In the wake of last month’s disgusting national canonization of the “legendary” pornographer and elderly pimp Hugh Hefner and this month’s endless sexual harassment allegations against perverted Hollywood producer/creep Harvey Weinstein (among others), I can’t help but wonder what has happened to the concept of real manhood in our society. When did spending six decades sexually exploiting women and keeping a personal harem of underage girls in your house become synonymous with being a “cultural hero”? When did coercing thousands of young women to get naked in an effort to fulfill the masturbatory pleasures of millions of lonely men become enough to make you “a beloved icon” and “a real man” in the eyes of our society?
Moreover, what does it even mean to be “a real man” in the first place? What does that look like in a world where guys can magically become girls whenever they “feel” like it? If you’re just a woman trapped in a man’s body — or a man trapped in a woman’s body — what’s the point of even defining “manhood” and womanhood”?
Surely being “a real man” doesn’t look like a 65-year-old degenerate filmmaker raping dozens of women who he knew wouldn’t speak out for fear of losing their career opportunities. Or does it? Our culture has everything so twisted and upside down these days that no one knows truth from falsehoods.
It must first be said here and now that — despite what you might see from Internet trolls on social media — we simply can’t heap praise and adoration upon Playboy magazine CEO Hugh Hefner while at the same time condemning the actions of Harvey Weinstein. It’s a morally disingenuous position and a dangerous one because it undermines the truth that real manhood is not found in the sexual exploitation or objectification of women. The reality is that both Hefner and Weinstein are equally guilty of these sins. The fact that the former sparked the so-called “sexual revolution” and subsequently turned female nudity into a multi-billion dollar industry is irrelevant and doesn’t make him “a real man” any more than urinating in a backyard makes me a Labrador.
Furthermore, the fact that most Playmates supposedly “consent” to be in Playboy publications — whereas Weinstein’s victims obviously would not have consented to being raped — is also irrelevant as all of the women in both situations have still been sexually mistreated, exploited and harmed. There may be differences in how the abuse was carried out, but it doesn’t change the overall effects of both situations or the fact that all of the women suffered in some way — physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically — whether they were aware of it at the time or not or agreed to it or not.
As I meditate on the sad state of our culture’s position — or lack of a position — on sexual morality, my heart breaks for all of the children growing up in a nation where corrupt men like Hefner are honored and creeps like Weinstein are in the headlines with increasing frequency. I guess it should really come as no surprise, then, that most boys in America are viewing hardcore porn on their smartphones between the ages of eight and 13 or that middle schoolers are having sex in bathroom stalls or that the teen pregnancy rate continues to soar. “Men” like Hefner and Weinstein have ushered in an era where these sort of actions are viewed as completely normal, expected and even acceptable and praiseworthy.
Something has to change. I won’t claim to have all the answers, but I’d say that a good place to start would be with our society’s demented distortion of manhood and, more specifically, the lack of examples of real, genuine, moral masculinity.
We need more men who embody ethical, noble, principled traits and less men who only seek to glorify worldly pleasures and empty passions. We need to do a better job of spotlighting the former group and giving them a platform. Of course, the Ultimate Example of true manhood and moral masculinity can be found in the way Christ lived His life here on Earth — selflessly and sacrificially, always respecting, cherishing and valuing women; always putting the needs of others before His own; always living meagerly and humbly; always working hard; and always loving His enemies.
That’s what it means to be a real man. Real masculinity is not defined by how many women you’ve slept with or exploited. It’s not defined by stereotypes like deep voices or bulging biceps. It’s not defined by whether or not you enjoy football, fast cars or domestic beer. It’s not defined by the pursuit of wealth, social status or career achievements.
In the end, all of these things are fleeting. Real men deny themselves and serve and care for those around them — their families, their wives and their children and those who can’t care for themselves. I think that if we had more virtuous men, and less men who only want to coerce women into stripping their clothes off, this world would probably be a slightly better place.
Don’t you think so?