Originally published by GQ Magazine
A stranger on the Internet called you a cuck. Whew! That means you’re not an asshole.
If you are totally unfamiliar with the term cuck and are wondering why someone just ALL CAPS SHOUTED that you are one on Twitter, well, it’s the alt-right’s favorite insult for men who are not members of the alt-right. The term is derived from porn, wherein white husbands watch their wives or girlfriends have sex with (generally) black men. If you wonder why the prospect of your wife having sex with another man would be more humiliating if that man were black, well, congratulations; you’re not a racist.
Breitbart (you know, the site Steve Bannon used to run) defines “cuck” as “needlessly relinquished manliness, for selling out and caving in. The original metaphor of watching your partner getting slammed by another dude now simply means abandoned principles and a lack of backbone. It’s a byword for beta male or coward.”
First of all, listening to others, accepting criticism, and evolving in your views—“caving in”—is a good thing. If you had retained forever the same views you had at five, you’d be living on a manly diet of buttered noodles and boogers.
Second, let’s look at some of the people the alt-right considers real alpha men. Of course, there’s Donald Trump. That’s kind of hilarious, since Donald Trump is a man who seems to live his life in a constant state of fear, whether it’s of brown people or the media reporting on things he’s said or Alec Baldwin spoofing him on SNL. He is intent on proving that his hands are very large. Maybe they are, but his skin is very, very thin. All that, and he thinks the way to seduce a woman is to take her furniture shopping. The fact that anyone could look at such a goofball and see unmitigated strength is a sign that their moral compass is unmitigatedly weak.
Tucker Carlson is considered an alt-right alpha, with conspiracy theorist site InfoWars exclaiming that you “Can’t Cuck the Tuck!” The anti-cuck cheers grew louder after he told Teen Vogue journalist Lauren Duca that she should “go back to writing about thigh-high boots” when he invited her on his talk show.
Another man who has found support in the anti-cuck community is Scott Adams. The 59-year-old man who created Dilbert—a cartoon wherein a human engineer’s best friend is a dog—proved he is not a cuck by declaring the U.S. a matriarchy because a male actor did laundry in a detergent commercial, making fun of a dead soldier’s parents, and posting shirtless photos on Twitter.
Now, these men may get attractive girlfriends or wives—society trains some women to tolerate a lot of buffoonish behavior in exchange for financial security. But having women grudgingly accept that you are grabbing them by the pussy is not the same thing as being desirable, a distinction that seems to elude members of the alt-right. But I’m going to go ahead and speak for most women when I say that the men listed above aren’t the guys that many of us are lying awake at night touching ourselves to.
You know who is? Jason Kander. He gets called a cuck because, well, all Democrats get called cucks. Jason Kander is an Afghanistan veteran who can literally assemble a gun blindfolded. Or, he can when he’s not running a foundation to help more Americans vote or owning white supremacists. George Clooney gets called “the Hollywood cuck”, and it seems like he’s doing pretty okay, what with his beautiful human-rights lawyer wife about to have twins and his “satellite spies” exposing human-rights violations in the Sudan. Then there’s Justin Trudeau, who is called a cuck largely because he…welcomes refugees? Supports feminism? Is a really nice human? For what it’s worth, it really seems like Ivanka Trump does not feel that Justin is a beta male.
And lest we be accused of neglecting Republican cucks, John McCain is deemed one pretty much constantly because he opposes Trump’s ideas about the travel ban and has claimed that Trump’s attacks on the press “are how dictators get started.” John McCain is a veteran who flew 23 missions before spending five and a half years in a Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. He was tortured because he wouldn’t give the Viet Cong information they wanted. Regardless of politics, if he’s a coward, that sets the bar for courage extremely high.
So if you’re a cuck, you’re in the same camp as John McCain. (Not literally the same camp. Unless you’re one of our war-hero cuck readers.) If you’re a cuck, that means you’re doing something that indicates you have basic human empathy. Maybe you suggested that women should be able to make reproductive choices for themselves. Maybe you stood up for a member of a religious minority. Maybe you helped make sure a kid got to a bathroom they felt comfortable in.
Any one of those is the action of a man who cares about people. The action of a cuck who also seems like he might be someone we’d have mutually satisfying sex with. And also maybe someone to marry and raise little cucks with, if interests align and things work out down the road.
You know what men described as cucks used to be called? Decent. Desirable. Thoughtful. Kind. If those qualities now qualify as an insult, then the problem isn’t with them. It’s with America.