David Brooks Laments Lost Virtue Of 'Manliness', Internet Reacts Accordingly

Yet again, David Brooks had the Twitterverse rolling its collective eyes at his latest meditation on Tuesday. An op-ed on the lost virtue of “manliness.”

No, we’re not kidding. This is the actual headline: 



The piece’s overarching message is that men today are not what they used to be. Specifically, the problem is the way they perform “manhood.” Brooks vividly describes the various flavors of “manliness” exhibited by Trump’s staff ― the “slovenly ‘I don’t care what you think’ manliness of Steve Bannon” or the “look-at-me-I-can-curse manliness that Anthony Scaramucci learned from ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’.” Brooks then discusses the history of “manliness” in ancient Greek culture and concludes that we are living through a “crisis of masculinity.”

So, how many times did you sigh during that description? Probably 12 times. You’re not alone.

Twitter users had quite a bit to say about the op-ed, which is basically the saga of Brooks learning what toxic masculinity is. Additionally, the internet ripped the article apart because it includes hilarious verbiage like “phony manliness running amok,”  “man-craving,” and “thrusting masculinity.”

Here’s what people were saying:

NYT readers were able to start today reading David Brooks' meditations on Real Manliness, learning John McCain & John Kelley are Real Men. https://t.co/Y1SavyJErI

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)

Not today, David Brooks pic.twitter.com/F86fBSIL59

— Rebecca Traister (@rtraister)

/pol/ with a graduate degree has logged on. pic.twitter.com/cvlZtPfHRQ

— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC)

Reclaiming my time on this David Brooks op-ed which defines toxic masculinity as being "woke"... https://t.co/futRksQd9b

— Nancy Jo Sales (@nancyjosales)

I hope David Brooks loses all access to every electronic device so that he may never post again. https://t.co/p4ukApHORk

— San (@sansdn)

::whispers:: there is no such thing as "real" manliness

— chelsea g. summers (@chelseagsummers)

Who opens the NYT, reads David Brooks blathering about manliness, and thinks "wow this is a great use of journalism resources"? pic.twitter.com/kRyXqDTFYU

— David Sirota (@davidsirota)

David Brooks can still make seven figures writing columns called "Before Manliness Lost Its Virtue" and people wonder why I'm a socialist

— Leonard Pierce (@leonardpierce)

How do you write a whole column on manliness that ends with the conclusion that John McCain is good? https://t.co/K7XsKsA4qx pic.twitter.com/xZf8iSOSxr

— eve ⚔️ peyser (@evepeyser)

Manliness Lost sounds like a bad Milton poem written on an MRA forum after a breakup. https://t.co/4k2BTEZbkF

— Steven (@McJoberdeen)

David Brooks wrote a piece with the phrase "thrusting masculinity" in it and I'm not okay https://t.co/nyfVMC672t

— Nancy Leong (@nancyleong)

It’s clear from the column that Brooks is yearning for days of manhood yore. He cites Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as a sign of “hope” that old-fashioned manliness is still around. He uses George Washington and George Marshall as examples of “real men” who “defended or served their city” and performed “deeds of honor” in their respective eras ― when things were generally worse for women and people of color.

But Brooks’ examples are hardly perfect specimens.

McCain has a spotty voting record on civil rights, including voting against recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday. The lauded Washington was owned slaves and went to great lengths trying to recapture a woman who escaped. But in Brooks’ world, if you’re a stoic, venerated war hero, you’re probably fit to be the “manly” political leader our country needs. Not exactly a sound argument.

Brooks can keep his discussion of “man-craving.” We’ll be sticking with this M.O. going forward: 

Life is too short to read a David Brooks op-ed.

— Preeti Chhibber (@runwithskizzers)
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