Trump, Biden and Masculinity in the Age of CoronavirusBreaking News
tags: gender, masculinity, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, 2020 Election, COVID-19
President Trump boasted last week that he beat covid-19 because he is “a perfect physical specimen.” Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) distributed a video of Trump at WrestleMania, tackling and beating up a man with a coronavirus particle superimposed over his head.
“President Trump won’t have to recover from COVID,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) wrote on Twitter. “COVID will have to recover from President Trump.”
The president’s emergence from his bout with the novel coronavirus is being hailed by many allies as a sign of his physical strength — the latest chapter in the effort by Trump and his supporters to cast himself as the manliest of men, conflating masculinity and strength and engaging in a dispute of sorts with Joe Biden over the meaning of machismo.
“Now, what is this macho thing: ‘I’m not going to wear a mask’?” Biden said during a town hall meeting last week, held just after Trump was released from the hospital. “Big deal. Does it hurt you? Be patriotic, for God’s sake. Take care of yourself, but take care of your neighbors.”
In response to Biden encouraging Americans to wear a mask, Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren wrote on Twitter: “Might as well carry a purse with that mask, Joe.”
“Trump is a more caricatured version of masculinity — aggressive, physically tough, physically strong, never back down,” said Jackson Katz, creator of a forthcoming documentary called “The Man Card: Presidential Masculinity from Nixon to Trump.” “What Biden is offering is a more complex 21st-century version of masculinity. It’s compassion and empathy and care and a personal narrative of loss.”
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