What It Means To Be A Real Man


Sincerity is like my biggest enemy. Like, I went to Vassar; irony is the #1 currency there. I mean I love sincere enjoyment, but sincere seriousness is SO LAME. With that said, ugh, I am gonna go ahead and be sincerely serious.

I really like to watch football, sincerely AND seriously and a little ironically if you know what I look like. But boy is it really gross right now. I mean before this bullying shit hit the fan it was still gross because of all this concussion stuff, but now I want to drop out of my fantasy league and block ESPN.

But this morning put me over the edge. My gears had been ground. While watching SportsCenter and I heard about Tony Dorsett’s CTE diagnosis, a brain disease caused by repeated head trauma. The anchors had the appropriate reaction; they were sad and seemingly concerned for player safety in the NFL. I was 100% on board and I’m really happy this continues to be discussed seriously and sincerely.

But then what immediately followed that poignant moment were the top 10 plays and number 5 or so was an MMA fight ending with a man being knocked out cold with a punch to the head. And while I watched that clip, which was repeated 2 or 3 times in slow motion, I saw the man’s eyes roll in the back of his head as he collapsed. It was terrifying. But more terrifying than that was the anchors of SportsCenter’s reaction. They were legitimately excited by this. Their voices went up an octave and they probably high fived. EVEN THOUGH JUST 5 MINUTES AGO THEY WERE VERY SERIOUSLY AND SINCERELY CONCERNED ABOUT HEAD TRAUMA! BUT NOW THEY HAVE BONERS FOR IT!

I’m not the only one that is confused and concerned by this, right? Other people get the irony to this, right? I mean it was before 7am and I wasn’t even a 3rd done with my first cup of coffee and I was aware and awake enough to take notice and be disgusted. I really hope other people had the same reaction as me.

But hey, I’m not “manly.” I went to Vassar. And I love cats. And I describe my legs as “dancer’s legs.” So I am basically only a man on the biological level. Because for me to be seen as a “real man” in the eyes of SportsCenter I have to punch, or be punched in the face by someone or at the very least enjoy watching it. And to be a “real man” in the NFL I would have to undergo harassment and feel unsafe and smile through it and then be super pumped about joining that abusive brotherhood. And to be a “real man” to the fans of football I would have to ignore any and all health concerns and play through it, which might result in me killing myself, BECAUSE THAT IS A REAL MAN.

I say all of this as a big fan of football. And martial arts. And I guess those are the only “manly” things I like. But still. I get the appeal of it all. And I don’t want these sports to disappear. But something has to change, I just don’t know what.

But I do know that Jonathan Martin is 100% right in walking away from the Dolphins. And all those people shaming and/or blaming him, they’re wrong. Because those people shaming Mr. Martin are being ignorant. They’re being ignorant of their power and influence. And that’s really dangerous because a lot of kids/tweens/teens/adults aren’t going to understand the context of a situation (and really there is no context that makes making someone feel unsafe ok). They’re just going to hear these men calling a guy that walks away a pussy. And that when you’re confronted with harassment you should just rip your shirt off and start throwing punches. Because I think we all know the best answer to violence is violence. I mean if you want to be a “man,” that’s the only option.

Ugh, now I can’t wait to watch the newest episode of American Horror Story shit on men.