There’s a lot of attention on Syracuse Football this weekend with the big game against Clemson tomorrow. One football star familiar to many SU fans is drawing attention in another arena.
Former SU Quarterback Don McPherson isn’t fighting for yards or touchdowns, he’s in the fight to reduce violence against women. He just published a book, You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity.
“You throw like a girl, it comes from an insult. I ask men, the worst insult you ever heard is a boy. It frames the issue of men's violence pretty simply, that we see women as less than, as the ultimate insult to a boy. What's changed for me in the last few years is because of male privilege … this issue of men's violence against women, doesn’t affect us unless we want it to, unless we choose to be a part of the conversation. … Not having to address this big issue that impacts half our population has kept us as men from a conversation about ourselves.”
He adds that ‘blind spot’ has limited men from having better relationships, and from raising boys to be healthy and whole.
McPherson got a start speaking about social issues while an NFL and Canadian football player, around drunk driving. After football he worked at Northeastern University studying Sport and Society, and talking to high school and college athletes. He draws a link between his book and the Me Too movement that showed men that victims of violence were their mothers, sisters and spouses. He argues we don’t have a choice but to teach a broader view of masculinity.
“So part of this is we don't have a choice and the world that our boys are going to grow up in is going to be very different than the world that we grew up in. And so if we're going to equip them to, to not just survive, but to thrive in the future, they're going to have to have a broader understanding of a global economy, in expanding markets, in a workplace that’s more diverse. … we can no longer go back and just stick our head in the sand and be tough and strong and ignore all feelings. That's not going to fly in the future.”
McPherson will be singing his book, You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity at the SU bookstore 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Saturday and at Barnes and Noble Dewitt from 1:00 to 3:00 Sunday.