I absolutely love George Carlin. He is without a doubt one of the most influential stand up comedian of all time. He truly mastered the art of exposing the ridicule aspects of modern society and human nature. And when it comes to busting manhood myths, Carlin made no exception and took no prisoners. Was George Carlin feminist? The portion of his audiobook When will Jesus bring the pork chops? called the “The male disease” says it all.
George Carlin was a pioneer in pointing out the man box.
By this point, you probably heard the 6+ minutes that constitutes The male disease chapter of Carlin’s book. Think about the fact this book was written in 2004, almost a decade before the official apparition of the man box term. Talk about visionary. All the rigid set of expectations that composed the man box are there: the peer pressure, the domination, the violence, the misogyny, the homophobia, the absence of emotion, the excessive drinking and substance abuse. As a father, the most significant line of Carlin’s book is the following. “All the problems in the world, repeat ALL THE PROBLEMS IN THE WORLD, can be traced to what fathers do to their sons. So little boys learned to hide their feelings and society likes that, because that way when they get to be 18 they will be able to go overseas and kill strangers without feeling anything.”
“All the problems in the world can be traced to what fathers do to their sons.” George Carlin
The brilliant satiric talents of Carlin’s are sadly spot on as it comes to toxic masculinity. Needless to say that the current presence of Donald Trump in the White House confirmed the peak of a culture that will undoubtedly disappear. In his movie Trumpland, filmmaker Michael Moore characterized Trump and some of his supporters as the sound of the dying dinosaurs. This is a perfect analogy for the outdated version of manhood that Carlin described. The old has to die so the new can come. To the question was George Carlin feminist? Despite his aversion for labels, I want to say yes. Regardless of how he chose to identify, he made one of the most compelling manhood analysis to date.