Sen. Josh Hawley believes that masculine, strong, virtuous men are needed more than ever in today’s society. That’s part of the reason that the Missouri Republican wrote his new book, “Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs,” the senator said in an interview with The Daily Signal.
“The masculine virtues are the virtues of a husband and a father, of a warrior and a builder, of a priest and a king,” Hawley explained, citing the chapters included in his book. “I really wrote the book for my boys. I’ve got two little boys at home, who are 10 and 8. I say ‘little’; I mean, they’re getting older now, but they’re 10 and 8. And I’ve got a baby girl.”
The premise is simple, the senator said: “America needs strong men. It needs good men, and we should call men to be those things.”
Corporate media, the entertainment industry, and leftist ideologues are all pushing the same message to young men, Hawley said—namely, that if you are a man, you are “toxic.”
“To be a man is to somehow, in and of itself, to contribute to the systemic injustice of America, so-called,” he said. “And I think this message is relentlessly driven at men today.”
The Missouri lawmaker pointed to research showing that little schoolboys’ play is interrupted many times more frequently than that of little girls, noting that young boys are “way overprescribed” medicinally.
“You see this drive to sort of eradicate boyishness from boys,” he said.
“It’s part of this overarching philosophy that, again, there’s something wrong with being a man,” Hawley emphasized, adding:
And I worry about that for my own kids. And I want the message that they hear and that all men hear in this country, but especially young men, to be: Listen, it’s good to be a man. We need you to be a strong man. We need you to take responsibility. We need you to be a provider and a protector. We need you to live sacrificially.
By doing those things, you can change the destiny of your life, you can change the destiny of your family, and you can change the destiny of this nation. And that’s what we need.
Targeting masculinity is part of the Left’s ideology, Hawley said.
“It’s really their Marxism, to be honest with you,” he explained. “It’s this cultural Marxism that really gained ground on the Left in the 1960s, and now has come to basically control the Democrat Party.”
“This Marxism, it does not like the biblical influence in our culture, does not like the biblical influence in our history,” Hawley added. “And it does not like the categories of gender; man and woman. Anything that’s permanent, anything that has some connection to eternity, it wants to overturn.”
This is evidenced in the current “war on women,” Hawley said.
“These are the same people who say biological men should be in women’s sports, that biological men should be in girls’ locker rooms … . So, at the same time that they are saying to men, ‘You’re toxic,’ they’re saying to women, ‘You don’t exist.’ It’s part of the same ideology.”
Pressed about the effect that video games and pornography play in the current state of American men, Hawley joked that one of the few things that the modern Left approves of, for men, is to “sit in front of screens.”
“Listen, you need to turn off the screen,” Hawley says.
“The porn epidemic in this country has led to men delaying marriage, delaying family formation, delaying commitment,” he noted, adding:
Those are all bad things for the country. And that’s not good. I mean, let’s just be honest, we need men to take on commitments, to work more, and to get married, and have kids. And I think we shouldn’t be shy about saying that.
Hawley supports a national requirement for age verification for all social media. The senator suggested requiring such an age threshold for those under 16 years old, pointing to the severe negative effects of social media on young people.
“I think if you did that, that would be a tremendous help. I say this as a parent.”
“Let’s do it across the board,” he said. “Let’s start there.”
Hawley wants to give victims of the porn industry the ability to sue if they have had their images used in pornography—“either through deep fakes, or if they were filmed without their consent, or they were lied to about what kind of film it was going to be, whatever, fill in the blank. Let those people sue to hold these companies accountable.”
“I can tell you what these companies fear, and I’m not just talking the porn companies, but all of these social media companies, all these media companies. What they really fear is being held accountable in court,” he emphasized. “They do not want that. So, I think, let’s open it up. Let’s let people get into court and sue for the harms that they are suffering because of these platforms. And I think you’d see a lot of changes in behavior.”
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