Feminism Won’t Help Broken Boys; It Broke Them

When you say that strength is wrong because if differentiates men from women the result will be broken boys.

A comedien is getting promoted by the media because he suggested mass shootings are the result of broken boys. That wouldn’t be controversial if he didn’t mean that they are broken because they are trying to be maculine. He says they give themselves “permission and space to commit violence,” because they think masculinity is about “demonstrating strength and dominance.”


Boys are broken (when and if they are) by being told that their natural strength and attendant drive to conquer is evil because it differentiates them from women. Telling boys from the time they are young children that everything that makes them male has only anti-social consequences and no social benefits, even if directed ethically, is bound to have bad consequences. Throw in an ethic of hedonism and sense of entitlement (especially regarding sex, and the consequences get worse.

USA Today reports, “Are boys ‘broken’? Another mass shooting renews debate on toxic masculinity.

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After 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was accused of gunning down 17 people at a Florida high school last week, comedian Michael Ian Black started a thread on Twitter that sparked a vitriolic debate about the role of gender in gun violence. It began with the tweet, “Deeper even than the gun problem is this: boys are broken.”

Black’s tweet has been liked nearly 65,000 times. In an interview with NPR on Sunday, he elaborated.

“I think it means that there is something going on with American men that is giving them the permission and space to commit violence,” he said. “And one of the main things we focus on correctly is guns and mental health, but I think deeper than that is a problem, a crisis in masculinity.”

Many people on Twitter praised Black for his take.


Critics accused of him of overgeneralizing, and of demonizing boys and men.


The problem Black identifies is one feminists have been talking about for decades. It’s called toxic masculinity, the stereotypical sense of masculinity that embodies behaviors, such as denying help or emotions, which psychologists and sociologists say are harmful to men and to society. It’s the things in our culture — from toys given to movies watched to messages parents consciously and unconsciously send — that tells boys and men “being a real man” means repressing feelings and consistently demonstrating strength and dominance.

Here’s the Young Turks doubling down on this bunk:

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