A few days ago the Gillette Company set off one of those memes that's still simmering across the nation. Their #THEBESTTHATMENCANBECAMPAIGN aimed at toxic masculinity seems to have lots of male sphincters on the path to tightness. The calls for a boycott of Gillette products seems to be, for some anyway, a way to show Gillette the highway for even broaching the subject of male masculinity. I am not blenching here but there are just way to may definitions of masculinity. I'm not going to the mall and ask fifty guys just what it is and print their answers. I remember back in 1964 when Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said about pornography, "I shall not attempt to define it, but I know it when I see it."
Long before the #METOO movement shook the country there was an incident in 1973 where a 55 year old male tennis player was swishing around thumbing his nose at the professional women tennis players of the world. The usual crap about the female somehow being inferior. He challenged any one woman to a match and vowed he would prove his words.
Well the little twit did manage to beat the first challenger Margie Court an Australian. After the match he pranced around like a peacock who lost its head with the I told you so bravado. Well he carried on so bad an American tennis great at the time, Billie Jean King, decided to take on the challenge. It was scheduled at the Houston Astrodome and the hype was immense. Billie Jean didn't say much, but of course, Bobbie couldn't be shut up with a howitzer to the mouth.
The match was shown on live TV world wide, and of course it was no contest. Billie Jean won all 3 sets handily sending the 55-year-old Riggs back where he came from, Mt Obscurity. We didn't really need Billie Jean and for that matter the #METOO movement to prove that there was equality between the sexes. We needed them to show us how to prove it, and that sure is what they did. Male workplace bullies and masculine power was finally exposed for the ugly beast it was. One by one the titans of bully power began to fall, times are a changing as they say. Probably to slow for some but it's getting done. Men are finally being called upon to check their brothers behavior and get off the sidelines.
I'm not certain if Gillette knew just how deep the masculine challenge was but masculinity itself is in dire need of a good rinse. I believe it's coming for this reason. The American Psychological Association just recently (can't say if Gillette knew) released a new study. They report that men commit 90% of homicides in the United States and represent 77% of homicide victims. They're the demographic group most at risk of being victimized by violent crime. They are 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide than women, and their life expectancy is 4.9 years shorter than women. Boys are far more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity than girls and they face harsher punishments in school. Most especially boys of color.
All those figures by the American Psychological Association are in line with Chicago's violent numbers. There is no denying that it is mostly gang fueled black on black violence. In this particular election cycle a new word HOLISTIC has been tossed around by the candidates while blowing gas on how to stem the violence in Chicago, and it keeps coming up. "Holistic is characterized by the treatment of the whole person taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just a symptom of a disease." I have been around the block for scores of years working the streets of Chicago and I have never heard of murderers and shooters having a disease. I'm not sure what lane those candidates are in but sooner or later they may discover it's the GOOF lane.
The study concludes that masculinities are constructed based on social, cultural, and contextual norms. They have set forth a traditional masculine ideology as a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the male population. They include anti-femininity, (sound familiar) achievement, eschewing the appearance of any weakness, adventure, risk and violence. No doubt the whole package for most macho males. I cannot deny any of it. However, there is wide spread support for many of the study's recommendations including INVOLVEMENT WITH CHILDREN FOR EXAMPLE (HELLO) AND DEVELOPING BETTER APPROACHES TO REDUCE BULLYING.
This morning April Ward was interviewed by Dahleen Glanton of the Tribune. She is the mother of Micheail Ward, known gang thug and the killer of Hadiya Pendleton. Ward who is now 24, back in 2013 went to a local park seeking to kill a rival gang member. The park was teeming with neighborhood kids enjoying themselves, including 15-year-old Hadiya. Ward immediately started shooting, hitting Hadiya and killing her. Last week Ward was sentenced to 84 years in prison. During the interview Mrs Ward repeatedly denied her son was a killer and in fact said he never even owned a gun. It was just not possible. A classic case of LOVING EYES DON'T SEE. There are hundreds and hundreds of Micheail Wards in Chicago's neighborhoods, that the Holistic approach has passed them by. They have no disease with lingering systems. They are killers without any type of empathy. Who really knows how many repeat killers are in those neighborhoods, the cops only clear about 15% of killings and even less for other shootings. If parents are in denial about their children who is going to be accountable for them?
Many of those thug gang bangers have blood on their hands and are a menace to the society we live in. They are way beyond counseling, schooling and jobs, to think otherwise is just plain naive. Only a traumatized, dehumanized and desensitized human can snuff out Gods greatest creation and not bat an eye, and believe me there is not a lot of eye batting going on. Law abiding citizens of those neighborhoods without question would welcome a leader who saw beyond the rhetoric of Holistic babble. Our civilization has made most of us creatures of learning but in order to maintain that or save it we are compelled to leave our studies and become people of action.
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