From the Locker Room: A Poem

Here's what locker room talk is really like among guys.

We talk about women and their looks.
The curves of the bodies
How we like them slender or thick
big boobs or small, tight butt or bouncy,
dark skinned or light skinned,
blonde or brunette, red or black,
straight or curly, kinky or relaxed,
thick lips or thin, tall or short.

We talk about who we're sleeping with
Who we want to sleep with
We talk about what we do
What we want to do
Which may or may not
have any basis in reality

And yes we use language like
a-, b-, c-, d-, f-, j-, k-, l-, m-, o-, p-, s-, t-

We can because we know we're catnip to women
One part James Bond, one part Hugh Hefner
and one part Idris Elba
And if we say it the right way, in the right outfit
they'll giggle at the words
where lesser men would get slapped

We're good looking, well dressed,
wealthy, put-together and you can't see
because we're growers not showers
(except for that one guy)
but it's a monster

We're like wolves
except the sheep come to us
We don't have to do anything
the ladies want it as much as we do
they have their needs
just can't show it
but we make them
put in a little effort
we can smell the need on them

That's what real men do
Not only do we not put in any effort
We don't need to

You see Brock Turner didn't brag
that he got a girl drunk
and raped her when she passed out
He did
Guys do
Rapists and sociopaths do
Small, insecure men do
But they don't brag about it

That would be admitting
that women don't come on to them
That they're not so hot
not so sexy
not slick or good looking
not well dressed and sophisticated
Not a smooth talker
With a great head of hair
He'd be saying the ladies don't like me
I have no redeeming qualities
I'm just some pathetic loser
who can't get laid

No, because that's our superpower
in that locker room we're the kings
and everybody wants us
because we're rich and good looking
with great hair and a great build
Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac
Henry Kissinger said
or was it Napoleon?

Because we don't have to try
Trying is for poor people and fat people
for slobs and losers

To admit that they don't come onto you
That you have to work hard to get some
You have to grab and take
Because that's the only way
You can get any
Means you're a failure

Anyone can grope a woman
We're don't because we don't need to
In that locker room, we're not
just anyone

Your wife is pregnant so you're not
getting any
is a universal complaint
Saying she set you up with some model friends
to handle your needs
or you have some models on the side
that she doesn't need to know about
foreign outsourcing of her wifely duties
That's a brag

Saying your wife is knocked up
and you're not getting any
so you grope strangers
like some trenchcoat perv in the park
getting off on flashing kids
or lick your lips at 10 year olds
is disgusting and disturbing, sick and creepy

To admit that, to other men
would be saying
I'm fat I'm ugly
with fake hair
and a bad personality
so bad
even my money doesn't outweigh
my toxic personality.
Or else it means I'm sick
that the only thing that gets me off
is to rape women
to assault them
to hurt them

Because you see, the locker room
is not a safe space for men
We are afraid to be ourselves
and so we act our best selves
our aspirational selves
pretending to be more
than we really are
and sometimes, that's just not
very impressive at all
But we don't brag about being
a creep, a criminal or a loser

They say the way a man does one thing
is the way he does everything
If he thinks bragging about assault
and being a rapist is impressive
that must mean that's how he is.

Unless he's worse.


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The late Joe Kubert is an icon for people in comics. He's the man behind Sgt Rock and a lot of other comics. I spoke with him about his many projects and his work before he died. I can only hope that if I end up in my 80s, I'm as creative and active and skilled as he was right up until the time he died.


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One reason why I like the term Remembrance Day is that I think how we remember events and what we take away from them is ultimately as important (if not more so) than the actual events in our lives. Carol Tyler has been making some amazing comics in recent years looking at her father, his time in WWII and the live of their family and the way that events and trauma can effect us and influence people across generations. I spoke with her twice about the project in recent years.




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