Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Ray on Toxic Masculinity

So there's a term floating around "toxic masculinity."
I used to just call them d*ckheads.
It's okay to be a man you know... and like to do things like fix your own plumbing, root for your favorite team or build sh*t or find inventive ways to blow sh*t up.
It's definitely cool to bring your sons along when you're doing the above... it's even cooler when you bring your daughters.
It's also cool to read poetry, check out museums or Broadway shows or cry at the end of the Notebook...
Conversely totally acceptable to cry at the end of Red Dawn and Field of Dreams... man, I'm getting choked up just thinking about it.
It's very cool to have a Dental Plan.. Change a Diaper... shovel snow.... master hardscaping.... take out the trash.... learn to BBq... kiss boo boo's... leave the light on... read bedtime stories and yes...
Blow sh*t up.
It's not cool to raise your voice to your kid's Mom... cat call a lady... raise your hands in unprovoked violence but it is cool that should a man impede his violence upon you.... you smash his f*cking face... unless of course you can offer some healing through love.
And of course it is always cool to blow sh*t up.
It's cool to go to Church... but more important to love God as God loves you and it's very masculine to love your neighbors and to look another man in the eye when you give him a firm handshake....
It's cool to smile during said handshake.
It's cool to color outside the lines and sing Regina Spektor at the top of your lungs directly after you've listened to Rage Against the Machine.
It's cool to vote Democrat and cool to vote Republican and better to vote Libertarian.
It's cool to change your mind.
Admit when you're wrong.
Kneel during the Anthem and it's cool to stand Tall and proud to Salute your nation.
It's cool to obey the major laws and bend the minor ones 
Being a man isn't about bullying other non-alphas... it's not about "slaying ass"...
It's not about having 1,000 different lovers but finding the 1,000 lovers inside your One.
Being a Man is about protecting the weak... and strengthening with your love. Being a man is about being the cornerstone of your home and providing for your family. Being a man is about sticking up for what you think to be right and having the intellect and literacy to defend it.
Everything else.... that's about being a boy.
Now some folks nowadays think that is macho talk... and I can respect that perspective....
After generations of abuse and belligerence it's hard for me to say trust us... depend on us... believe in us....
I was having a conversation with an old friend a few nights ago....
Metal af.
Police Officer.
Good father.
Good husband.
Full of love. And we chatted. Oh the children we are raising!
We have an opportunity to guide this generation to the greatest our society has ever seen... a balance of love and accountability and empathy and responsibility.
Don't miss the opportunity. Whether you're a parent or not... someone is always watching.
To be honest this a truth for me and despite the recent rise of language attacking "manhood" or "masculinity" in all it's forms I don't take my direction from hashtags. I let my heart guide me.

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