Very often in these societies what constitutes a man and a woman are clearly defined roles, but in our societies today they are not. Too often we want to measure manhood by some quantifiable amount of testosterone, bravery, or physical strength but we fail to see what truly makes him a man. Don’t get me wrong; women like a sense of safety but that could be when in his arms or walking down the street, financial security, or simply being able to trust him in their relationship. As we see though, there is variety in so many aspects of manhood and differ by situations and relationships.
But Im gonna start a fight , because I’m a man and that’s how I solve problems. I’m not here to help you. I am here to fucking hurt you. That’s what I’ve learned in my years with the Internet/ Twitter warriors . You have an issue with somebody? Man up on the computer.!!! You see somebody being stupid? You don’t look the other way. You don’t back down. You strap on your man boots and you shove it through their teeth. Be Tom Cruise who says being in a movie is like being a soldier in Afganistan….moved me to faux tears that day.
I know this is true. Twitter told me. Facebook told me. Hell, Sportcenter told me . We’re Klingons, but only on the Computer or on Sun . I’m telling it like it is; that’s what men do.
Richie Incognito was suspended from the Dolphins for his treatment of his teammate. Over the next few days, Shadow League’s J.R. Gamble called Martin “soft.” Giants safety Antrel Rolle said: “You’re a grown-ass man. You need to stand up for yourself.” Ex-Dolphins lineman Lydon Murtha wrote that Martin was a “standoffish and shy” player who “broke the code” and that “playing football is a man’s job” of “high testosterone.” Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter spoke to a mean fleet of NFL types who all agreed that Martin was “a coward.” One said: “I think Jonathan Martin is a weak person. If Incognito did offend him racially, that’s something you have to handle as a man!” Another one said: “You handle it in house — fight, handle it on the field, joke about it, etc. — and keep it moving.” Another one said: “I might get my ass kicked, but I’m going to go down swinging if that happens to me, I can tell you that.”
Fake Warriors make war on warriors. There’s no room for crying in this game. Handle it like a man. Go down swinging. I hear you, and that’s why I’m not here to move you or persuade you. If you have a penis and feelings, you’d better cut one of them off. I’m here to start a fight. Twenty plus years in the US Army made me pretty good at fighting.
But this idea that anybody is a weakling for seeking emotional help — this is some room-temperature faux-macho alpha-pansy nonsense, and I am here to beat it bloody and leave it on the ground. Every person who’s spreading this around, directly or by implication; every soldier, player who’s reaction-bragging about his own phenomenal hardness; every pundit in a square suit who’s braying about the unwritten code of the locker room — every one of these fake tough guys in the Internet- every one of these guys should be ashamed of himself, and that’s it, and it’s not a complicated story.
Let’s put some things in context, shall we? We’re lucky in this regard, because it’s actually fairly easy to put mental-health issues in context in a league whose retirees have a disproportionate tendency to shoot themselves to death. Former Chargers DB Paul Oliver is the most recent. He killed himself in late September at the ripe old age of 29. In 2012, four players or ex-players committed suicide in eight months, including 25-year-old Titans receiver O.J. Murdock, beloved Chargers icon Junior Seau, and Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who — maybe you vaguely remember this — shot himself in the parking lot of the Chiefs’ practice facility after murdering his girlfriend in front of his 3-month-old daughter.
In U.S. military has recorded 161 potential suicides in 2013 among active-duty troops, reservists and National Guard members — a pace of one suicide about every 18 hours. The Army, the largest contingent of the armed forces, sustained 109 reported suicides during the first four months They average one every 18 hrs. Sexual attacks are up 46 %
The plague of suicides might by itself hint at the severity of the desperation many seem to find below the surface of America’s favorite TV show. But let’s say you don’t see it that way. You need more convincing, maybe because you’re a man and you know that compassion is a lie invented to keep you from owning a Hummer. Fine. Let’s squeeze into our thinking caps and keep going.
Look at it this way: No one thought Joe Theismann was soft for leaving the game when his leg was hanging sideways. Sometimes the brain THOUGH goes sideways, and when that happens, “brave” or “cowardly” shouldn’t even come into it. Seeking help is just the practical thing to do.
Or look at it this way: Say Jonathan Martin had three children, two boys and a girl. Say the youngest was 2 months old and the oldest was 3 years old and they all died in a fire. Would you call him weak for missing some games over this? No, because you would understand that he was in unbearable pain, that he was literally crazy with hurt, and you would want to support him because, to your mind, the pain would have a valid cause. But what makes a badly suffering person incapable of functioning isn’t the validity of the cause, it’s the extremity of the pain. And sometimes — because brains break! — it’s possible to feel as if your children had burned to death for no obvious reason at all. The ceiling is screaming, every pore in your skin hurts, the view in the window hurts, the idea of getting off the couch to close the curtains hurts, thinking five minutes into the future makes you feel like you’re coming apart at the atomic level. You need help when this happens. Yeah, even if it means that the hardest men on the planet — Twitter/Facebook users — lose respect for you.
I love football just like I loved being in the Military…its beautiful, it’s thrilling, it’s an excuse to drunk-tweet in the mid-afternoon — but it has also become the major theater of American masculine crackup. It’s as if we’re a nation of gentle accountants and customer-service reps who’ve retained this one venue where we can air-guitar the berserk discourse of a warrior race.
We’re Klingons, but only on Sundays. The Marines/Air Force and the Army the have a strict anti-hazing policy, but we need our fantasy warrior-avatars to be unrestrained and indestructible. We demand that they comply with an increasingly shrill and dehumanizing value set that we communicate by yelling PLAY THROUGH PAIN and THAT GUY IS A SOLDIER and THE TRENCHES and GO TO WAR WITH THESE GUYS and NEVER BACK DOWN. We love coaches who never sleep, stars who live to win, transition graphics that take out the electrical grid in Kandahar. We love pregame flyovers that culminate in actual airstrikes.
And of course this affects men Locker-room guy-culture is one thing; the idea that any form of perceived vulnerability is a Marxist shadow plot is something else. It’s a human inevitability that when you assemble a group of young men some of them will go too far, or will get off on torturing the others — which is why it’s maybe a good idea, (the real-life military) , to have a system in place to keep this in check. What we have instead is a cynical set of institutional fetishes that rewards unhealthy behavior. The same 110-percent-never-give-an-inch rhetoric that makes concussed players feign health on game day encourages hazing creep after practice. Don’t believe that? I’ve got a helmet-to-helmet hit here for you, and that’ll be $15,000, petunia.
I guess the nuanced line on the scandal in Miami is that a locker room is a complicated organism, and the aggression/affection dynamic between teammates is impossible for outsiders to understand. Maybe that’s true. But there are boundaries in locker rooms, same as anywhere else, and those boundaries are culturally conditioned, same as anywhere else, and they change with time, and they can be influenced. And it would be really good, it would be a really good thing, if the people moved its boundaries in such a way as to show some minimal respect for mental health. Not just for PR purposes, but because for as hell-bent as we seem on turning football players into gods without dignity, humanity doesn’t stop the moment you strap on a helmet or go on Twitter. I don’t know when peopel forgot that fact, but the evidence is overwhelming that it needs to remember.
There will always be assholes. They should be curtailed. And when anybody says he needs time off for mental reasons — again: in a society with a suicide problem — it shouldn’t spark a national conversation on whether he’s soft.
But I am here to hurt you, so I’ll also say this: You’re a warrior, cool. What the hell are you a warrior for? I’m sorry if this makes it sound like I have emotions other than anger — I assure you that I don’t — but tell me this: What’s the point of being strong if all you stand for is abusing others? I was taught that when you see a problem, you step up and solve it, all those anonymous sources foaming on about how to be a man — is that what they think “being a man” is? I mean, nothing about protecting someone who’s struggling in your big gender equation, then? Nothing about, like, knowing right from wrong?
Here’s what I can’t stop thinking: The unwritten code of football is that you handle your business in-house. Any one of these men could have said something to stop Incognito and help Martin. Any one of them could have handled it. They’re warriors, right? They’re paragons of strength. And yeah, there are complex reasons why they didn’t. But they didn’t.
So if there is so many differences can there be any consistent aspects of manhood that exists today? It’s hard to say, but I’ve been lucky enough to see living examples in my friends and family. Even in the warrior tribal sense honor has always been associated with being a man. Honor can be described as honesty, respect, and integrity. Honesty is a complex idea, not every man who lies is dishonest and those who tell the truth can at times be far from honest.
I’ve seen a good man sin
I’ve seen a tough man cry
I’ve seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie”
If by Rudyard Kipling
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!