic bonafides as if his elite background was proof of good character. When Senator Sheldon Whitehouse asked the judge about references in his high school yearbook about drinking to the point of vomiting, Kavanaugh responded, “I was at the top of my class academically.”
“Captain of the varsity basketball team,” he continued. “Got in Yale College. When I got into Yale College, got into Yale Law School.”
Don’t you know who I am?
.. When Sen. Amy Klobuchar — who prefaced her questions with anecdote about her own father’s alcoholism — asked Kavanaugh if he had ever blacked out, the judge snapped, “Have you?” Even after she repeated the question, once again Kavanaugh sneered: “I’m curious if you have.”
In that moment, it was not hard to imagine the belligerent, drunk Brett Kavanaugh as described by his former classmates.
.. Alexandra Schwartz at the New Yorker called this behavior “a model of American conservative masculinity…directly tied to the loutish, aggressive frat-boy persona that Kavanaugh is purportedly seeking to dissociate himself from.”
.. And, as is often the case with frat boys, Kavanaugh’s brothers had his back. One after another, the male Senators gave emotional apologies to the judge for even having to be there, bemoaning the loss of his life and reputation. Like Kavanaugh, they were appalled that the judge was expected to explain himself.
As if the possibility of him not ascending to the Supreme Court — and just continuing to serve on the second most important court in the country — would be a travesty. As if Kavanaugh was owed a smooth, unquestioned, path to whatever he wanted.
.. he hearing stopped being about Blasey Ford’s experience or even Kavanaugh’s fitness for the job, and instead became a stage for broader and bitter male resentment — furious over the seemingly new expectation of accountability, and raging over not immediately being given what was promised to them.
.. Even as women calmly and expertly explain the ways in which men have hurt us, our pain is immediately drowned out and glossed over by men’s belief that they should not have to answer to us, of all people.
.. My optimistic side would like to think that yesterday was the last loud gasp of a dying patriarchy, an astounded sexist minority trying its best to rebel against an emerging feminist majority. The less hopeful part of me, though — the part that still thinks quite a lot about America’s history of choosing poorly between a measured, informed woman and a belligerent, snapping man