While my heart rests with the NBA, I respect and applaud the MLB for having a paternal leave policy like a normal, progressive employer. I further applaud Colby Lewis for making good use of it. Not up for kudos, though, is Dallas Observer sportswriter Richie Whitt who makes a point of demeaning Lewis for his parenting decisions. Andrea Grimes at Hay Ladies! takes him to task in a way that I could only dream of doing.
But we need to go a step further and call out Whitt for using his shock-jock personality to perpetuate a system of toxic masculinity wherein men are only real dudes if they don’t do too much of that being-a-human-being shit, like trying to physically and emotionally support their families, witness once-in-a-lifetime moments and demonstrate that there’s more to life than a paycheck. Toxic masculinity, gender policing and shaming doesn’t just hurt women. Doesn’t just hurt men. Hurts everyone. Hurts families. Hurts people, all people, who deserve to not be pigeonholed and socially pressured into any one kind of behavior based on the junk in their drawers.
If you somehow missed reading the highly disturbing details of the murder of Seath Tyler Jackson, I consider you a lucky person. I’m not going to recap it for you, because I also found it highly disturbing. On another level, though, I found the article’s conclusion quote just as disturbing, and it’s from a friend of the victim who attempted to stop him from going to the house where he was murdered.
Jones, the friend who tried to stop Jackson from going to the house, said the killing should never have happened.
“It’s just boys and their stupid fights,” Jones said. “It’s just who wants to be the bigger man.”
If wanting to be the “bigger man” leads to heinous crime like this, perhaps being the bigger man shouldn’t be such an aspirational thing.
Mychal Denzel Smith at the Root addresses the use of a homophobic slur by Kobe Bryant, and how homophobia needs to be addressed through re-examination of what it means to be a man.
On TomDispatch.com, Rebecca Solnit discusses the notion of male arrogance in her essay Men Explain Things To Me.
A look into the Conference on Male Studies comes across the Daily Transom at the NY Observer.
Newsweek asks whether or not manhood can survive the lost decade of the “Great Humbling” for “Beached White Males.” Somehow I think they’ll find a way.
Pema Levy at the American Prospect pulls some interesting points from the latest Newsweek piece by Jesse Ellison regarding male-on-male sexual assault in the military. She contends that women’s rights regarding sexual assault have led to more rights for men, and that the incidence of this type of violence calls for a new language to discuss it as the “she was asking for it” rhetoric defaulted to no longer stands.
The Official Chick Code, which begins with
1) Chicks before dicks. The bond between two women is stronger than the bond between a man and a woman because, on average, women are more willing and able to commit than men. Unfortunate for our love lives, but true.
is a clear response to the Bro Code, but has 50 more articles. Ah, women. They never rest.
Stay tuned for the Man Code (the older, more mature version of the Bro Code). Comin’ right up!
I think many of us have heard of the “Bro Code” by now. If not, do brush up on the 89 articles of the rule book. Or you can simply have the first 14 articles recited to you in true dramatic fashion here by Neil Patrick Harris and Matt Kuhn, two actors from the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. (Funny quote below:)
A bro never divulges the existence of the Bro Code to a woman. It is a sacred document not to be shared with chicks for any reason. No. Not even that reason. Note: If you are a woman listening to this, first, let me apologize it was never my intention for this book to contain so much math. Secondly, I urge you to take the Bro Code for what it is: a piece of fiction meant to entertain a broad audience through the prism of stereotypical gender differences. I mean sometimes it really is like we’re from different planets. (Dry, nervous laughter) Clearly no real person could realistically believe or adhere to the vulgar rule contained within. Those boots are adorable, B T Dub. Pssst. Hey guys, ignore what I said. The Bro Code is definitely not a piece of fiction. . .”
I giggled quite a bit listening to this video and you probably will too.
The positive thing about stereotypes is that they show us how far or near our thoughts and beliefs lie in relation to them. If our convictions match the gender cliche, we feel soothed and more secure in our beliefs. And if we viscerally sense our opposition to the stereotype, then we feel somewhat enraged, but simultaneously more empowered and secure in our contrary views.
Everyone wins. Bros and hos.