Madison Cawthorn’s Big Butch Exit
North Carolina Representative Madison Cawthorn, a wheelchair user after a 2014 car accident, used his final address on the House floor last week to bemoan “soft metrosexuals” and give today’s men a stern spanking:
“Our young men are taught that weakness is strength, that delicacy is desirable, and that being a soft metrosexual is more valuable than training the mind, body & soul. ”
As the daddy of the metrosexual, have to say Mr Cawthorn, looks “pretty” metrosexual to me. Frankly, who could blame him for taking himself as his own love-object? He seems to know a thing or two about desirability. And the desire to be desired is the heart of metrosexuality.
And he’s so right about the importance of training the male body – more please.
I’m not sure that politicians, even today, are meant to be this purdy. At just 27 years old Cawthorn, who was born in 1995 – one year after the metrosexual – was the ‘baby’ of the House, taking office in January 2021.
Perhaps because he is a child of the social media age, even when he’s performing ‘traditional’ all-American masculinity, chomping on a cigar it looks… spornosexual. Reclining, shirt unbuttoned, mouth open, giving the camera the come-on. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, as Dr Freud acknowledged – but apparently not when it’s in Madison Cawthorn’s mouth.
His indecently short stay at the House of Representatives was in part caused by a scandal earlier this year involving a leaked old video clip in which he seems to drunkenly simulate oral sex with a male buddy, along with some comedic moaning and squealing. (Although some thought – or wanted to pretend – this horseplay suggested he was secretly gay, it seems to me conclusive proof that he isn’t.)
The effects of this ‘gay scandal’ on his reputation may have motivated the southern Republican to make this impassioned attack on ‘metrosexuals’ – and work himself into a lather over traditional masculinity. Though he goes so over the top, trowelling histrionic cliches on more histrionic cliches, I almost wonder, despite his endearing stupidity, if it was sly parody:
“Social media has weakened us, siphoning our men of their will to fight, to rise in a noble manner, square their jaw, and charge once more into the breach of life to defend what they love. So on this precipice of disaster, I ask the young men of this nation this question: Will you sit behind a screen while the storied tales of your forefathers become myth? Or will you stand resolute against the dying light of America’s golden age? Will you reclaim your masculinity? Will you become a man to be feared, to be respected, to be looked up to? Or will you let this nation’s next generation be its final generation?”
No, on second thoughts, he definitely meant it. Every hysterical syllable.
All this moaning about ‘soft metrosexuals’ and calls to ‘reclaim your masculinity’ sounds very late Noughties, when the US had its bonkers anti-metrosexual backlash (in which ‘metrosexual’ seemed to stand in for ‘sissy’ or ‘fag’), a mendacious “menaissance” when advertisers exhorted men to “reclaim their manhood” – by buying a Hummer or eating Burger King Whoppers.
When Cawthorn was about ten.