Tiny, Oily, Little Hands Give Petrosexuals Away

February 5, 2021

Things that make you go “hmmm”.

What is this fixation with drilling virgin territory?

Yahoo News:

Ramping up fossil fuel production and shredding pollution rules, as the Trump administration did for four years, largely defies economic and scientific logic in an era of costly climate disasters. But Larry Kudlow, who was director of the National Economic Council for part of that time, may have indicated Wednesday that the administration saw its policies on fossil fuels through another lens: culture.

During an interview with Fox Business star Maria Bartiromo, Kudlow dismissed President Joe Biden as an ideologue whose approach to climate change threatens to “wreck the whole energy sector.”

“It turns out President Biden may be the most left-wing president we’ve ever seen,” Kudlow said. “His actions on spending and taxing and regulating, on immigration and fossil fuels and other cultural issues… he may be the most left-wing.”

It was only a split second, possibly even an unintentional slip of the tongue. But the idea of defining fossil fuels as a “cultural issue” gets at something that typically goes unacknowledged in policy debates over how to deal with the industry most responsible for destabilizing the planet’s ecosystems. For conservatives, fossil fuel fights are just another front in the U.S. culture war that’s been waged for decades over issues like same-sex marriage and abortion.

On the other hand, the economic logic of pumping and burning more oil, gas and coal is difficult to square.

In 2011, a study in the peer-reviewed journal Global Environmental Change found that white males were overrepresented among people who denied the reality of climate change. Researchers attributed the phenomenon to a desire to “protect their cultural identity.”

“Perhaps white males see less risk in the world because they create, manage, control, and benefit from so much of it,” the study’s authors wrote. “Perhaps women and nonwhite men see the world as more dangerous because in many ways they are more vulnerable, because they benefit less from many of its technologies and institutions, and because they have less power and control.”

In 2014, researchers in Sweden found that climate denial was “intertwined with a masculinity of industrial modernity that is on decline.” Those who defended the industries destabilizing the planet were trying “to save an industrial society” that men like them had built and dominated, argued the researchers, whose workappeared in Norma: International Journal for Masculinity Studies.

In 2018, Virginia Tech political scientist Cara Daggett gave the concept a name: petro-masculinity.

“The concept of petro-masculinity suggests that fossil fuels mean more than profit,” Daggett wrote in the international studies journal Millennium. “Fossil fuels also contribute to making identities, which poses risks for post-carbon energy politics.” 

Reflecting on this growing body of social research, the climate writer Emily Atkin asked in a recent edition of her Heated newsletter: “Do you ever wonder what the planet might look like if men didn’t control the world?”

“I’m not talking about all cisgender men, or the entirety of the male gender,” she wrote. “Really, I’m just talking about people who believe that because they have penises, they are required to act in a traditionally, almost performatively masculine way ― like ‘being strong’ and ‘never showing weakness’ and ’not ordering sauvignon blanc.’”

Sound familiar?

7 Responses to “Tiny, Oily, Little Hands Give Petrosexuals Away”

  1. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    Got a point above. Working the oil rigs in the 60’s, crew didn’t speak to me because ” We didn’t think youd last this long, welcome to the crew.” Start of a level of extreme and continuous MACHO. Quite interesting actually.

  2. Peter Scheffler Says:

    Interesting point. Coal mining is definitely an example. Think how difficult it has been for women to be accepted in coal mining

  3. mboli Says:

    A major party presidential campaign used to whip its crowds into frenzied chants of “Drill, baby, drill!” The male psycho-sexual component was hardly hidden.

    The same could be said for producing oil in ANWR. (For which right-wing always uses the verb “drilling,” naturally.) They lost that battle 40 years ago, and have been chafing ever since, finally passing a bill in 2017. They are determined to tangibly, visibly, spoil the land. To urinate all over it, to prove dominance and ownership.

    I had not seen the term petro-masculinity before. But it is perfect.

    • Keith Omelvena Says:

      “They are determined to tangibly, visibly, spoil the land. To urinate all over it, to prove dominance and ownership.” Astute observation.

      • Keith Omelvena Says:

        Although to be fair, such masculinity exists to the extent enough femininity finds it attractive enough to procreate with. Penis extenders seem to work, whether they are really big clubs, or smoking V8s with no muffler.

    • Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

      Let’s just say dickheads, pun intended.

  4. doldrom Says:

    “Do you ever wonder what the planet might look like if men didn’t control the world?”

    Not often. No planes, fossil fuels, modern civilization, just to start … peaceful existence searching berries and roots, old times.


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