Paul Ryan has grown a beard, which leads Nicole Russell at the Federalist to gush that he “exudes manliness.” Which is very, very, very important to conservatives, who must have manly men running for office, and in most other areas of life.
In 2003, after Bush made his “mission accomplished” speech on board the aircraft carrier, dressed in a flight suit, right-wingers exploded in orgasmic awe. W was the star quarterback, compared to which the Dems looked like whiny little nerds. He was the jet jockey and fighter pilot (he actually wasn’t—he was grounded 30 years earlier for blowing off his flight exam). The image of him so handsome and strong won the votes of every woman in America.
Back in 2008, right-wing whackjob Kim DuToit, in his infamouse essay about the “pussification of the western male,” mentions that manly, powerful men like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld can get the hottest women in the world (but don’t because they don’t screw around) because they’re strong, powerful men and women just peel off their panties for guys like that.
In 2012, Kevin Williamson of National Review focused the same gushing right-wing longing for manliness on Romney: Romney’s so handsome and strong he should get 100 percent of the female vote! He could walk into any college hookup spot and get laid a dozen times! And he has five sons where Obama has two daughters, so he radiates testosterone where Obama lactates!
Now it’s Paul Ryan who has embraced his manly manliness but growing a beard, making him a very manly Speaker of the House. Which is important because it’s manly and women want that. And the article shifts to a favorite Federalist theme, feminism has failed because it won’t acknowledge women crave alpha men who will dominate them in a kind but dominating way like women are evolutionarily wired to crave. Men who fail to be Real Men are just as bad as sexists, according to Russell.
In reality, of course (as I note at the link), some women like alpha men. Some women like beards. Some women like neither. Feminism has not turned all men into cringing, submissive wimps (which seems to be Russell’s definition of beta male in the article), but it has shaken some men out of the belief they’re innately supposed to run the world and all the women. Which is the last thing conservatives want, at least as concerns women wh0 are not them—as noted at the link, the Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway thinks women should be focused on their man, not landing a cool job, while smugly settling in as editor of the magazine (possibly Russell is also a special snowflake)
And I wonder how “Men who fail to embrace their masculinity are as bad as chauvinists who wield it like a weapon” makes sense. Because the latter are the ones who think women should stay home with the baby, think women shouldn’t be in charge, think some jobs/fields are just wrong for women. Not embracing masculinity, however Russell defines it (probably not the way I would), may be a problem for the guy, but at least he doesn’t impose his problem on other people.