Why it is a good thing that Charles Barkley said what he said about Isaiah Thomas’ crying on the court before a big game a day after his sister died.
We live in a society where the egos of men are catered to like some large all you can eat buffet. A society where women give out fake phone numbers as a means of survival against men who can’t seem to handle rejection. A society where men get rejected and violently retaliate against women as if that rejection was an attack on their very manhood. In one grotesque and publicly telling quote, Charles Barkley summed up what is the problem with being a man in this day and age, and it sums up how patriarchy, if not willing to be redefined, needs to be eliminated all-together.
““I’m not feeling comfortable with him sitting on the sideline crying like that,” Barkley said during Inside the NBA. “That makes me uncomfortable because that tells me he’s not in shape to play.”” –philly.com-
This is the root of what has been appropriately defined as toxic masculinity. The idea that men are groomed to only be able to express one of two emotions, anger and happiness, is the cornerstone of why men have become a very toxic chemical affecting, often violently, the women around us. Charles Barkley’s comments exposes why the old ways of “men don’t cry” has become a carcinogen that is killing our current social structure. Men being groomed not to express themselves when anger is not enough to adequately describe their emotions leaves us in a society where men only express their anger and discontent. This leaves only a few options for men to relinquish those emotions that are so taboo or foreign to us because we haven’t been prepared from a young age to understand what these emotions are and how to cope with them.
This is not an excuse. This is not an attempt to man-splain why as human beings men are fucked up individuals. We lack the ability to be vulnerable and to cope with that vulnerability and we are taught that ANYTHING that reveals the chink in our armor needs to be dealt with swiftly and violently. Charles Barkley’s comments were unwittingly honest and poignant and really summed up the dying last words of toxic masculinity — “I’m uncomfortable with that.”
We live in an era where when men lose a loved one, we are shamed by other men for expressing our pain constructively and naturally.
What the hell is wrong with us?
Instead of talking shamefully about Isaiah Thomas, Barkley should have walked his fat ass down there and gave him a hug, but as men, that is routinely unacceptable, like wearing pink shirts or crying at sad movies. Toxic masculinity is killing us and, it’s killing our women.
“That’s not just a good look, my personal opinion.”
I disagree Chuck, a man crying over the death of his sister is a socially acceptable form of expression when one is grieving. I think that your adherence to such a self-destructive and archaic patriarchal philosophy is the most uncomfortable thing I have ever seen.