When Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte body-slammed the reporter Ben Jacobs, breaking his glasses, some members of the alt-right press and the twitter world labeled Jacobs as a “snowflake.” A snowflake is currently the term attributed to a fragile, emasculated boy-man cry baby that has replaced “wuss” and other assorted feminizing expletives. According to a recent piece in the New York Times the term snowflake owes its origin to the 1996 novel “Fight Club.” In the novel club members who are seeking a new social model for men to share their lives repeat a mantra, “You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” What was the labeling of Jacobs as a snowflake intending to convey? Since Jacob’s response to being assaulted was pressing charges instead of trying to hit Gianforte back he was now seen as less of a man. I guess the name callers felt that after being physically beaten a real man just walks away and accepts his fate.
It appears that the hyper- masculine Neanderthal movement is so confused by a new paradigm of masculinity that they feel they must revert to the mythical notions of masculinity instead of embracing a pride in masculinity that is not based on false stereotypes. In the Gianforte vs. Jacobs incident we can see that Gianforte unleashed his warrior archetype with physical aggression. He was annoyed with Jacobs questioning and responded with a violent attack. Jacobs, instead of trying to fight back, left the room and then filed assault charges against Gianforte. Is Jacobs less of a man because he didn’t respond physically? Certainly not. He unleashed his warrior assertively without violence. He didn’t just walk away with his tail between his legs admitting to being dominated by a physically superior adversary. Instead he responded to the bully utilizing the law and the court of public opinion. Despite the Neanderthals cheering Gianforte’s actions he was ordered to pay a fine, perform community service and take anger management training. He also avoided a civil lawsuit by writing a letter of apology to Jacobs and donating $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The take away is that choosing an assertive response that may not fit the traditional mold of violent confrontation is still manly and far from being pigeon holed as a delicate snowflake. However, given the Jacobs name calling aftermath it is obvious that a segment of the male population is still having a hard time accepting that attributes such as compassion, non-violent assertiveness, thoughtful advocacy and respecting women are traits of a modern real man not a feminized snowflake.