Jackson Katz, Ph.D., blasted President Donald Trump failed “masculinity” being revealed by his mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic in a new piece published by Ms. Magazine on Tuesday.
“The straightforward explanation for why the federal government has done such a poor job in response to the coronavirus crisis is that Donald Trump is simply not man enough to be president of the United States,” Katz wrote. “This notion defies conventional wisdom, which regards the bombastic real estate developer and reality TV star as a prototypical alpha male.”
“The coronavirus crisis has forced a long overdue reckoning with many unfair and dysfunctional aspects of this society, much of it related to income and wealth inequality,” Katz explained. “But the crisis is also prompting a re-examination of cultural ideas about manhood and leadership, because traditional definitions of ‘toughness’ and ‘strength’ cannot easily be applied to fighting the virus and other 21st century challenges.
“But the model of masculine power on which Trump’s political career is based has been rendered obsolete by COVID-19. You can’t intimidate a microbe with verbal taunts. You can’t bully a virus,” Katz noted.
“For more than a generation, feminist scholars and journalists have criticized definitions of leadership that privileged ‘masculine’ traits over those considered “feminine.” This definitional bias is one of the main reasons why this country has never had a woman president,” Katz noted. “But Trump’s cartoonish and disastrous performance of a ‘masculine’ leadership style in a time of crisis has made gendered analyses of leadership styles more urgently required than ever.”
“Trump will continue to beat his chest and try to project the illusion of managerial competence and strength. His sycophants and enablers in the conservative media universe will continue to praise him for taking a bold stand against all the usual villains: the “Chinese communists,” the “liberal media,” the “deep state,” and most recently, “Barack Obama.” But this is a public health crisis that can’t be solved by angry tweets or theatrical displays of bravado,” Katz noted.
“It is beyond tragic that the most powerful man in the world is such a small man, utterly incapable of rising to the occasion and providing the leadership this catastrophe so desperately requires,” Katz added.
Read the full column.