Monday, December 3, 2012

No Mr. Powell, Masculinity is Not the Issue

I have zero interest in football.  American football that is, although I care even less about soccer.  But I do like to analyze human behavior and this weekend was a whopper of one.  As you may know, Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs murdered his girlfriend than killed himself in front of his head coach and general manager.  This is a very sad and tragic case, but at the same, the idiots are coming out of the woodwork to promote their social or political agendas.

One of the more idiotic posts comes from Kevin Powell of CNN.  Now, I’ve never really liked CNN, mostly because they have manufacturing news since the early 1990s, but this opinion piece really demonstrates the kind of idiots which are hired by CNN.  Here’s a brief sample of Mr. Powell’s piece:

Belcher was a man living in the supersized macho world of football, a world in which many of us American males reside, be it football or not. Too many of us have been taught manhood in a way that is not healthy. Be tough, men do not cry, man up -- these are the things I've heard my entire life, and I now cringe when I hear this relayed to boys or younger men by teachers, coaches, fathers, mentors and leaders.

Or we use derogatory and sexist or homophobic words to describe men or boys who do not meet the "normal" of what a male is supposed to be. Some of these male authority figures mean well, or are simply repeating what they were socialized to be or to do, and do not realize that they are unwittingly teaching that manhood has little room to express hurt, disappointment and sorrow.

I think what Mr. Powell fails to realize is that being tough is a symptom of manhood, not a cause.  He seems to think that feminizing men is the way to go, when clearly that is not working.  This is clearly the line of thinking in a post-modern society where man is “in touch” with his inner woman, while women get a pass for the sheer insane behavior and comments because they can do no wrong.

True story, my mother knew a doctor at the hospital where she worked who was pulled over for drunk driving.  She had her young children in the back of her car.  She then proceeded to slug the cop in the face.  During the trial, she got off scot free because she claimed to have been suffering from PMS at the time.  And men wonder why they don’t get a fair shake in family court and can be accused of assault, despite no criminal record or charges, and see their crying children dragged away from them to live with their greedy, slutty ex-wives.

And yet I’m the bad guy for being a man and embrace being wild at heart.   Manhood is not what we see on television, though the six different media companies would want us to believe that is what being a man is all about.  I have never viewed football players as generally being men or role models.  They are simply modern gladiators playing a game for entertainment.  American football is simply the modern bread and circuses of civilization, although instead of bread, we have beer and chips.

Honestly, I have no problem with men who religiously watch football, despite its rampant commercialization, pointless commentaries, and endless statistics.  You can see why I find the whole affair boring.  By the same token though, my love for video games is probably off-putting by many of the same men, especially my current obsession which is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  I mean, what kind of man will sit for hours exploring a Nordic region fighting dragons, vampires, draugr, and bandits using a wide variety of weapons, magic, and battle tactics.

Back to Mr. Powell, I think he’s dead wrong in his assessment.  I understand what he is saying, that manly aggression and a failure to deal properly with our emotions is what caused the late Mr. Belcher’s actions.  But when I see Jovan Belcher’s face, I do not see the face of a man, but the face of a boy in a man’s body.  The behavior that Mr. Powell describes is simply that of boys, not men.  Boys ridicule each other and throw insults, men stand on their convictions and simply call people out when they are wrong.  Boys do not own up to the horrible things they have done and instead avoid the consequences by whatever means they can.

I think Kevin Powell represents the post-modern, feminized man who sees the flaw in society as being manly.  I think American football is probably the worst example of manhood and that perhaps he should look at it another way.  I say this because our society suffers from a lack of conviction, courage, and personal responsibility, all of which are manly traits.

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