Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mike Tyson on Manliness

Everyone remembers the out-of-control, young Mike Tyson.  So fearsome and forlorn, biting off the ear of his opponent, being convicted of rape, and the booze and dope that reigned over his chaos.  On Jan. 4, he wrote a candid editorial in the Times.  It talks about addiction: 

IT’S the time of year for resolutions. Lose 20 pounds, get to the gym, eat healthier, be more productive, whatever. But in a few months, many people will let these goals fall by the wayside, to be revived next year. I belong to a group who can’t afford to make pledges we don’t keep. I’m an addict.

His hypermasculinity had been summoned in his career to destroy his adversaries in the ring, but now he needed a spiritual manliness to save him from self-destruction:  

In 2009, I vowed to get sober after the accidental death of my 4-year-old girl, Exodus. I was determined to live a better life for the sake of my family, but the pain was so bad that I went back on drugs. Recovery is a drawn-out process, and without the continued encouragement of my support system, it would be close to impossible.

More followed: 

When I resolved those issues, through therapy and by talking honestly with my family, I felt like a new man....I’m on the pathway to humility, fully aware that you can’t rule until you’ve served.

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