When I ask my students at the beginning of my Men and Masculinity course about “real men,” I get responses like, “real men aren’t afraid to show affection,” or “real men like to dance,” or “real men can cry in public and not care what anyone else thinks.” My students want to subvert the traditional “sturdy oak” model of masculinity. They mean well. But all they’re doing is swapping one unattainable ideal for another. Just as “real women have curves” delegitimizes countless slim women, “real men aren’t afraid to cry” shames those men who for any number of reasons are awkward about public displays of emotion. The contemporary “real man” ideal presents itself as inclusive, but it’s just another cultural straitjacket. — (via hugoschwyzer)

(via krystletugadi)

Little League World Series…

Although baseball was my first love as a kid and I still love playing it now (even though it’s pretty rare), I could never really watch it on TV…except for the Little League World Series.

My earliest memories of watching this series, which happens at the end of August, go back as far as 4th or 5th grade. Even back then, I always cheered for the non-U.S. team. First, I never agreed with the idea that a U.S. team automatically qualified for a spot in the championship game. The winter and summer olympics don’t guarantee a medal to the host country, so why should a team from the U.S. be guaranteed a chance at a Little League World Series championship?

More importantly, I think the main reason why I cheered for the non-U.S. team was because they generally looked like me (people of color). Now that I’m older and more politicized, I’m able to apply a deeper analysis of why I felt the way I did as a 10 year old, but as a child I had no concept of politics, world history, colonization, imperialism, etc. Well…maybe I was more progressive than I thought.