Manly

Some Thoughts on Macho Talk Tweets

This is a series of 15 tweets with each tweet separated by a | (bar)

“Some thoughts on macho talk re: the Montana incident. The idea that real men occasionally hit, and that real men hit back, is bad for men. | I say this as someone who was much bigger than other humans starting at around age five, and who used his first from an early age. | I spent many recess periods in elementary school under lock and key. In middle school, it was counseling. | By the time I hit adolescence, my aunt told me on day that my family had considered sending me away because if how violent I was. | That toughness that people seem to admire from a distance makes people fear you up close. | It makes people who love you think you are dangerous. Pushing leads to punching, and punching can cause brain damage and facial deformity. | If you are poor, and you solve problems with violence, you end up incarcerated. People carry that label for the rest of their lives. | Our prisons are full of “real men.” | Battered women’s shelters are full of women fleeing “real men.” | The sons of “real men” grow up to be emotionally stunted, confused, and poor. | And men who learn to solve problems with violence use that violence everywhere. | Real men do everything they can to avoid hurting others and themselves. Self-restraint and wisdom are not weak, they are powerful. | If I am so lucky as to father boys, I will teach them this. I will never, ever forget the fear I inspired in the eyes of my mother, my little brother, and my classmates. The memory of it makes me ill. | We should not consign men, or the people they encounter, to this fate.”

Mike Riggs
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