A politics professor at taxpayer-funded Florida International University is complaining that strains of “toxic masculine capitalism” run rampant in the Disney film “Beauty and the Beast.”
The professor is Bryant W. Sculos. His treatise, titled “We are the Beast: On Toxic Masculinity and Social Responsibility in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” appears in the current issue of an academic journal called “Class, Race and Corporate Power.”
In treacly prose that is simultaneously angry and replete with Hallmark-card Marxism, Sculos proposes that the Beast and Gaston — the two main male characters in “Beauty and Beast” — represent “toxic masculinity.”
Both the classic animated movie (released in 1991) and a live-action remake released in 2017 represent “toxic masculinity,” he claims.
The animated version from 1991 “taught young boys that sometimes the sensitive, intellectual guy could ‘win’ the heart of the beautiful woman (and that a woman who could and loved to read was worth desiring),” Sculos argues.
Both films feature “toxic masculinity,” he declares. The 2017 live-action version digs a bit deeper into the reasons why several servants at the Beast’s castle are suffering under a curse placed on the Beast.
These servant characters — a candelabra, a teapot, a pendulum clock and some others — were “responsible for the violent, close-minded toxic masculinity that nearly destroyed their small community,” Sculos explains.
Sculos is also really sad and angry because the residents of the poor provincial town where viewers first meet Belle, the main character, celebrate Gaston, the arrogant villain in “Beauty and the Beast.”
“In the original animated film, we see a bit of the role that the villagers play in glorifying Gaston’s grotesque and necrophilic existence, but this socially-cultivated necro-narcissism and megalomania has more prominence in the recent version,” Sculos propounds.
Sculos denounces virtually everyone in “Beauty and the Beast” except for Belle.
“I blame the servants. I blame the villagers. I blame the Beast. I blame Le Fou. I blame Gaston. They are all responsible for the violent, close-minded toxic masculinity that nearly destroyed their small community,” the professor writes.
Then he goes off on a bizarre screed which features securities fraudster Martin Shkreli.
“In a similar sense, I blame the so-called ‘Pharma-bro’ Martin Shkreli for his decision to raise the price of life-sustaining HIV/AIDS medication by 5,000%,” Sculos rants. “I blame the CEO of the pharmaceutical company Mylan, Heather Bresch, for raising the price of the EpiPen by an extraordinary 400%. I blame our society for maintaining, reproducing, and too-often exacerbating the norms that condone and even incentivize these behaviors. I blame all of those who reacted strongly against these behaviors, but not against the fundamental premise of privatized health care: that any and all medical care should serve the goal of profit-making.”
“Toxic masculinity merely reflects the toxicity of masculinity in general,” Sculos circularly reasons. “It is a social virus, and it is highly contagious.”
“Gastons will die as misogynists and take others down with them. Beasts are sexists and chauvinists who can change under the right circumstances; they need not die beasts.”
Society has a dire need for people — like, for example, Sculos — who can “help” sufferers of “toxic masculinity” to “transform” from “the beasts created and cultivated by racist, patriarchal capitalism to humane, literate, sensitive, community-defending, cooperative, loving, self-sacrificing people.”
“We need ‘men’ to become human, perhaps not again but for the first time in history on a mass scale,” Sculos urges.
Florida International University is famous because it was the aromatic home of a foot-sniffing bandit who went sneaking under tables in the main library so he could smell women’s feet. The alleged olfactory offender led police on a wild scooter chase before his eventual arrest. (RELATED: Foot-Smelling Bandit At Florida International U. Arrested After Scooter Chase, Wreck)
A curriculum vitae page describing Sculos suggests that he is a dedicated socialist who believes capitalism is surely about to disappear.
On his Facebook page, Sculos likes Millennials for Democratic Socialism, the Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee, Woke Folks, Wikileaks, Colin Kaepernick and, of course, Feminists For Bernie Sanders.