I have written quite a lot about the problems with masculinity and/or men in general, but as we all know #notallmen
The other day I saw this tweet:
My initial response to this, at one point would have been; Louis CK and Aziz Ansari and with that in mind it seems that I had no idea how to respond to this question.
Then I considered the men who I interact with daily and those who inspire me.
So I want to take a moment to reflect upon the men who I admire, both famous and not.
The first person that comes to mind is a colleague who I no longer work with. We were never particularly close friends but I was always amazed at his friendliness and patience with the people around him. It was a real day to day example of how I would like to be, or how I would like to present myself to others. He is often the measuring stick I apply to myself when questioning how well I am handling myself in any number of situations.
With Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse making Miles Morales a cultural phenomenon, I think it’s important to point out the amazing work Brian Bendis has done for inclusion within comics (and as such Hollywood).
Bendis who has 2 adopted black daughters has worked to create characters that will speak to a multitude of people. Not just Miles Morales, he also created Riri Williams an African American teenage girl who took Iron Man’s place in the Marvel Universe, in this era of comicsgate and a general empowering of right wing views. It takes some balls to take Iron Man and make him a Black Woman, not to mention what he did for Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and many others. Bendis is a man who saw an opportunity to use his position to inspire others and did just that.
Then there is Cody Rhodes. Cody is a wrestler, he used to wrestle for the WWE and whilst he was there, felt that he had it in him to be a top star and a real top tier performer. Unfortunately he was told by the management in the WWE that they didn’t see that for him and that he should settle into his well-paid role as a mid level TV personality, amongst many.
Cody did not agree and did not see this for himself, so he quit. He cast aside the safety of the WWE’s regular pay check and struck out into the world of independent shows to make a name for himself, and that he did.
3 years later and Cody has done such a good job of making a name for himself that he co-funded the first non WWE Wrestling show in America, to sell over 10 000 seats. Now Cody is the Executive Vice President of a new wrestling company, and the first one in a long time that looks like it has a shot at unseating the WWE as the biggest wrestling promotion around.
Cody had a vision for himself and worked at it until he made it a reality. I can’t not admire that.
So there are a bunch of men in my life who are admirable and inspiring. In the age of #meto it is easy to see men as all that are wrong with the world but there are plenty that are so much more and they are all worth celebrating.