You knew I was gonna go there. You knew I was not going to stay silent on this issue!
When it gets to the point that even the atmosphere in an NFL locker room is crossing the line, something has got to give. I commend the Miami Dolphins for taking the proper action against someone whose actions went beyond harmless horseplay.
People think that a "real" man can't be abused, or bullied, or manipulated just because. Just because of what? He could just kick someone's ass? Because he should be able to "just take it?" The very thought of this is sexist in and of itself. You don't know what's going on inside that guy's head.
We don't live in a comic book, the jungle, or the old west, and most of us aren't in high school anymore, so don't tell me that kicking ass is the only way to solve problems. Yes, I agree that there really are people who deserve to get smacked as hard as possible, due to the aforementioned inability to behave like adults. But they're the animals, not us, so let's not try to play dirty like them as long as we can help it.
People love saying that if someone is being bullied, then it's the victim's fault. I put very little stock in that. More likely, the perpetrator has issues that were never dealt with, or better yet, maybe they had parents who just got too lazy to discipline them, and couldn't explain that there's a way you behave and there's a way you don't. No, I think that bullying escalates less because someone "asks for it," and more because early childhood behavior was not properly guided. Hence one of my many catch-phrases, Teach These Damn Kids How To Behave. It's for damn sure you can't teach them anything of the sort once they reach adulthood, or turn pro! This is why we have anti-bullying laws, because society does not owe them a free lifetime pass of "just ignoring them."
I was already working on this before, but now that this story broke, here it is:
The Animal attains goals through aggression and dominance, and fear and intimidation.
The Man does so through intelligence, within the bounds of basic ethics.
The Animal follows a herd and engages in groupthink.
The Man thinks for himself and chooses whether or not to follow the herd.
The Animal bullies, plunders, and usurps.
The Man treats others with respect.
The Animal thinks nothing of causing harm.
The Man chooses his battles wisely.
The Animal does not understand right or wrong.
The Man does.
Now that this unfortunate news has coincided with the new, and more accurate, title I've given this blog, you're gonna see a little more of this. The notion that you have to do something just because you're a man, and someone thinks every man should do it, is no less sexist than saying that a woman's place is in the home, barefoot and pregnant.
So, gentlemen, which would you rather be. A Man, or an Animal? If you're not sure, then let the above suggestions guide you towards "manning up!"
I EXIST. I MATTER. I BELONG. I DESERVE.