I was in my parents’ living room the first time I tried to watch Magnolia. For as long as I can remember, my family has done this thing when we watch movies together. Right at the most emotional or romantic moment in the film, someone will pat the left part of his or her chest and say, as dramatically as possible, “Gets ya right here.” Then someone else would repeat it and pretty soon no one would be watching the movie anymore. We would even do this when guests were around.
When I was in the fifth grade, our D.A.R.E. officer – you know, the “just say no to drugs” guy? – used to play basketball with my friends and me at recess. Jim, we’ll call him, was probably in his thirties. Playing with Jim was far beyond his job description, and of course it gave us all a huge thrill to have an adult paying attention to us. One time, though, when he was demonstrating his moves on the court, his cigarettes and can of dip fell out of his pocket.
I am grateful that Front Porch Republic (“Place. Limits. Liberty.”) has published an essay of mine. This particular meditation shares an experience I had in graduate school with a class called “Men and Masculinity.” As you can imagine, I then do my best to broach relationships between men and women, essentially arguing that men are too often not taken seriously enough. I also dive into Men’s Rights Activists a little bit. Have you heard of that movement?