Josh Hawley's Masculinity Remarks Spark Wave of Memes, Jokes

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) has sparked an avalanche of memes and jokes at his expense after he told an interviewer he would make masculinity a top political issue.

Speaking on Axios on HBO, the Republican said "the left" had told men they were part of the problem and that their "masculinity is inherently problematic."

Sen. Hawley continued to tell interviewer Mike Allen on the Sunday episode he wanted to use masculinity to appeal to suburban parents and men who were won over by Donald Trump.

He said: "We've got to say that spending your time not working, spending your time on video games, spending your time watching porn online is not good for you, your family or this country."

The interview followed a speech where Sen. Hawley mentioned masculinity at the National Conservatism Conference in Florida last month.

Sen Hawley said: "Can we be surprised, that after years of being told that their manhood is the problem, more and more men are withdrawing into the enclave of idleness and pornography and video games."

However, Sen. Hawley's comments on masculinity were met with a flood of memes and jokes on social media, the vast majority being made at his expense.

Lol like anyone thinks Josh Hawley is masculine

— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) November 8, 2021

Former Democratic Representative for California, Katie Hill replied to an Axios tweet about the segment, adding: "Lol, like anyone thinks Josh Hawley is masculine."

Wow just amazing to run into U.S Senator Josh Hawley! Snapped this pic of him hard at work:

— Max Burns (@themaxburns) November 7, 2021

Democratic strategist, Max Burns posted a picture of meat clown ham on the social media website and said: "Wow, just amazing to run into U.S. Senator Josh Hawley. Snapped this pic of him hard at work."

Josh Hawley making masculinity a core issue in 2022 is like me trying to play contact sports. Neither of us can pull it off without everyone wondering if we're okay.

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 8, 2021

Actor George Takei in a tweet: "Josh Hawley making masculinity a core issue in 2022 is like me trying to play contact sports. Neither of us can pull it off without wondering if we're okay."

A spokesperson for Sen. Hawley told Newsweek he would not provide a comment about the reactions.

Masculinity has become a main talking point among conservative politicians, pundits and other figures with many coming to the defense of what they perceive as traditional manliness.

Last month, Fox News host Laura Ingraham claimed liberals were "feminizing men" and hit out at the phrase "toxic masculinity."

She said the phrase had become more prominent "around the time" the American Psychological Association issued its first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys.

Toxic masculinity is a term that refers to cultural norms that its users say can lead men to have a negative effect on society, other males, and themselves.

Examples of toxic masculinity include not expressing emotion openly, bullying, extreme self-reliance and viewing femininity as weakness.

According to Omnia Health, toxic masculinity is a barrier to mental health treatment and therefore can contribute to suicide rates among men.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., and that the rate is highest among middle-aged white men.

It added in 2019 that men died by suicide 3.63 times as often as women and that white males accounted for 69.38 percent of suicide deaths in 2019.

josh hawley at senate judiciary committee
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) speaks as Judge Merrick Garland testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be U.S. Attorney General on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on February 22, 2021. Sen. Hawley said he wanted to make masculinity a political issue. Al Drago/Pool/AFP via Getty Images