Guest Columnist Rob Okun: Putin, Manhood, and the Disease of Mad Cowards

It’s Women’s History Month and in an act of unimaginable atrocity, Mad Vlad Putin is indiscriminately killing women and children across U...

It’s Women’s History Month and in an act of unimaginable atrocity, Mad Vlad Putin is indiscriminately killing women and children across Ukraine. Men too, of course.

Some Kremlin watchers say he is “out of his mind” – isolated, irrational, stubbornly fantasizing about a return to the bloody days of the Soviet Union. This suggests that there was a time when he didn’t suffer from Mad Coward’s disease, a disease found mainly in men, characterized by acute insecurity, anger interfering with the ability to access vulnerability. and an aortic abnormality that presents as extreme coldness.

Putin has likely suffered from the disease for a long time, probably since childhood, when he was the youngest of three boys (both older brothers died young), and including his days strutting shirtless on horseback. The condition is now acute: witness this “man’s man” sitting alone at one end of a 50-foot-long table.

For decades, Putin has been the world’s poster boy for “toxic virility” (a dismissive term that does not sufficiently account for the complexity of male socialization). logorrhea), to a dangerous cable news propagandist At New York. Both regularly broadcast dangerous lies to millions of people.

For his part, Putin applauds his American puppets as they exploit white male grievances and continue to recruit a new generation of racist, misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Semitic young men.

“Challenging masculinity in Russia means challenging society,” photographer and model Angel Ulyanov told Vice. “And to succeed, we unfortunately have to be prepared for repercussions that are not always pleasant – and sometimes even dangerous.”

Today, nowhere is this danger more palpable than on the streets across Russia where thousands of people continue to protest the war. Among them, no doubt, are Russian men who reject Putin’s murderous expression of manhood. Most countries in the world are united in unequivocal support for Ukraine. This is extremely important, as are the strategies for ending the invasion without risking World War III.

Yet this will not be enough without a massive grassroots campaign led by us, the people. In fact, we need “us men”. Over the past century, women have dramatically demonstrated how to advance social justice by using their gender perspective on a range of pressing social issues. Today, women are at the forefront of global protests against Putin’s war. What is needed now is for men to organize themselves, as men.

As Putin fiercely suppresses protests, jailed opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, calls on his sisters and brothers to take to the streets in greater numbers, by the tens, by the hundreds of thousands, to say no to war. It is a perilous strategy, Hail Mary; if successful, however, it could mark the beginning of the dictator’s downfall. On a screen divided into three, imagine the crowd in these Russian streets; then the insurgents besieging the American capital on January 6, 2021. The first group, risking their lives in a nonviolent way to end the autocracy; the second, violently attempting to sustain the autocracy.

The third picture? Ukrainians are struggling to save their fragile democracy. Think what it might mean if men stood up – as men – to speak out against autocracies around the world. Think gender organizing isn’t working? Look what A billion upa campaign led by women to end rape and sexual violence in the world, has been accomplished in a decade.

There is an untapped male force for good in the United States: millions of fathers, coaches, teachers, and clergy. While there may be fathers who would cheer their teenage sons throwing an AK-47 over their shoulders, ready to shoot anti-racism protesters, say Kenosha, Wisconsin, most fathers try to raise empathetic sons and caring.

A new podcast, “In search of the compassionate man,spotlights the voices of open-hearted men who reject Poutine-style masculinity. At this difficult time, they represent “the big turning point“- a movement away from the male-industrial, corporate-military complex and towards a healthy and vital new civilization.

Any global to-do list to end this war must include a commitment to categorically reject cold, violent, domineering and undemocratic masculinity, relegating these descriptions to the dustbin of history. It’s a tall order, I know; but men like to solve problems. Are we ready to face this one?

Rob Okun, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is editor-publisher of Voice Male magazine. He lives in Amherst. Contact him at

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Newsrust - US Top News: Guest Columnist Rob Okun: Putin, Manhood, and the Disease of Mad Cowards
Guest Columnist Rob Okun: Putin, Manhood, and the Disease of Mad Cowards
Newsrust - US Top News
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