Thursday, September 11, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 0 comment

Hypermasculinity and the struggle to be a man

Hypermasculinity and the struggle to be a man | Yes, We Rise

The Ray Rice video

In the last 48 hours social media has been a buzz about the Ray Rice situation and the “swift justice” handed out by both the Ravens and the NFL. I, for one, never believe in coincidence and the overwhelming altruistic nature of multi-billion dollar companies.

In all things whether it be social change or punishment there is always a monetary value attached. Actuarial Science is a major people.  That being said, what this situation once again reveals is the twisted nature of our society when it comes to the intersection of sports/entertainment/money.

Domestic violence is despicable

Domestic Violence is, and will always be, a despicable act no matter who commits the act. (Men do get abused. The fact that many snickered when Jay Z showed restraint when his sister-in-law assaulted him in an elevator shows the schism in the reversed situation.) We have an issue in this country that violence solves problems, He with most power wins. Couple that with pro sports/entertainment and you get a volatile mix.

If you have a personality that leans towards a propensity for violence and a lack of anger management training, chances are you may become an abuser.

While many pro athletes don’t become abusers, many have seen or endured abuse. Just as in the general public. there are a significant number of people that know this unfortunate experience. What these recent cases have reinforced are two things:

  1. If you have money you can mitigate your circumstances.
  2. The punishments are different for different people.

The fact that no one seemingly saw the video until TMZ released it is both confusing and scary. Has it really come to the point in this country that the media has more power (authority) than everyone else? Or was there a calculated response that this would all blow over? There were News Networks making light of the situation. (See: Fox News hosts joke about Ray Rice video).

There have been several other high profile incidences where family members (Read: Rihanna’s father likes Chris Brown) stuck up for the abuser. I’ve seen this in many non-famous families, especially when the abuser also pays the bills. Nobody wants to “kill” the golden goose (even if the goose is sick) so they support the situation because they have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle.

Do we place too much responsibility on professional athletes?

If that isn’t putting a person in a type of bondage I don’t what is. In the Black community there has been perhaps an unfair amount of responsibility placed on professional athletes. They have reached a monetary level that we have been told we should all aspire to. Money can’t buy happiness, any more than it can buy common sense and home training.

We in the Black community (unfairly) treat these people as role models and as leaders. They are really just entertainers. Why do we do this? We tend to expect individuals born with exceptional gifts to be different than the rest of society. They are a microcosm of society and these incidents show that we have a lot of growing up to do.

I have told my oldest son that if he hits a girl I’ll break his hand. Even if I have climb out of the grave to do it. Now IF his life is in danger that is different. (There have been incidents where men were killed by female abusers).

We need to train our society to use other means to settle disputes and deal with stress. 

I don’t think that we are headed in the right direction at this point; we have hyper-violent attitudes. We teach males not to show emotion and to deal with things as a man. If women are a significant part of the equation, they are seemingly left out. Couple this with the undertones systemic oppression and you have the problems that raise its head: the cycle Abuse, recanting, honeymoon phase and then more violence.

If you extrapolate the same scenario in wider context, you can see the historic relationship between the United States and certain segments of their own population. This just a set of observations, feel free to form your own opinions.

*Dr. Headley*

Read: Chris Brown poses for selfies with Rihanna's father at basketball game
Watch: Ray Rice video


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