Masculinity: danger controlled, or danger-in-waiting?

(cont from above)

I don’t know how much sense I’m making here. Like, if I was asleep with my wife at 2 am and we heard glass break and the front door opening, and I handed her a bat and said, “You go see what’s going on, I’m scared and I’m gonna hide.” I wouldn’t just feel like I had failed. I would feel like I had failed in a way that is distinct to being a male. I don’t want the next generation of men to lose the notion that there are masculine virtues that they should aspire to. That doesn’t mean I want to see meatheads or bullies or anything, obviously.


Yea, I am pretty certain if I did that, the robber would be safe and I would be taking a trip to the ER from the lumps on my head.

This type of behavior would certainly warrant revocation of the “man card”.

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The most unobtrusive guy I know happens to be a Navy Seal. He had a quiet confidence and didn’t have a swaggering bravado.

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Thank you for sharing this–what beauty and strength this man had in his heart. If anyone hasn’t read the link, please do–it won’t take long.

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While I’m not a fan of this either, it’s largely because of legal liability concerns for the school. Also, I’ve had male friends who were seriously injured in school fights - we’re talking broken bones or anal rape - so I would rather see an overreaction by the school, than the type of underreaction that occurred when my friends were attacked.

This is pretty extreme. I doubt any man would do this. There are also a lot of women who would go right behind him with their own bat or gun, because they love him and they are tough.

In the work to prevent destructive bullying, we’ve gone way overboard with interventions that (I believe) are ineffective. Kids, adults actually, don’t know how to resolve conflict on their own. Look at the US political discussions on this board–we cannot civilly discuss why we think one candidate is better than another and acknowledge the other’s point of view. No, it devolves into extreme dichotomies and severing of relationships. It used to be you could rigorously debate an issue, be on opposite ends, and the go out for a beer or dinner and enjoy the friendship. Teaching our kids to resolve conflict as well as to know when the problem is too big and they need to ask for help would go far in fostering more positive interactions. I remember in elementary school tussles escalated to ‘meet you at the bike racks after school’. There would be some wildly ineffective punches thrown, maybe a torn shirt, and the next day the kids would be riding their bikes to school together again. Though I was a girl, I was party to such a ‘fight’ in my neighbourhood–a girl my age was picking on my little brother (four years younger)…she didn’t do that again and my parents shrugged it off when I told them.

This happened to my aunt and uncle. At 2 AM, my aunt awoke to the sound of shattering glass. My uncle, who is a heavy sleeper, didn’t wake up. Instead of shaking him awake and wasting time, she grabbed her gun and confronted the intruder. He saw the gun and ran off, after which she called 911. Luckily a patrolling cop saw the intruder and apprehended him. He was wanted due to rape.

As for my uncle, who carried on sleeping, he learned of the whole thing when he woke up.


This is a good point–hazing is monstrous especially when sexual assault enters the picture. How horrible for your friends.

I was bullied by the same girl on my street from kindergarten through graduation. It was torture, I asked for help and was denied any assistance. What I would’ve given to have an adult take me seriously, even if they didn’t directly intervene, it would’ve be helpful to be validated beyond ‘just ignore her’.

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It’s kind of hard to ignore a bully when she’s slapping you around.

I was bullied but I fought back. That was in elementary school. A girl bullied me and we’d get into fights. The adults would scold us both.

Middle school came around and we became good friends. We’re still friends to this day.

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I have known a few as well. Unobtrusive is a good description for most. You might never notice them going about their daily business, but you can bet your bottom dollar that when the solid waste strikes the rotary air impeller that they will be among those running towards the danger rather than away.

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Wow, that’s a great story! :blush:

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This is EXACTLY what my retired LEO husband said. He also is ‘unobtrusive’… until necessary, then, stand back and let the man work… I think the most masculine, powerful men go about their daily lives with competence and calm. They know who they are and don’t need to puff out their chests.

Above, the issue of men and their children was raised–my husband was equally as involved with our kids from day one. He and I were laughing just last night about guys being commended for ‘babysitting’ their kids…he was like, ‘uh, it’s calling parenting’. His tenderness with me and our kids only reinforces his masculinity, it certainly doesn’t make him weak (and lest people think you have to be tough with boys and delicate with girls, my husband is taking our 14yo daughter hunting this weekend). And just now I came across this article linked below; I’m not into celebrity and don’t watch many contemporary movies, but the point being made applies.

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This is what I was trying to illustrate, thank you. Obviously, there are situations that are extreme and absolutely require adult intervention, situations well shy of the broken bones and sexual assault that @Tis_Bearself mentioned. But I don’t think we need to immediately call out the National Guard because Tommy and Billy got into a shoving match, or be shocked that twelve year old boys are going to get into stupid tussles.

Like, I don’t think it’s bad that the kid I mentioned from camp learned, “Oh, if I act like an obnoxious idiot, eventually I’m going to get called on it, and no one is going to be sympathetic if I’ve brought it on myself.” I’d much rather he learn that lesson as a 12 year old who got a fat lip than a 25 year old who gets shot by someone in a road rage incident because he never learned to control his mouth. And I think that if the kid who smacked him had started seriously pummeling him when it was clear that he was down and out, crowd sympathy would’ve swung against him pretty fast, which would have been a lesson for that kid about fair fights and when enough is enough.

Of course. But I think we’d all instinctively judge a man who stayed in the bedroom while his wife went to confront the danger in a way we wouldn’t judge a woman. We kind of unconsiously expect the man to have primary “protector” duties. That’s not to say there aren’t super bada$$ women out there. I’m sure Ronda Rousey would have me on my butt in five seconds. I’m talking about general expectations here.

I guess what I’m saying at bottom is that it’s okay to recognize that some virtues are more commonly associated with masculinity and some with femininity, and that’s not just a result of the accretion of societal expectations. Some of that is innate. That’s not to say you can’t find plenty of examples of women displaying physical courage throughout history.

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The Church declared him Blessed, along with his brothers, two years ago.

Unless she was protecting children or was ill, I’d judge her. Might be wrong of me, but the women in my family weren’t a bunch of shrinking violets expecting a man to take care of everything, especially since men were often working the night shift, away on a business trip, sick in the hospital, dead etc. It’s not that I’m such a big feminist, it’s that men aren’t always around to “save” you.


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