Boys are tough, um, boys don’t cry. And when it comes down to it, you fight not flight.
So I was six and I was taught how to punch. It was the anti-bullying movement back then, um, the first time one of my classmates, um, took a “your mama” joke just little to far. I remember all my training and I hit the boy square in the face. I turned his nose into a fountain. My skin horrified [inaudible].
I closed my eyes. I made a wish. I came home with bloody knuckles and it was the first piece of art work we hung on the fridge. Yeah. I remember staring at my hands they same way you stare at a mid term, you know, when all your answers are correct. And I had no idea what class this was, but I did know something. I was actually acing this class and isn’t that what masculinity has become, um, you know, a bunch of dudes afraid of their own feelings, terrified of any emotion other than anger, um, yelling at shadows on the wall. But still haven’t realized that we’re the ones standing in front of the light. So we learned how to die the jab.
We learn how to step in for weak links. We learn that the highs of things, [inaudible]. But we keep forgetting that they don’t have the same function. So we might convince ourself that vulnerability equates to weakness when it actually doesn’t and keep telling each other to man up. Well, we don’t even know what that means.
Um, we turned our boys into bayonets, point them in the wrong direction, pull the trigger and fail to acknowledge all the devils in the distance. Um, the word re-purpose, it means to take an objects and give it a meaning. Means to make something forget what has been trained to do so you can use it for better reasons.
I’m learning, that this body is not a shotgun, I’m learning that this bodies not a pistol, I’m learning that a man is not defined by what he can destroy. I’m learning that a person only know how to fight, learned to communicate violence, and that shouldn’t be anyone’s first language. And I am learning that the difference between a guardian and a graveyard is only what you choose to put on the ground. Thanks for listening.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.