I’m six feet 240 pounds. When I was 29 years old I dated a beautiful young lady who was all of 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, leapt off the floor her hand clinched 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 and that 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 truly be a man you have to accept the fact that there are some things that 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 2 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 simply 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.