Manhood in the Age of Trump

Donald Trump, whose take on gender is decidedly old-fashioned and fixed. He casts himself — surprise! — as a force of nature with untamable appetites.

.. A real man lusts. A real man rages. A real man doesn’t chip in with domestic duties. That’s not just Trump’s view — he once boasted that he’d never change a diaper

.. plenty of American men live in what some sociologists call the Man Box, constricted by a concept of manhood that includes aggression, hypersexuality, supreme authority and utter self-sufficiency

.. When does Trump feel the most manly? That’s pretty obvious: when he’s salivating over women and styling himself some conquistador of the flesh, as he did repeatedly with Howard Stern and on one infamous occasion with Billy Bush. When he’s belittling and emasculating rivals (“Liddle Marco,” “low-energy Jeb”), as he did throughout his campaign. When he’s vowing vengeance against the House Freedom Caucus, as he did last week. When he’s surrounding himself with generals. When he’s pledging huge increases in military spending while moving to starve wonky research and the arts.

.. Those white crescent moons under his eyes suggest time spent wearing goggles during artificial tanning sessions.

.. men who registered narrow, clichéd instructions about manhood were more likely to act out in self-destructive ways, such as substance abuse, and in outwardly destructive ones, such as online bullying.

.. when you feel compelled to project an unforgiving kind of masculine strength, you end up in a twisted, tortured place. You can call it the Man Box. Or, these days, the Oval Office.