Tag Archives: Real Men

Real Men Walk Away

I’m six feet 240 pounds. When I was 29 years old, I dated a beautiful young lady who was all five feet 105 pounds, quite the odd couple we were. Our relationship was like a supernova. We met, fell in love, burned bright for two years, and then exploded never to see each other again. The passion of our relationship would at times lead to animated disagreements, and it was during one of these disagreements that she, all five feet 105 pounds of her, leaped off the floor, her hand clenched and punched me square on the jaw. I was stunned for a second, and then I reacted. I took one step back, looked her right in the face, and… told her I was going for a walk. It was the only reaction I could ever have imagined. It was the reaction my father, Charles W. Cooke, had taught me since I was a child. To be a man, you have to act like a man; he would say, which means you never put your hands on a woman. I share this story not to pat myself on the back, after all, you don’t pat yourself on the back for doing what you’re supposed to do, but to make a point to the embarrassing number of young men who say Ray Rice may have been provoked, that he may have had a good reason for striking his now-wife. That point is a simple one; there is never a good reason for striking a woman. Never. To indeed be a man, you have to accept that some things come with the territory. One of those things is the understanding that by nature, we are the bigger and stronger gender physically and that our strength is to be used to protect the women in our lives, not to abuse them. If one day you are placed in the awkward situation where a woman decides to “test your manhood” by putting her hands on you, your response is simple; you walk away. Walking away confirms your manhood because a real man walks away while a coward strikes back.
This summer, we had two elevator videos to view and dissect, and while we made fun of the now infamous Jay-Z and Solange video, it was in that video that a man who grew up in the projects of Brooklyn showed us how a real man reacts by merely not reacting. So young men, next time you want to keep it real, prove you’re not a punk, be a real man, do what real men do, and walk away.