If you were on a sinking ship, would you refuse to wear a life jacket because it was unmanly or because no ship captain has the right to tell you what you should wear? The current refusal by some American men to wear face masks to limit transmission of the coronavirus seems as silly as that.

Everything is political these days, so, of course, when medical experts and government officials recommended that people don face coverings when in crowded places, a certain segment of the citizenry began complaining about deep state oppression and liberties being squelched. They found an ally in the President of the United States who has refused to wear a face mask in public appearances. Donald Trump’s concern about projecting a manly image overrides any inclination he may have to set a good example and many of his fervent followers seem equally intent on proving that they are tough guys who won’t be pushed around by the nanny state.

This is a twisted and pathetic view of masculinity. To put it in traditional  terms, if a strong man is a protector of the weak and vulnerable, he will boldly cover his face and mouth with a piece of cloth — how about a macho cowboy bandana? — to show he is a leader of men and a guardian of women and children.

Try it, guys. It might even boost your testosterone.

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