Taylor Swift becomes the latest catalyst for male paranoia

Inside Taylor Swift's PDA-filled pre-birthday celebration with Travis Kelce, his........

Taylor Swift’s latest accolade has, for lack of a better word, triggered some men. And it exposes a broader problem.

The male ego: bold as brass, fragile as glass.

It was tested again, this week, by Time Magazine’s perfectly innocuous decision to name Taylor Swift its “person of the year”. To which the reasonable response was: OK, goodo, who cares? And the unreasonable response, as embodied by the internet’s forever swelling army of performatively insecure men, was to throw a tantrum that would shame the stroppiest toddler.
Taylor Swift becomes the latest catalyst for male paranoia

“It’s shameful and sad that a hyper-promiscuous, childless woman, ageing and alone with a cat, has become the heroine of a feminist age,” fumed Eric Conn, host of – and I do promise I am not making this up – the Hard Men podcast, whose stated mission is to “reclaim biblical masculinity in a world of softness”. Sweet Jesus.

(Hang on is she hyper-promiscuous, or is she alone with a cat? Those are contradictory insults mate, you need to pick one.)

“What’s happening with Taylor Swift is not organic,” said former White House adviser Stephen Miller, as though complaining about a deceptively advertised pumpkin at the local grocery store.

End Wokeness, a Twitter account which sounds like it must be a parody but in fact has millions of quite credulous followers, denounced Swift’s “cult-like” fanbase and accused the media of “feeding it” with nefarious motives.

“Music. Entertainment. Sports. Now they crowned her person of the year,” it said.

“The next step? Politics. If you don’t think the regime has plans to weaponise her just in time for 2024, you clearly have not been paying attention.”

The regime! Is going to “weaponise” her! You can really picture it, can’t you – doddery old Joe Biden hunched over the Resolute Desk, scribbling a letter to Tay: “I’ve got a blank space (in my nuclear arsenal) baby, and I’ll write your name.”

The word that springs to mind here is “paranoia”. Far too much of male culture, in this age of Andrew Tate and other misogynist, overcompensating weirdos, reeks of it.

It’s a complex cocktail: a mix of victimhood, conspiratorial thinking, joylessness, insecurity, fear of emasculation, probably a dash of whiskey, and another nebulous ingredient we might call chronic dumbassery.

Hence this unhinged umbrage at a pop star getting onto a magazine cover, something which objectively matters less than your decision about what to eat for lunch.

Gentlemen. Take a breath. Listen to yourselves. It’s embarrassing. To quote your new songstress nemesis: “You need to calm down.”

I was positively flummoxed recently to read remarks from Tony George, the headmaster of Sydney’s uber-prestigious King’s School, which exists, at least theoretically, to mould boys into functioning, well-adjusted members of society (preferably with very high ATAR scores).

Mr George told The Weekend Australian boys were victims of “neo-sexism”, were “feeling blamed”, and that it had become “politically incorrect” to let them be boisterous.

“Boys can’t be physical and adventurous and outdoorsy and do manly stuff because it’s politically incorrect,” he said.

“At the moment anything that’s physical gets labelled toxic. Don’t blame boys for being boys.”

To which the only response must be: what on God’s green and increasingly confounding earth is the man talking about? “Boys can’t be physical”? They can’t be “outdoorsy”? They can’t do “manly stuff”? Seriously, what is he talking about?

One wonders which “manly” pursuits, specifically, boys are now so outrageously deprived of. Did the NSW education system ban rugby when I wasn’t looking? Are the poor lads chained to their desks at lunch time, gazing longingly at those pristine sport facilities their parents’ exorbitant fees (and likely some taxpayers’ money) funded?