ROOKE: Happy Birthday To The King — Or Should We Say, The Queen?

(Photo by National Archives)

Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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The work of Elvis Presley is getting new life through an immersive AI hologram performance based in London, and with it, the damage he brought to masculinity will continue to be ignored.

“The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” is famous for being a chart-topping womanizer. Boomers nostalgic for the “innocence” of yesteryear prop him up as their version of a “man’s man,” without understanding he was the beginning of the end of traditional masculinity in pop culture. His sex appeal came at the expense of a healthy society.

At the height of his stardom, parents took issue with Presley’s sexually provocative swinging hips because they feared the star’s movements would scandalize an entire generation of women. They weren’t wrong about Presley, but it was their sons who should have been protected.

Presley was the first major entertainment icon to successfully feminize masculinity, creating the toxic, weak form of manhood prevalent today. He capitalized on a society weakened by the rise of feminism, making his most significant contribution to our downfall hardly acknowledged.

At the height of Presley’s fame, Boomer teenagers were being raised by an older generation of parents who were exhausted from the effects of two world wars and were no match for the popularization of free love. Couple his celebrity status with the rise of feminism and sexual freedom, and it’s clear our young men didn’t stand a chance.

As parents watched their children begin engaging in casual sex assisted through easier access to abortions and the pill, they naturally obsessed with the swinging hips of a man making their daughters scream.

That is a valid concern, for sure. Still, what they forgot while lost in the worry over their daughters’ purity is the reality that men want women to find them to be attractive mates.

The attack on masculinity was successful because parents were focused on the crowds of animated girls vying for a chance to touch Presley’s bedazzled pants without realizing that their boys were watching, too. Understandably, without better guidance, young men who wanted women to look and react toward them in the same way Presley’s female fans did every time he walked out onto the stage became desensitized to his lack of masculinity. (ROOKE: If Conservatives Want To Win, Parenthood Needs A PR Makeover)

As Presley’s popularity grew thanks to his cult-like female following, so did his proclivity for wearing feminine hairstyles and flamboyant dressing. With his gyrating hips serving as a distraction to parents, his feminized persona was overlooked, erasing the need for men in pop culture to portray traditional masculine traits and still be considered a real man.

Presley’s entire public persona worked as a Trojan Horse, aiding and abetting the downfall of true masculinity — the kind that protects us from modern-day dragons like transgenderism and the destruction of the nuclear family. All of a sudden, it was OK for men to look like women, seem like women and dance like women while still claiming they were men. (ROOKE: Caring About Jan. 6 Is A Luxury Only The Rich Can Afford)

Feminism made quick work of the now weaker sex, leaving our society without its built-in protectors.

Before his sparkling onesies and bouffant hair became the norm, men like Dean Martin, Marty Robbins and James Stewart performed on the national stage without losing their inherent machismo. They sang ballads about love, war and purpose in ways honorable men could relate to. In Stewart’s case, the characters he brought to life glorified the traditional family and encouraged men to have loyalty and strength in the face of overwhelming odds.

The effects of the sexual revolution can be felt today when men like Harry Styles, dressed in his own sequined costumes, blur the lines of sexuality. Still, it was Presley who opened the floodgates to gender fluidity that weakened society’s grasp of true masculinity.