Friday, July 15, 2016

Athlete Culture and the Media

A Washington Post article highlights that Mississippi State has decided to continue valuing and promoting a toxic masculinity - the coach is dismissing physically aggressive video footage of an athlete against a woman and when the coach was asked about it, he mentioned that he was "thrilled" to have the young man joining the team. At first this might seem like the same old thing, but it's a little different: the tone of the article is quietly condemning, both of the coach's attitude and of the athlete's violent behavior. Is this how new definitions of masculinity will enter the mainstream? Will the new standard come quietly instead of by storm?

If so, I would be glad to welcome it in this way. What I know of personal growth has shown me that every time I try to fight for change, I get nowhere, or worse, and fast. From quitting smoking to working with depression and mental health, I have found that only through loving acceptance have I begun to have traction. Quiet, calm reflection works for this piece in the Post as it often does for us as individuals: as much as and only if we are willing to be honest about what we are doing and how it helps us, or separates us, from where we want to be.