Seaton: When “Toxic Masculinity” Strikes

(Prefatory note: this post is going to sound angry. That’s because I’m angry. If the righteous indignation of a father who cares about his kids bothers you, then piss off.)

Filmmaker Cassie Jaye got a lot of flack from the mainstream media and the wokescolds after the debut of her film “The Red Pill,” a documentary where a feminist looked at the lives of MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) and gave them even footing to air their grievances against society.

“How dare she,” some in the feminist circles crowed. “Those stupid MRAs don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.”

Others would  simply smear Cassie Jaye for giving the so-called “neckbeards” equal time with those the intersectional coalition considered truly oppressed.

Since “Patents of Oppression,” as David Smalley of “Dogma Debate” fame titles them, matter more than honest thinking, let’s set the table up front. I’m a white heterosexual Christian Male with a loving wife and two kids. I consider myself largely libertarian.

Now let’s talk about the things that label prevents me from doing.

First, I can’t talk to a bank about a potential fraudulent charge on a joint credit card my wife and I share because “sometimes men in a divorce come in and want to illegally spy on their soon-to-be-ex-wife’s financials.”

Second, and more gallingly, I can’t call a clinic where my wife took my daughter after hours for urgent care and get an update from a doctor because “sometimes malicious fathers abuse the system and use our location and information to harm their spouse and children.”

This was a major thorn in my side tonight. My daughter was sick, my wife took her to an Urgent Care facility, and she left her mobile phone because she was more concerned with our daughter’s health than her damn iPhone being at her hip.

Fortunately, I knew where she went, and called the location after my son was in bed. I was met with denial after denial, I was told my wife would have to call me because “sometimes abusive fathers and husbands exploit our staff,” and “maybe you should let this go.”

Eventually while I was on hold with the Urgent Care clinic staff, I got a call from a random number. It was my wife telling me my daughter’s fever had broken and that they were next in line to see a physician. My wife also told me, “They said HIPAA laws prevented them from just giving me a phone. Don’t be so dramatic. We’ll be home soon.”

I’d be fine with that if it wasn’t that no one in the Urgent Care Clinic ever mentioned to me HIPAA laws were the problem with telling me why my daughter was sick.

So if I was a concerned mommy, according to these medical professionals, I’d have known what was wrong with my daughter in minutes.

If I was a relative of my wife who lived in the state, I’d have known from the medical professional in minutes what ailment my daughter suffered from.

But because “some men are abusing the system,” I was denied access to my wife and daughter when the two went to an urgent care clinic in good faith and if I hadn’t known everything under the sun about my wife and kid, and been sufficiently convincing to a medical professional, I might not know if my daughter is okay right now.

It’s very easy to discount MRA’s talking points until you’re that guy who’s facing not knowing what is going on with your kid who was taken to a clinic by your spouse because “toxic masculinity” ruined it for everyone else.


It’s been said by my mean-ass editor people don’t give a damn about stuff unless it happens in their own backyards. I, the father, the first line of defense when my kids get sick, was denied information on my daughter tonight because “toxic masculinity.” Consider yourselves warned.


When you can’t get basic health information on your own child because “men” fucked it up for you, something’s fundamentally broken.

40 thoughts on “Seaton: When “Toxic Masculinity” Strikes

  1. Richard Kopf

    Brother Seaton,

    One wonders whether if the facts were flipped and your wife was calling for information about her daughter who been taken to the clinic by you, her father, would mom have encountered the same problems? In any event, the idiocy of not simply handing the phone to your wife so she could fill you in defies description.

    I am sorry for your troubles. But I am glad you were angry enough to write about them.

    All the best.


    1. B. McLeod

      The further idiocy of telling the parents that HIPAA laws prevented the staff from handing the mother a phone is staggering.

      1. David

        Or they could have maybe taken a moment to, I don’t know, ASK the mother about it. Rather than blanket applying some ridiculous protocol and arguing on the phone, they might have used their brains and thought about how to handle the situation properly.

      2. DaveL

        Well, “I feared for my life” wasn’t going to work, “By virtue of training and experience” was also out, and Sony Pictures still holds the copyright to “Swamp gas from a weather balloon got trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light of Venus.”

    2. CLS

      What got under my skin the most was the constant hemming and hawing about how they needed to protect mothers and children from “violent, abusive fathers” as a justification for not giving me info on my sick child, but when the handed my wife a phone the response was “sorry, we just had to be extra cautious because HIPAA.”

      The double standard is shocking, and the fact that people will shrug at the “well we need to protect people from you violent, dangerous men” comment says many unpleasant things about the way our society views men.

  2. Morgan O.

    You are right to be angry. It shocks me that more people aren’t angry. What are father supposed to tell their sons now? “Be a good man, son. Care for the helpless, defend the defenseless. But expect to be treated like a criminal no matter what, because some men are jerks.” Apparently the logic of “believe all women, even though some are liars” is not transferrable to anything else…

    1. CLS

      According to a couple of razor companies, that’s apparently the exact attitude fathers are to convey to their sons.

      1. Jake

        Sorry? I’m not sure what the relevance of your question is. This post isn’t about kids or parenting. It’s about the author’s emotions. He says it right there at the top of the post.

          1. Jake

            OK, I mean yeah. It’s true. I haven’t experienced the decrease in testosterone and increase in estrogen, oxytocin, prolactin, and glucocorticoids that fathers experience.

            But that doesn’t change the fact that anger comes with real health risks. Left untreated anger can lead to far worse longitudinal outcomes for a child than a temporary lack of daddy data during a visit to the hospital. We’re talking diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.

            By validating the author’s feelings on this subject you’re contributing to the normalization and ongoing expression of this anger. I’d take a moment for self-reflection.

            1. Jake

              Hey, no sweat. And while we’re on the subject of my advice: Something I am an expert on is content strategy and branding. As the editor around this here joint, you may want to consider the topic of differentiation.

              Frothy emotional appeals and ‘muh lived experience’ are incredibly popular on Reddit, which, measured in terms of traffic and sheer volume of content, is one of the most successful websites in the world. One could start reading posts about people’s fee-fees over there today and never finish them all in a thousand lifetimes.

            2. Rigelsen

              Perhaps, Jake, if I may call you that, you aren’t the best person to write about “frothy emotional appeals”, even if you’re doing so ironically. And especially so if you insist on missing the point.

            3. Jake

              Yes, you may call me Jake. Or anything else you want.

              Who among us has more experience learning that SJ is no place for the emotional appeal fallacy than he who has been reminded most?

            4. Patrick Maupin

              Yeah, I see what you mean.

              I mean, MLK got angry, and decided to do something about it, and that netted him a bullet in the head.

              But seriously, Jake, wtf?

  3. John Neff

    The penalties for violating HIPPA laws are severe and after someone has been fired stuff like this can happen.

      1. Mark Christman

        I thought HIPAA addresses health care providers and insurers, and how they handle records and information. Having trouble comprehending how HIPAA is involved in allowing/enabling parents communicating with one another about the health of their minor child. Am I that far off base?

        1. SHG

          No, you’re right. It was complete malarkey. “Official” people use official things like law to silence the annoying plebes.

          1. CLS

            Or they’ll use official things like law to lie to both parents about their rationale for being obtuse jackasses.

    1. Chris Ryan

      HIPAA, while a real threat when business is done wrong, is just an excuse in this instance. Being a stay-at-home dad for 14 years, this situation doesnt shock me even mildly. Being married to a doctor, i know what the procedures in order to discuss a child’s healthcare issues with a parent are, and they can easily be done over the phone.

      Regardless of whether this is a case of Hanlon’s Razor, some “wokeness” nonsense, or just pure laziness, its BS and it needs to stop. We, as a society, cannot berate men for not caring enough about their kids, and then punish them for trying.

      1. Grant

        I agree with the thrust of your (and Seaton’s) posts that HIPAA is cited disingenuously by medical staff as a substitute for “I don’t want to do that”.

        However, federal enforcement is not the only thing to worry about. MacDonald v. Clinger, 84 A.D.2d 482, 446 N.Y.S.2d 801(1982) holds disclosure of confidential patient records is actionable***. (The case specifically refers to psychiatry records, but the rule is applied to physician records in citing cases.)

        This gets reduced by the typical non-attorney to “If I violate HIPAA, I am going to get sued.” (Like people use the term ‘Google’ to refer to searching Bing.)

        (And before jumping to conclusions, it would be interesting to have a mother call on a father who brought in a kid for treatment to see if they give the ‘toxic masculinity has ruined it for everyone’ excuse to both men and women.)

        *** Because I’ve only practiced in NJ, I’m giving the NJ cite: Smith v. Datla, 451 N.J. Super. 82 (N.J. App. Div. 2017). My NY research skills may be less reliable.

  4. losingtrader

    Chris, I understand how you feel. You have kids. I just have dogs.
    I actually got a response like yours when I called the specialty vet clinic . Something something about patient-doctor privilege.
    That was a laugher. This isn’t.

  5. ShootingHipster

    Mr Seaton, I know your frustration all too well. A few years back I was physically prevented from getting to my teen daughter at the hospital until they determined that it was ok for me to do so. There are very few times, if any, in my life where I had to exercise that level of self restraint. One minute I’m enjoying a hockey game, interrupted by a cryptic phone call. Thirty minutes later I’m sizing up a security guard in a hospital hallway and telling myself to keep it together. It ain’t easy respecting the law or some organization’s rules when it places total strangers between you and your daughter. It’s ok to be angry.

  6. Matthew Scott Wideman

    My favorite part of the “toxic masculinity” regime in family law, is how shockingly bad women have to be to lose their kids. I live in MO, and you pretty much have to be nodding out in court OR marry a child molester. The male judges are the first to give women chances they would never give men. Female judges tend to hold women more accountable. I have been practicing law for 7 years and the double standard is absolutely rediculous. When it comes to access to information about their kids it just seems the system is setup for men to “fade out” of their kids lives. Our society reflects the poor choices our legislative leaders have made.

    Experiencing it as an attorney has colored my views on how marriage works in our society. Marriage is not always a great deal for the man especially when it comes to spousal support and child custody. The Red Pill guys have a lot of good points. Society keeps telling me it’s about love, but the courts keep showing me it’s all about the money.

  7. Patrick Maupin

    The things done in the name of HIPAA, like the things done in the name of ISO 9000, or the things done in the name of Sarbanes-Oxley, often do nothing to further the goals of the underlying legislation, and usually cause active harm instead. It’s like a game of Chinese whispers from the legal department to HR, down through five layers of management, enhanced with what Judy in accounting said about why they fired Frieda in some other department.

    I wish I could say it will get better when they get older, but:

    “Hi, I want to pay this bill for my daughter’s treatment.”

    “I’m sorry, I can’t discuss this with you.”

    “The bill has my name on it.”

    “Your daughter is over 18, so we cannot discuss anything about her treatment with you.”

    “Fine. Then send her a bill.”

    “We can’t do that. You’re listed as the responsible payer.”

  8. Leo Beilin

    HIPPA joke:
    “Who’s there ?”
    “Sorry,federal law doesn’t allow me to answer that”

  9. Casual Lurker

    [This continues our test of the emergency CAPTCHA system… Had this been an actual emergency…]
    (Still catching up on some of the backlog).

    We deal with this stuff all the time. Staff are asked to use some common sense. But few are willing to take the risk, as ACS* has issued rules, and low-level staff are typically administratively penalized with “time off without pay” on a whim. They can request a hearing, but it occurs post-penalty. If they win (a rare occurrence), it will be at least six months before they see any back pay. The administrative suits upstairs say Corp. Counsel has signed-off on the rules and procedures. Due Process?!?! What’s that?

    Fortunately, I’m largely outside of that loop. (ACS can still file a complaint against me. But they’d have to go to court if they wanted to impose a penalty. They do their best to avoid court, because they really don’t care for all that evidence and cross-examination stuff. It’s so… oppressive).

    When I know the father, if I’m present and aware of what’s happening, I can take it on my own authority to bypass the idiocy. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, and I usually only hear about it afterward.

    Note that the rules and procedures for the psychiatric unit are somewhat different, and *ALL* visitors, and those requesting patient information, must be pre-approved by the treating physician. Among several cited rules and laws, Corp. Counsel usually cites NYS Mental Hygiene Law, Section 33.13 as the governing authority for withholding information.

    As to HIPAA, staff are instructed to cite it because most folks are familiar with it, and most just go “oh, yeah, HIPAA”. However, I’m told that’s not where the authority to discriminate derives from. Frankly, I couldn’t get a straight answer as to where it derives from. So it may be an extremely “creative” interpretation of something that may, or may not, actually be on the books.

    This situation also reminds me of a long time ago when, at one of our finer state psychiatric facilities, Jewish patients in the children’s unit were forced to say Christian prayers before meals. It was several years before someone bothered to file a lawsuit, and the practice was quickly abolished. To this non-lawyer it seems like it will take a similar incentive to alter procedures.

    *Administration for Children’s Services.

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