A random post from a large liberal website said that the Mandalorian was a real hero and example of positive masculinity. What did they mean by this? Certainly they meant to contrast positive masculinity with toxic masculinity, as defined by women (the arbiters of modern masculinity). But do they actually mean? Is he an example of what we want modern masculinity to be? And what defines his lack of toxicity? His isolation, excepting, of course, an almost self-destructive paternal instinct toward a child that isn’t his? His strength? His competence? A pure, and in spite of his hatred of sentient machines, his almost robotic competence that exerts no moral control? Or, more generally, is it his lack of passion? This is the key point.
The Mandalorian is the perfect modern male hero. He encounters a woman, and isn’t attracted to her, not even slightly. Why am I focusing on this, especially in a Disney production? It’s a good thing, right? Or at least not a bad thing. Wait, why? What would have to happen if he was attracted to her? Let’s not think about it too much. He seems to like women, given his pointed non-committal to the suggestion that he settle down with the widow and raise ‘his’ kid – meaning the yoda, not a biological child with the woman (is she too old, maybe?) – and the implied, but not confirmed, former relationship with one of the uglier Twi’lek women in Star Wars. And it actually reminds me of a certain youtube review channel which joked about new Star Wars, noticing how no one has any sexual desire – how they even wanted a gay relationship so someone would have desire. Could it be that the Mandalorian is a metaphorically castrated man, and thus, he is an example of positive masculinity. How nice!
Maybe I’m being too harsh, and maybe the series will prove me wrong. But notice, also, his encounter with the female former trooper, how she ended up being his absolute equal in their first encounter? Did you notice, perhaps, that after Mando struggled to defeat a horned man using weapons and the environment, this same female is reintroduced by easily defeating a large horned man in single combat? Just a coincidence, I’m sure! Lets get back to the point. Who cares if the child is his? Not me. But honestly, why isn’t it? Or rather, why doesn’t he has children of his own? Hold on, does he never take off his helmet in the presence of another person? Maybe we shouldn’t think about that too much – but I wonder if the armor itself is a necessary part of his appeal as a modern masculine hero. His armor blocks his physicality. He is a sanitized male, sexually and psychologically. His only remnant personality trait is an instinct to save a child, which again, isn’t his child. He is a protector and champion without any overriding desires of his own, even to pass on his own genes. He is a progressive husband.
I wonder, why does he hate droids? He almost looks like a droid himself, and given his unwillingness to remove his helmet, how does anyone know he isn’t a droid? Covered in metal, a somewhat flat affect, often emotionless, always calm – does he hate droids because they remind him of himself: a sterile, sexless thing? Notice the treatment of a robot as a child in the most recent episode! Is Mando then a human male in crisis, attaching, in the end, to a child that isn’t his in a desperate attempt to approach a humanity he is no longer allowed to possess? Are there real progressive males who do the same?
Too harsh? I’ll stop. Actually, no I won’t. Did you notice the exchange between Kuiil and Mando? A robot, who in this case is portrayed like a child, is neither good nor bad, but a neutral imprint of those who imprint them (the intentional avoidance of the word programmed), much like the liberal view that raising a male and female neutrally can fundamentally change them, or, perhaps, a reflective of a desire that humans be machine-like. In Mando’s disgust with droids we also see the contradiction in the liberal feminist nurture-absolutism when he expresses the view of the imperial droid’s nature being unchangeable by rewiring; specifically, in relation to the droids instinct to kill, or instinct towards violence. What other group, I wonder, is stereotyped as violent by liberals? And is this also a stereotype that progressive males preach, while claiming, of course, to be different. In Kuiil we see the refrain of the moderate radical feminist, who claims the hatred of men should also stop, because men can change their previously evil natures (we saw this also, remember, in the feminist adaptation of Beauty and the Beast). Soon, I suspect, Mando, the radical-radical feminist male, will learn to trust machines/males. Maybe it’s too much of a stretch, but remember:
“None will be free until the old ways are gone forever.”Kuiil
In general, however, I enjoy the show. I think the Mandalorian is one of the better things to come out of Star Wars recently – which isn’t saying much. But we’re a far cry from the brazen honesty of Han Solo and Leia’s kiss, with her denials which shouldn’t be believed, and his unrelenting insistence springing from strong desire, culminating in that still fan-favorite scene: “I love you”…“I know”. It’s a step in the right direction, however, and I have to agree with a certain black youtuber when he said there’s might be something about this ‘no women’ thing, at least until we can be honest again.