Mike Rowe and I, we’re falling in love. A rugged, respectful, manly man kind of love. A bromance with beer and chainsaws kind of love. Not together, though. Alcohol and chainsaws should not mix. Let’s be clear about that. Also, probably shouldn’t juggle them either, to be clear…
Mike Rowe posted a response to the pansy article written by the New York Times about what it takes to be a “modern man.” Well a man took issue and offense to a meme that came about from that article, but rather than back down or apologize (like a lot of modern “men” seem to do these days) Mr. Rowe manned up and doubled down. Here’s the letter to Mike from a guy named “E.K” :
I recently viewed a poster for the NRA on Facebook with your image with a statement I can only assume you made. “A man’s man owns a firearm.” Why you would say something so boldly sexist, and bigoted? Implying that a man who chooses NOT to own a weapon is what? Less than a man, a WOMAN, a neuter?
I am a U.S. ARMY VETERAN who has trained on various weapons, knows how to maintain, store and use multiple firearms. Now as a civilian, I CHOOSE NOT TO OWN A WEAPON. Can you clarify what you meant in that “man’s man” statement and explain what a man such a myself is, if not a man’s man?
After correcting the man on the difference between a poster and a meme, Mike explained his original comments. Here are the highlights from Mike’s Facebook response. We did some editing for length, so this is just the juicy guts:
…You saw something on your computer screen that upset you, and now, you want to know why a guy you’ve never met thinks you’re “less of a man,” just because you don’t own a gun. You’re wondering what might compel a guy you don’t know to say something “bigoted and sexist.”
Let me say first that the quote is 100% accurate… I was asked by a fan to respond to The Times editorial from a “Man’s Man,” perspective. So, tongue firmly in cheek, I presented an alternative 27-Point Guide on what it means to be a “Man’s Man,” from my personal point of view.
Clearly, The Times is suggesting that men who own guns in this day and age are something less than “modern.” My response was an attempt to juxtapose the absurdity of that contention, with an equally absurd implication that a man who does NOT own a gun, is somehow “less manly” than one who does. Get it?
Satire. Parody. Irony. These things all require context. But the meme you saw provides no context at all. Stripped of its original setting, my comments now resemble something else altogether – a very deliberate statement-of-belief from me, pushed into your news feed by an organization that wishes to associate my words with their agenda.
Truth is, I support a lot of what The NRA stands for, and I’m happy that so many on their page see me as an ally. In many ways, I am. I’m grateful we have the second amendment, and I’m happy to defend it. I am not persuaded that easy access to guns is the reason criminals use them to commit so many violent crimes. But I don’t appreciate the NRA or any other organization using my name and likeness without permission. It’s rude. Moreover, it causes all sorts of problems with a litany of overly trusting Americans who still believe the crap in their newsfeed is the truth, the whole truth, and noting but the truth. With respect, E.K., you should know better.
Finally, I’m not in a position to tell you “what kind of man you are.” I suspect you’ll need to sort that out yourself. But if I were you, I wouldn’t rely too heavily on the opinions put forth by The New York Times, The NRA, or some B-list celebrity with a Facebook page.
Mike Rowe, you’re an awesome man.
Thanks for not backing down, walking your comments back, or trying to apologize in anyway for how some other guy feels. We need more thought leaders like this, and we’re glad you’re stepping up.