On courage and manhood

Zapata King takes another shot, but again goes awry:

So, what Vox considers courageous, I would merely label as

1. acts of pushing around physically weaker men,
2. acts of pushing around physically weaker women, and
3. the drawing together of men who would feel at home in a strip club

Since almost no one has read this entire blog, let alone all the columns, we shall excuse his apparent ignorance of various posts from the past and merely correct his inaccuracies. Courage is not manhood, as any child or woman can exhibit courage but they are incapable of manhood. I would say that courage involves facing once’s fears, whereas manhood involves accepting responsibility for oneself as well as for the well-being of others without complaint. But to his points:

Point 1 is almost irrelevant given my martial arts background. I have pushed around larger and physically stronger men in acts that required no courage and little effort, whereas it has required quite a bit courage to even face a smaller, physically weaker (although admittedly not much weaker) man whose skills were such that a complete ass-kicking was all but inevitable.

Point 2 is both silly and redundant. There isn’t a woman in the world as strong as I am – the women’s world record bench is 11 pounds less than my current max – and any woman who can bench over 225 moves like a turtle on qualudes. It would take as much courage to swat a puppy on the nose.

Point 3 is equally silly. Sure, there are men here who would feel at home in a strip club, and there are plenty who would not. I’m not a strip club guy myself, never having seen the point of window shopping. But apparently unlike Zapata King, I am capable of entering one without my knees knocking in fear.

Courage is an individual concept. An action that requires courage on the part of one is trivial to another. By way of example, we went to the pool to get out of the heat the other day, and I was surprised to see the teenager who does the craziest flips off the 1.5 meter diving board twice climbing down from the 10-meter platform, as he was afraid of jumping off it. Meanwhile, it doesn’t bother me to jump off the high platform, but I have to grit my teeth to make myself do a simple front flip off the 1.5-meter board.

I don’t think I could summon up the courage to go headfirst off the high platform, but my friend, a former US national team diver, would do it without blinking. Does she possess more courage? Or does she simply know what she’s doing?

It’s impossible to judge a man’s courage by his actions without first knowing what he fears. His manhood or the lack of it, on the other hand, should be more readily apparent to all.