And fuck you, Emmitt Smith.
It almost feels bad to have to say it. I’m a Texan, and as much as I like to keep it in its proper perspective I’m a football fan and a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. I grew up watching the Cowboys, from the early days of Don Meredith and Bullet Bob Hayes, through the days of miracle worker Roger Staubach and the succession of Doomsday Defenses. I was as happy as anyone to watch Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin form an offensive triad that absolutely terrorized defenses from coast to coast, adding to Dallas’s spectacular history as a winning football team.
Those guys get lots of accolades as athletes, all them deserved, but it appears that with some help from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, too much of the cheer leading has gone to their heads.
Rawlings is just the latest in a long string of politicians cashing in on the “men are bad” domestic abuse bandwagon, fostering a climate of fear and bigotry driven mistrust between the sexes in exchange for some added political capital.
Rawlings has begun parroting the jargon of gender feminists, promising to “change the male culture,” in the Dallas area. Of course, the implication here is that male culture is synonymous with raping, wife-beating assholes, and they, meaning you and all your raping, wife-beating asshole friends, need be fixed.
It appears that whatever male culture you were stupid enough to imagine you belonged to, like soldiers, police, firemen or any number of different men who protect and labor and toil to take care of wife and family; well, just forget all that. Get in line to get your change on, men, courtesy of other men in more powerful positions than you are. Men like Mike Rawlings and the designated jock superstars du jour.
They have just the prescription for addressing the complicated issue of intimate partner violence, one that primarily affects children, but which also affects both men and women in relatively equal proportion and across all other lines of social division.
They want 10,000 men to stand together, ignoring the truth about domestic violence, helping perpetuate a destructive myth for the sake of politics. The deception is simple to the point of elegance; prove you oppose violence against women (but not men or children) by standing together with 9,999 other redemption deficient men, proving that they don’t really know what the fuck they are doing there.
- Stand with 9,999 other men in ignoring the children who are the victims of violent mothers;
- Stand with 9,999 other men who laugh and scoff at other men who are physically abused;
- Stand with 9,999 other men who ignore the male victims who stay and take it because no one will listen and they won’t leave their children behind in the hands of their abuser;
- Stand with 9,999 other men and help turn ignorance of the issue into a movement; into cash and votes;
- Stand with 9,999 other men and help sacrifice the truth so Mike Rawlings can look like he gives a shit about anything but voter demographics;
- Stand with 9,999 other men who don’t have a clue that they are useful idiots in a war being waged on them and their sons.
Don’t bother explaining to Troy Aikman or Emmitt Smith how the “woman only” model of domestic violence victimization results in abused children being totally ignored by courts and social services. Don’t bother explaining to them how violent mothers cause as much psychological damage to children as violent fathers. Don’t try to impress on them that “change the male culture” is an unending campaign promise, a slogan that sociopathic dirt bags utter and that they really don’t give a rat’s ass about how families are affected by interpersonal violence.
Just stand there with 9,999 other pawns and keep your mouth shut, or have some cheese covered wacky fries™ while they lecture you on the inherent evils of masculinity. Try not to think of your father, or especially your son, as men are run into the ground and demonized for their cause célèbre.
Keep telling yourself that you are one of the “good ones,” like one of those powerful, gifted men at the podium you admire so much. Remind yourself of how special you feel, how you are looking good to the women, a savior chanting slogans and parroting whatever sound bite you can read off the nearest placard because you are too lazy to pick up a book or a read a real study, and too cowardly to take a stand unless you have 9,999 other idiots standing next to you, patting you on the back.
And then show me all your outrage and indignation when I say, fuck you, too.
(tip of the hat to August Løvenskiolds)