Trump, the Mooch and Toxic Masculinity
I'd like to think we came close to electing our very first female President last year, but I’m not sure how true that really is. I do, however, know that instead of electing our first non-male President we elected a grotesque caricature of Caveman masculinity at its most primitive and mindlessly aggressive.
We elected a man on record as bragging about grabbing women by the pussy, although, to be fair, he was an impressionable child of about 59 when mean old Billy Bush tricked him into using vulgar language that disrespects women. We elected a man who boasted about his dick size during a debate, and recently indulged in smutty innuendo while addressing the motherfucking BOY SCOUTS.
We elected a man whose businesses include a USFL team and a goddamn beauty pageant he lovingly, leeringly oversaw with grabby hands, bedroom eyes and a complete lack of respect for the dignity and privacy of the women competing in his proud parade of old-style sexism. We elected a man who clearly called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” because he was frustrated that even he could not get away with calling his opponent a cunt or a bitch on television without possibly losing a couple of percentage points in the polls with women.
We elected a man for whom using his time at a Republican debate to call Marco Rubio a virgin with a small penis would have been completely on brand and in character. We elected a man who embodies to an extent both comic and tragic all of the worst elements of masculinity and none of its saving graces.
We elected a bro. We elected a dude. We elected a professional misogynist. We elected a man who brags in The Art of the Deal about how you’ll never see him pushing a baby carriage or changing diapers. To Donald Trump, that’s women’s work, and he never wants to let anyone forget that he is the manliest of men’s men, a rugged super-heterosexual cocksmith with a very large penis that leaves the beautiful women he has sex with very satisfied.
If Trump is a crude caricature of a vulgar, sexist, macho dude, then Anthony Scaramucci was a caricature of a caricature. If Trump was a loudmouthed, profane piece of shit alpha male bully, then Scaramucci was more profane, more loudmouthed and more of a bully. And for a hot minute, Trump obviously loved that. When he looked at his new guy he clearly saw himself, only younger, better-looking, more aggressive, and with even more indifference to the emotions of others.
That had to be exciting, but it also clearly also became threatening. If there’s one rule in the Trump White House it’s “don’t upstage the boss” and when Scaramucci called a New Yorker reporter and behaved less like the mouthpiece for the most powerful man in the universe than Joe Pesci’s character in Goodfellas but with more aggression and less concern for social niceties, the Mooch did just that.
We learned in the process that there are, in fact, at least some rules and boundaries in Trump’s White House. One of those rules is clearly that Donald Trump can get away with behaving like a a character in a David Mamet play—Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross but less of a sweetheart—but subordinates cannot.
Given Trump’s regressive conception of masculinity, it’s not surprising that the order to boot Scaramucci came not from Trump himself, but from the General who will be taking over as Chief of Staff. I sense that for Trump, the biggest perk of the Presidency involves getting to sit down with generals, those icons of rugged, conventional masculinity, and talk about military stuff and play plastic soldiers and War with human beings on a global scale.
I don’t think it’s coincidental that Trump, who alas missed Vietnam thanks to a sore foot, invoked his beloved, manly generals when he tweeted, "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,”
Note how Trump refers to his Generals. I think he wants us to believe that he and his beloved five-star generals were smoking cigars and scratching their enormous dicks and playing poker and they decided, nah, people who don’t conform to conventional categories of gender don’t belong in the military, and it wouldn’t hurt if maybe the broads left too so the men can do what they have to do.
Trump and his cabinet embody masculinity at its most toxic. Scaramucci’s firing is a welcome indication that apparently it is, in fact, possible to go too far, even for someone like Trump, but it shouldn’t take a dude threatening to kill people and profanely attacking people from within his own White House for this awful, awful administration to realize that its ugly obsession with machismo is one of the many, many things poisoning it from the inside out.
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