Real Men Missing

(This article was republished from the Jan, 2022 issue of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. All rights reserved by the Charlemagne Institute.)

Emasculated conservatives calling for the restoration of America’s lost manhood are often the ones most responsible for destroying it.By Stephen BaskervilleConservative leadership today lacks strong men of courage who will, using solid first principles, face down the radical left. In other words, conservatism today has been emasculated. There is no better word for it.  

In a recent interview with Glenn Beck, Tucker Carlson described the present Republican leadership: 

They’re weak. There’s something in them that’s weak, and they’ve decided… ‘The other side is ascended. The left is winning. I’m not gonna push any buttons that might infuriate them.’ They’re just not lionhearted. 

Carlson further lamented that these men will not stand firmly on even the most basic ideas, such as an uncompromising defense of free speech, per the First Amendment. Tellingly, he adds, “The only ones who will do it are women.” 

This epidemic of weak men did not start with the virus or the electoral coup. The right’s craven capitulation to the left accelerated dramatically as right-wing men lost their nerve directly to left-wing women demanding power. “[Conservative men] won’t say anything that would get them in trouble with the ladies,” The Masculinist founder Aaron Renn concluded in a podcast entitled “The Decline of the Gentleman.” 

Consequently, women, mostly from the left, now dominate journalism, education, entertainment, civil-service posts, unions, churches, critical sectors of law and business, and nearly everywhere else—including at home. 

In fact, so completely has feminization colonized the right that feminists are even given a platform, in ostensibly conservative forums, to attack transgender extremism in the name of women’s rights. Conservatives are thus reduced  to taking sides in the sexual left’s internal squabbles, rather than setting forth any real guiding principles by which transgenderism might be condemned. 

It’s no secret that exceptional women have often stepped up to the plate when men are too frightened. That was Margaret Thatcher’s reason for taking charge of the British Conservative Party. It was what convinced Phyllis Schlafly to take the lead in opposition to radical feminism. In private, the word she used to describe Republican men was “cowards.” Neither Thatcher nor Schlafly considered the male timidity they encountered normal. 

above: Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) walks in the street outside her restaurant in Rifle, Colo. (Instagram) 

No wonder the appeal, then, among disenchanted conservatives, of a Donald Trump—and the visceral hatred for him among the politically effeminate in both parties. Other populist figures are now arising in Trump’s mold. Following the musician Gareth Icke’s rabble-rousing rally against COVID vaccines at London’s Trafalgar Square, the female moderator praised him as “a real man.” She asked the crowd, “Do we have any other real men in the audience?” 

If the mainstream conservative movement does not provide a vigorous, masculine opposition to the totalitarian left, others will fill the void. As chaos increasingly reigns, various forms of hyper-masculinity will emerge. Gangs already provide de facto order in large swaths of inner cities, where the welfare state first eliminated fathers. Who knows what militias are organizing underground to take on the left and power elite itself, if feeble Republicans refuse? And now, with American weakness spreading chaos globally, what might sectors of the military be planning if they decide that they alone are able to restore order? 

Abroad, manliness is a prominent theme of radical religious-political movements like Islamism and Hindutva. “They want to skin us from our manhood,” Osama bin Laden often said of the West. And the Taliban is only one example of how exclusively male religious militias provide a clear sense of order in parts of the Global South. In these so-called less-developed places, the men are admired by their women—as well as by some of ours, like the Dutch Catholic girl, Sterlina Petalo, who joined jihadists in order to marry a “real man.” 

The feminization of society has changed all of us in subtle ways. Most immediately, it has rendered us susceptible to mass hysteria over the COVID pandemic that we have experienced over the last two years. Hysteria, any politically incorrect doctor will tell you, is a specifically feminine complaint. But hysteria is not limited to women these day. On the contrary, women seem to be among the most level-headed and skeptical of the overblown virus fear-mongering. My point is, that the reign of feminine characteristics over societal norms has encouraged men to adopt feminine values and to forego masculine ones. 

We can see this even when conservatives write about masculinity itself, as they do quite a lot nowadays, mostly to condemn its absence in others. John Kekes’ May 2021 article in the New Criterion on “The Ideal of a Gentleman,” and David French’s December spat with Newsweek columnist Josh Hammer in the pages of The Atlantic over the definition of masculinity and toughness are recent examples. 

But conservative lamentations about lost masculinity tend to lack, well, muscle, as Renn pointed out in his Masculinist article “The End of the Gentleman.” Common conservative complaints about masculinity epitomize groveling and ingratiation, Renn wrote, giving as an example a PragerU video by National Review writer Jim Geraghty imploring men to act more like the father character Ward Cleaver from the 1950s television show Leave It to Beaver. 

National Review writer Jim Geraghty … wants men to act more like Ward Cleaver,” Renn observed. “But he’d never dream of telling women to act like June Cleaver.” No, better to be safe. 

In the West, proof that the henhouse is guarded not so much by foxes as by bearded hens is seen when conservative bullies—ironically under the very guise of restoring manhood—use their platforms to attack and marginalize braver men who have no public voice with which to defend themselves. 

For years, so-called conservatives have accepted and even supported feminist policies, the express purpose of which is nothing less than to enfeeble and degrade America’s men on an enormous scale. This is done especially by destroying men’s home life and authority over their children, but elsewhere too: by patently false accusations of domestic violence and rape; by family courts that confiscate children from legally innocent fathers, whose authority has been undermined and terminated before their property is plundered and their persons incarcerated without trial; by politicians and celebrities who, even after being falsely accused themselves, mouth obsequious mea culpas and shrink from denouncing the entire charade in principle, and from defending other men. 

Even men’s rights advocates, who nearly alone speak out against all this (and are viciously maligned for it by conservatives), are not immune from weakness. Some end up focusing solely, for example, on male domestic violence victims while neglecting more serious matters. Such as how the false accusation assembly line debases standards of justice, undermines paternal authority, and deprives children of fathers. 

So hideous has mechanized feminization become that young boys are being indoctrinated to believe they are girls and to undergo castration and other forms of physical mutilation on orders from feminist judges. In Texas, Jeffrey Younger, the father of one such victimized boy, risked prison for defying a judge’s censorship order to tell the world about his custody battle over his son. Younger’s case is not an isolated one. Court-ordered child abuse has long been another tool for neutering males. 

American conservative men are now harvesting the fruits of our passivity. The country itself faces a crisis demanding extraordinary male strength and courage if it is to be overcome. America is led by a puppet president dangerously incapacitated by a cocktail of senility, wokeism, and illegitimacy. The line of succession for the presidency offers  two ideologically radical women of proven mental instability. Feeble yes-persons dominate the Congress, civil service, judiciary, media, universities, and churches. Meanwhile chaos threatens not only America but the world. 

Are there any remedies? We can wring our hands and bemoan; we can rationalize inaction with cliches, blaming “the culture.” Or we can grasp the nettle and demand long-overdue changes that strike directly at the problem and cost nothing, except fortitude. 

From a policy standpoint, the necessary measures are straightforward. Just two fundamental ones—one in domestic policy, one in defense/foreign policy—and others will follow logically. Morally, they are unexceptionable and must be nonnegotiable. Constitutionally, they are not only feasible but imperative. Economically, they will cost nothing and save trillions. Politically… 

Politically is another matter. But the very act of drawing a line and refusing to tolerate the intolerable is precisely the crucible we need to catalyze men into re-learning how to take charge. A basic principle of manhood is that a time comes to stop talking and to act. Those with vested interests in defending the indefensible must be marginalized, immediately. Men must do this themselves, not wait for media messiahs, and they can do it legally and nonviolently. They must calmly but firmly push aside Republican dandies and summon the resolve to stand up to troublemakers and hit them where it hurts: 

1. Domestic policy: Marriage must be an enforceable legal contract, conferring parental rights and authority, and the devious oxymoron of “no-fault” divorce forever expunged from the law. Men must know that if they marry and keep their vows within specified terms, they have reasonable rights and authority over their children, which the state must enforce.  

2. Defense policy: Reinstate compulsory military service for all men of a determined age. Basic republican principles that inspired the American Revolution extolled “manliness” and denounced the “effeminacy” and “foppery” associated with European royal courts. A cornerstone principle was the citizen-in-arms: bearing arms in defense of home and country confers citizenship rights. A citizen army also has no bureaucratic incentive to create wars. Military discipline would help nip adolescent rebelliousness, and it would de-feminize the military. 

Rectifying other evils traceable to male weakness and matriarchal rule would follow logically. No civilization has ever survived matriarchy. 

In the end, the left’s ascendancy has little to do with the left and everything to do with the right. The left did, and keeps doing, what it always does. It was the right, and especially the men of the right, that fled the field of battle. We have no choice now but to turn around and fight.

Books by
Stephen Baskerville


Stephen’s newest book on Masculinity. Available on Amazon HERE


Stephen’s ground breaking book on the family courts. Available on Amazon HERE


The New Politics of Sex Available on Amazon HERE.


Not Peace But a Sword. Available on Amazon HERE