“Old School” is one of my favorite movies. “Frank the Tank”, Mitch, Spanish, Blue and other characters have me dying in laughter everytime I watch it. I’m not sure how many movies about fraternities there are, but “Old School” has to be on the best. The premise is almost similar to that of “The Hangover”. A group of older men that wants to live like guys half their age, one last time. Both of these movies were hugely successful in the box office, and are still wildly popular, especially amongst young- and middle-aged males. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that these types of movies tend to make males look immature.
I know that there are movies that make it hard for women to be taken seriously. “Clueless” and “Legally Blonde” are just two examples. But those movies weren’t, and still aren’t as accepted as “Old School” and “The Hangover”. While they’re all clearly comedies, and an exaggeration to an extent, I believe you’ll find more people who believe that “Old School” and “The Hangover” are near-accurate descriptions of males than those who will find “Clueless” and “Legally Blonde” to be near-accurate descriptions of women. With some women believing that no matter the age, we (males) are immature, it doesn’t really help our image when we flock to see these movies. My aunt, an intelligent and reasonable woman, once told me that “Animal House” scared her away from dating fraternity members. She’s not the only woman to have told me that, either.
Comedic movies aside, a good number of us don’t really do much to dispel the notion that we’re sophomoric, homophobic horndogs that lack even the most minute amount of compassion. Allow me to elaborate…
The Desean Butler injury.
Many people watched this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, including the Final Four. The second game of the Final Four, on April 4, was between Duke University and West Virginia University. With Duke well ahead in the second half, West Virginia star forward Desean Butler drove hard to the hoop, planted, and forced up an awkward shot. He collapsed in a heap, writhing on the floor in pain. After seeing the replays, anyone who’s watched sports long enough knew he suffered a serious knee injury. He lay on the floor, in tears, clutching his left knee. His coach, Bob Huggins came onto the floor to console him, assuring Butler that he hadn’t let anyone down, even though Butler profusely apologized. In the world of men’s sports, where sometimes testosterone matters more than talent, here was a grown man wiping the tears from another’s face. The crowd sat in stunned silence at the display of raw emotion from two competitors. How did a good number of men react? Men tweeted that Butler was gay, because he cried. He’s a pussy, because he should’ve gotten up and walked off of the court instead of causing a scene. Huggins is gay for wiping away Butler’s tears. Butler is weak. One of my friends called me after Butler had been helped off the court, and immediately asked, “You see that gay ass shit?!” Seriously, fellas, imagine if Butler were your son. Would you want his coach to ignore his pain and demand that he “man up” and limp off the court on his own power? How would you feel if your son’s coach gave him a dismissive wave of the hand, as if he and his injury didn’t matter? I’m sure you’d be outraged, and if you wouldn’t be, that speaks volumes about your integrity. Anyone that has read a Science book knows that we are filled with testosterone, and we don’t need to go out of our way to show it.
If you don’t condone homosexuality, that’s your prerogative. Whether you feel that way because of religious reasons, or because you just can’t wrap your mind around the fact that two people of the same sex could be romantically involved, again, that’s your choice. But to opine whenever you get the chance about how much it disgusts you is ridiculous. To insinuate that you couldn’t be friends with a homosexual is just asinine. Here’s something you might not have known: Just like 99.9% of women, 99.9% of gay men don’t want to be involved in any way, shape, or form with you.
Do you ever wonder why the question “Will a male active pro athlete ever come out of the closet?” still looms over our heads? Or why it sometimes dominates the news, both on television and in print? This is 2010, and it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it clearly is. It is, because WE WOULD THROW A SHITFIT. Some of us would refuse to cheer for that athlete, or even that team anymore. Some male athletes would request to be released or traded, and some have even gone as far as saying they wouldn’t even want to shower with him. If you have a gay teammate, do you really think that after a loss, he would be more interested in catching you in the showers alone, rather than simply trying to get cleaned up and prepare for the next game? The sad thing is, a good number of you would think exactly that. It’s also funny how we choose to ignore the flamboyance and gaudiness of certain male celebrities (mainly rappers), because they rap about “fucking bitches and hoes” or are constantly seen in public with different women. Has it ever crossed your mind that he could be…putting on a front?
How we treat women.
The popularity of girl-on-girl still confuses me, at 24. After the age of 16, what’s the point? Yes, I know that in most cases, two women are fully aware of the attention they’ll receive by even exchanging glances with each other, but why is it that there are some grown men that still become so easily aroused by this? Does the objectification of women EVER get tired? Maybe in your fantasy, a Kerry Washington/Eva Mendes scenario (actually, that’s mine) would do the trick…but any two women, going at it? Your imagination…and you came up with that? This is what you chose to record with your camcorder or phone, to show to your friends, as if it’s some great accomplishment? Could it be that we lack the sexual prowess that we are so quick to inform the world about? I can’t imagine how a grown, heterosexual man could fantasize about two women with any regularity. More than a few women don’t understand why we wouldn’t want to substitute one of the women with ourselves, and I don’t, either.
The word “bitch” and “hoe” are thrown around too loosely, as well. Actually, the fact that we use them when talking about women in general is pretty pathetic. Just because Katt Williams likes to “play pimp” doesn’t mean that we should. We’re talking about our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, girlfriends, fiancees, wives, and the mothers of our children. I can’t think of a word, that when said, offends men as much as bitch and hoe offends most women. It doesn’t even matter that there’s a growing number of women that actually address each other with those unkind words. Let them make fools of themselves and each other.
We seriously need to stop taking women for granted. Women are not here for our disposal. If you want another hole on your belt, grab a knife and make one. It’s safe to say that there are more than enough women that are desperate enough to basically raise us during our “2nd childhood” (Nas!), but I’d like to think that we have more pride than that. The year is 2010, and I know that women now have most of the same opportunities to be successful that we do, but that doesn’t mean that we should sit back while they provide for us, as if it’s their turn to be the breadwinners. Most of you who sit on your girlfriend’s couch for hours on end, playing PlayStation like it’s going out of style, have never provided for anyone, let alone an able-bodied and able-minded woman. So it’s unfathomable that you could (or better yet) would use the excuse of “For years, we did for women. Now it’s their turn.” I’m not mad at the guy working as a cashier at McDonald’s. But I am angered by the guy who feels that, even when he’s dead broke and unemployed, that job is beneath him. If you want a woman to wipe the oatmeal off of your chin, move back in with your mother…if she’d let you.
The Black community is filled with fatherless children. That doesn’t mean that all men of other races and cultural backgrounds are exactly shining examples of fathers, though. All across the board, we are man enough to have unprotected sex with a woman, knowing we run the risk of impregnating her, and still don’t want to raise our children. I’ve written that women should be more selective, but so should we. We don’t have to have sex with every woman that is willing. I’m sure that we all have access to condoms, and know how to use them. We’ve heard stories of shady women that promise us they are using birth control, only to reveal her pregnancy several weeks afterwards. I was raised by a single mother, as were many others, but that doesn’t mean that we should allow it to happen simply because it can work out. I know men who complain about being taken to court on a child support order. This, coming from men who have no problem spending their money on material items and random women. A cable package is a higher priority than a young son or daughter. A child’s school supplies can wait one more week because of a Gucci Mane concert. We hear so much about deadbeat dads because there are so many of them. What makes the issue of deadbeat dads so much sadder is that so many of us fail to see this as a serious problem, don’t want to sit down and discuss possible solutions, and that sperm donors don’t seem to show much remorse or want to rectify the situation. More thought needs to go into the consequences of helping bring a child into this world before we lay down as if that’s what we were born to do.
It’s not easy being a man. It takes commitment, pride, dignity, integrity and making each responsibility a priority, and not an option. We will be pushed, by members of the opposite sex, and by each other. Hopefully, we will challenge each other in years to come to be better brothers, boyfriends, husbands, fathers, and men. Frank the Tank was hilarious and is one of my favorite movie characters of all-time, but he’s fictional. Fellas…grow up.
P.S. I miss Karen!!!
P.P.S. Down with Gucci Mane!!!