Monday Music: “Another One Bites the Dust”

Happy Monday! The Brewers are the hottest team in Major League Baseball, the Cubs are arguably the coldest, and the Brew Crew has a 97% chance of making the playoffs. This weekend was a phenomenal weekend for baseball here in Milwaukee and in honor of our great weekend here’s a little ditty by Queen.

Have a great week!

007 as a woman? Some men just can’t handle that!

Earlier this week news broke that Lashana Lynch from Captain Marvel has been cast as the new 007.

Predictably that news sent some fragile men into an absolute uproar, because how dare they cast anyone other than a man as 007??!?!?

One such example of how triggered some men have gotten is this video from Tyrone Magnus, who starts the video by addressing this whole “female empowerment thing” (and he used actual air quotes while saying it) and talking about how it’s been “forced on us.” Watch for yourselves but be forewarned – the condescension and toxicity is heavy.

While I understand that some men are really threatened at the idea of strong women taking over roles previously given exclusively to men (and by roles I don’t just mean in movies) I’m amused at how triggered and threatened they are. The notion that a role in a movie shouldn’t be given to a woman simply because she’s a woman and the role has always gone to a man is just plain wrong, and it’s the very definition of toxic masulinity.

Toxic masculinity is very real, and it’s something that needs to continue to be challenged.

A thought (or two) on toxic masculinity

I’ve been working on drafts (13 to be exact) of this for months because I’m not really sure where to begin – so I’m just going to start.

I’m a proud father and a husband to strong, independent, amazing women – women from whom I’ve learned amazing lessons about how to be a better man. My wife and daughter aren’t the only women in my life from whom I’ve gained insight into my place in this world as a man, and I’m thankful for the insight I’ve gained. I think back to who I was as a younger man and I’m thankful for the man I am now – and for all the people (predominantly women) who’ve helped me get to this place.

I’ve learned a lot along the way – and I’ve had my eyes opened to how utterly pervasive toxic masculinity has become in our society, from the toxic fans of some of our favorite superhero and science fiction movies to social media and television shows. We’re all inundated with examples of toxic masculinity, and when it’s pointed out there’s often ridiculous backlash from (mostly) men who feel threatened by the notion that they’re not the center of the universe and their manhood should not confer upon them the ability to act any way they choose without consequences. A perfect example of how men who feel threatened by the #metoo movement and what it represents can react when challenged can be found in the comment section of this short film from Gillette on YouTube.

Actor Terry Crews – himself a survivor of sexual abuse and toxic masculinity – gave testimony to Congress which is important in summing up what men need to do to hold each other accountability and to work towards putting an end to the vicious cycle of learned behaviors that creates such distorted, toxic, and incredibly pervasive ideas about what a man should be.

As a man who was raised to stay inside the “man box” of toxic masculinity I’m working to become the best version of what I think a man should be – someone who sees women as equals and partners and who sees women as being every bit as strong, capable, intelligent, and everything else that men can be. More importantly, I’m working to become the kind of man who isn’t afraid to hold other men – not to mention myself – accountable for toxic behavior towards women. Sometimes holding ourselves accountable is the most difficult part of all, because it’s the least comfortable, because it’s never easy to admit when you’re wrong or that you’re flawed. Accountability and growth are hard, but when it comes to toxic masculinity they’re absolutely critical if anything’s going to change.

And boy do things need to change…

VIDEO: Jon Stewart rips Congress for its inaction on 9/11 first responders

Watch comedian and activist Jon Stewart rip into Congress for its failure as a body to do more to fully fund the 9/11 victims’ compensation fund 18 years after the terror attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001.

It’s notable this isn’t the first time Jon Stewart has had to try to shame Congress into acting on funding for the 9/11 victims’ compensation fund – three years ago Stewart made the same fight for 9/11 first responders. In my opinion there are a few issues – and fully funding the 9/11 victims’ compensation fund is one – where both parties should be willing and able to do the right thing without the issue being used to score cheap political points.

This just hit me right in the feels….

…and if it doesn’t hit you right in the feels then you probably have no soul (maybe that’s an exaggeration, but still – this is amazing).

In all seriousness, I’m in awe of what Kodi Lee can do with his voice and a piano; he’s an exceptional young man and he’s an example of why we as a society cannot and must not denigrate, isolate, minimize, or count out individuals who are physically, mentally, or emotionally atypical.