Subverting the Alpha Male Myth.
“The correct way to be a man is to be aggressive, intimidating, and most importantly to dominate others.”
I was brought up without these myths, as a boy. Raised by a single mom, I learned to be gentle to animals (after being gently admonished for killing ants for fun, or hitting an innocent tree with a stick for fun). I learned to work with and accept my anger, my love of sports, and other typically male pursuits—while, too, learning Japanese Flower Arranging, kyudo, meditation, pottery, art, poetry…and yeah, helping mom with the dishes. It was all good.
But, of course, I lived in the real world, and ran into bullies at school and women I dated who made fun of me for crying and “acting like a girl.”
So, even for me, who had a leg up…away from toxic masculinity, I’ve been pushed and encouraged to be tougher and macho and football-loving, etc., all my life.
So this movie came as a sort of a tonic to all that noise, and for my sisters out there who’ve borne the brunt of toxic masculinity (you know, cowardice, insecurity—weaponized) this movie will be a (fun, crazy, wild) revelation.
PS: I like football. Barely. More of a basketball and baseball guy.
Waymond said the two most iconic lines in the movie “be kind, especially when you don’t know what’s going on” and “in another life, I would’ve loved to do laundry and taxes with you” – they always make me emotional. ~ a comment
A truly extraordinary example of empathetic manhood. Waymond is different. He’s a hero without having to stop being sweet or silly or thoughtful. He doesn’t have to put on a superhero outfit. He is fighting, as he says, in his own way: with kindness.
“The only thing I do know is we have to be kind.” “Especially when we don’t know what’s going on.”
From the first video: “Kindness is not putting on blinders, ignoring the negative, or being fake-nice. Waymond manifests kindness through patience, communication, and empathy.” “Useful, pragmatic skills.” “He’s the anti-cynic, the antidote to nihilism.” “Empathy is what solves it.” “He’s content to stand back and support her while she wins the day.”
It’s actionable empathy…we don’t wait around…we contribute to life and this planet.
“One of the most Subversive representations of Masculinity in any Genre.” Now go watch it, if you haven’t.
For further reading: “I’ve learned that the kind of dominating behaviour that so-called alpha males have learned to adopt is not innately masculine, and certainly doesn’t lead to peace of mind or happiness, which may explain why suicide is the leading cause of death for men between 25 and 50.”
Finally, his moving Golden Globes speech: