In recent months, cries of our country’s “pussification” have escalated, thanks in part to one presidential candidate’s taste for genital-related metaphors. Donald Trump’s disciples have praised the candidate, who was born into unimaginable wealth and handed the keys to his father’s company, for leading an insurrection against America’s vaginal leanings. “In an age of pussified political correctness, you have to respect the people who remain unfiltered @realDonaldTrump,” tweeted professional card-game player Dan Bilzerian on Wednesday, enclosing a photo of the two he-men chatting over a fruit platter and Fiji water in a hotel suite.
Of course, the verbification of the slang term for cats and reproductive organs is nothing new. In March, Fox Business host Charles Gasparino grumbled over the pussification of U.S. men in a discussion about a college basketball coach who threatened one of his players with murder. George Carlin played a key role in the popularization of the term in the ’90s with a bit about the pussification of America as evinced by Harley-Davidson theme restaurants. The biker brand used to mean something, he lamented: “grimy outlaws and their sweaty mommas, full of beer and crank, rolling around on Harleys, looking for a good time.” Also, “destroying property, raping teenagers, and killing policemen.” Pussification adversaries still invoke Carlin in their screeds.
Evangelical pastor Mark Driscoll, who’s been castigated by his own flock for his misogynist, sex-obsessed teachings, thinks the labia mania started at the very dawn of the human race. From a 2000 post in an online forum:
It all began with Adam, the first of the pussified nation, who kept his mouth shut and watched everything fall headlong down the slippery slide of hell/feminism when he shut his mouth and listened to his wife who thought Satan was a good theologian when he should have lead her and exercised his delegated authority as king of the planet.
What would a truly, madly, deeply pussified America look like? A Google search for the term dredges up loads of lovingly tended Blogspot accounts from conspiracy theorists and men’s rights crusaders with concerns about military inadequacy and eroding gender norms. Other symptoms of a country beset by kitty cats:
• Target’s reduction of gender-based signage in its toy aisles
• The existence of bully victims
• The proliferation of ISIS
• Not having to send as many 18-year-olds to “almost certain death” on foreign shores as we did during World War II
• Twitter’s star-to-heart switcheroo
• Rules against sitting on flower beds in malls
The metastasis of pussification knows no bounds. Too many once-sacred, pussy-free zones—beer, punctuation, Fox News, prison—have fallen under the influence of female genitalia. Even children can be sneaky little breeding grounds for pussified behavior. Kid hockey players are now drinking Slurpees while their parents roll their equipment bags onto the rink. During game play, they’re not checking each other. And children under 10 are no longer allowed to head the ball during soccer matches. Something about brain development? Too much brain development, and pussification could take root!
It’s not too late to reverse course—at least, not if we elect Trump, his supporters suggest. But as presidential hopefuls rally their supporters against the terror of the pussy, the rest of us might consider what we’d become if we took the opposite route.