Latest Biden and Trump Exchange Exposes Bipartisan Commitment to Toxic Masculinity

A cut-and-paste job that puts former vice president Joe Biden and President Donald Trump in the ring of a Rocky Balboa boxing film. (Image:

Latest Biden and Trump Exchange Exposes Bipartisan Commitment to Toxic Masculinity

"This whole toxic masculinity thing has to die. We're over it."

A former vice president threatens to beat up the current president--or at least fantasizes about doing so back when the two septuagenarians were back in high school and buffed out like teenage jocks.

So the current president fires back, saying the former vice-president would lose and "go down hard and fast."

But what are these two grown men fighting over?

Women, of course. One threatening to defend the dignity of women from a man intent on assaulting them. And the other defending, it seems, his right to sexually assault women.

But pay attention, because whoever wins the fight over these women, might just be the man to win the 2020 presidential election.

This all comes from the latest comments by former vice president Joe Biden, who on Wednesday repeated the idea that, if given the chance back in high school, "I'd take [Trump] behind the gym and beat the hell out of him."

Compelled to respond on Twitter Thursday morning, Trump declared:

While no feminist has argued that Trump's abusive attitude towards women has been healthy--and while more than a dozen women still have outstanding accusations against him for sexual harassment or assault--Biden's instinct to respond to Trump with macho threats of violence is also drawing fire.

"No one doubts the former veep's heart and commitment," wrote Erin Keane for Salon Wednesday evening following Biden's latest comments. "But his macho posturing is ugly and counterproductive."

"Can we declare a moratorium on glorifying violence, on celebrating the patriarchal ideal of man as enforcer and protector, and on equating (even in the inverse) athletic prowess with good character?" Keane continues. "Because these ingrained cultural habits have historically not been kind to women and girls."

And as notes Eugene Scott at the Washington Post notes, "Biden's words could cost him some votes from women who are tired of seeing stereotypical expressions of manhood offered as a solution to the very real problem of sexual assault of women."

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.