Do Better

By Channing McNeal

Let me preface this by saying that this isn’t something I’m going to spend a lot of time on because I think it is utterly ridiculous to even have this conversation but I feel like it needs to be said. Recently there have been a number of stories about NFL players being involved in domestic violence cases. While domestic violence is in no way a new issue in the world and involving and NFL players makes the case no more important, it has become a common topic of conversation. This is not surprising. What really has been surprising to me has been the outcry of people, mostly men, defending these accused and alleged domestic abusers. Now there are a lot of very unkind things that go through my head when I hear or read things like this but I think the best way for me to phrase my opinion is just this; do better. A lot of these comments center around the narrative of “well if a women doesn’t wanna get hit, then she shouldn’t provoke a man” or “I’m not gonna just let anyone hit me”. A little part of dies when I read things like this. Maybe I received a very different upbringing than most, but I was always taught not to hit a woman. It wasn’t because this was the “fair” thing to do or because I am somehow “less of a man”, it’s because as a man, it’s something you don’t do. Everything in life isn’t “fair” or “easy” but that’s part of being a man. Just like how you have the responsibility to do certain things by virtue of being a man, you have the responsibility to not do certain things. Now I know that people get upset and angry, that’s a human emotion that people have no control over, but once you reach that point, you need to be mature enough to walk away from the situation, regardless of what the other party is doing. In my definition of being a mature adult man, you have to be able to understand when you need to recuse yourself from a situation and let things diffuse. Besides, what is ever gained from putting your hands on a woman? Do you feel as though you’ve made your claim as a man? Did you “show her who is boss?” In my personal opinion, if you really think that’s the proper course of action when someone, man or woman, upsets you, then there are deeper issues you need to work out. I say all this to say, do better men. If she in some way upsets you to the point where you have no way of communicating this in a mature fashion, then just walk out. Guess what, no one has ever been charged with domestic abuse for leaving the house. If she is threating your life in some way, then leave. She can’t kill you if you’re not in the room. When you are faced in a situation of confrontation, being a man means being the person who does better. So just do better men, there’s no need for all this.