Men Behaving ….

After watching the video of Will Smith smacking Chris Rock after the comedian told a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, how would you complete the line: Men Behaving _________?

Some commend Will Smith for “protecting his wife,” calling what he did, “beautiful,” “manly.”

Some criticize Will Smith for “toxic masculinity.”

Some commend Chris Rock for showing restraint and maturity for not smacking back and for not pressing charges (at least not yet).  

Some criticize Chris Rock for bad taste in joking about someone’s health.  

What do you think?  What adverb would you use to complete the sentence? 

I think I’ll go with the title of the British sitcom – “Men Behaving Badly.”

And I think it applies to both men. 

I’m not saying they are bad men – just that their behavior was bad.  

Maybe both men need to take a step back for a little re-evaluation. 

Chris Rock:  I’ve always cringed at jokes that target health issues of people.  I just don’t see Jesus doing that.  Or maybe it was because I received my share of “teasing” as a kid for my speech impediment.  

Will Smith: Well, what he did was assault.  I wonder if we have fallen asleep to basic standards of human decency and civility.  Our leaders have been openly cruel and mean and in so doing have given us permission to be and do the same.  This is where we are. 

In his speech after receiving the Oscar for actor for his role in “King Richard” (Loved that movie!), Will said, “I’m being called on in my life, to love people and to protect people.” And then he said this: “Love will make you do crazy things.”  

Will Smith, Nope.  Just ask a victim of abuse whose abuser uses that same line.  

We all can do better.  And hopefully, when we know better, we will do better (Thank you, Maya Angelou).

1 thought on “Men Behaving ….

  1. In my troubled teen years that took up much of the 1980s, I noticed how, generally, by ‘swinging first’ a person potentially places himself (or herself) in an unanticipated psychological disadvantage—one favoring the combatant who chooses to patiently wait for his opponent to take the first swing, perhaps even without the fist necessarily connecting.

    Just having the combatant swing at him before he’d even given his challenger a physical justification for doing so seemed to instantly create a combined psychological and physical imperative within to react to that swung fist with justified anger. In fact, such testosterone-prone behavior may be reflected in the typically male (perhaps unconsciously strategic) invitation for one’s foe to ‘go ahead and lay one on me,’ while tapping one’s own chin with his forefinger.

    Yet, from my experience, it’s a theoretical advantage not widely recognized by both the regular scrapper mindset nor general society. Instead of the commonly expected advantage of an opponent-stunning first blow, the hit only triggers an infuriated response earning the instigator two-or-more-fold returned-payment hard hits. It brings to mind an analogous scenario in which a chess player recklessly plays white by rashly forcefully moving his pawn first in foolish anticipation that doing so will indeed stupefy his adversary.

    I’ve theorized that it may be an evolutionary instinct ingrained upon the human male psyche—one preventing us from inadvertently killing off our own species by way of an essentially gratuitous instigation of deadly violence in bulk, which also results in a lack of semen providers to maintain our race. Therefore, in this sense, we can survive: If only a first strike typically results in physical violence, avoiding that first strike altogether significantly reduces the risk of this form of wanton self-annihilation.
    In short, matters should remain peacefully peachy, or at least non-violent, when every party shows the others their proper, due respect. It’s like a proactively perfect solution. …
    In other words, matters should remain peacefully peachy when every party shows the others their proper, due respect. It’s like a proactively perfect solution. …

    It should also be noted, however, that on rare occasion (at least from my many years of observation) an anomalous initiator/aggressor will be sufficiently confident, daring and violently motivated, perhaps through internal and/or external anger, to outright breach the abovementioned convention by brazenly throwing the first punch(es).

    Perhaps with the logical anticipation, or hope even, that his conventional foe will physically respond in kind by swinging at or hitting him, the unprovoked initiator/aggressor will feel confident and angered enough to willfully physically continue, finishing what he had essentially inexcusably started. It was as though he had anticipated that through both his boldness in daring to throw the first punch and then furthermore finish the physical job he himself had the gall to unjustifiably start in the first place, he will resultantly intimidate his (though now perhaps already quite intimidated) non-initiator/non-aggressor foe into a crippling inferior sense of physical-defense debilitation, itself capable of resulting in a more serious beating received by that diminished non-initiator/non-aggressor party.

    Or, another possibility remains that the initiator/aggressor will be completely confident that when/if he strikes first and the non-initiator/non-aggressor responds with reactor’s fury, he, the initiator/aggressor will himself respond to that response with even greater fury thus physically/psychologically overwhelm the non-initiator/non-aggressor with a very unfortunate outcome for the latter party. Regardless, it has always both bewildered and sickened me how a person can throw a serious punch without any physical provocation.

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