I went to a wedding recently and had a blast. However, for a moment while floating from conversation circle to conversation circle, I was accosted by a group of female college friends about a Facebook post that supposedly drew ire from many of my Seattle colleagues.
I didn’t really think people paid much mind to the nonsense I post as a status update. My recent posts include a couple recent musings like claiming I was very happy for Michael Sam breaking ground being drafted as the first openly gay player, lauded “the kiss”, but was incensed that he was in an interracial relationship. Or the following quote:
“I hate it when you pee all over the front of your pants and you look like the type of idiot that doesn’t know how to wash his hands without splashing.”
However with a post a few weeks ago, I guess I struck a chord.
I linked to the following article about the fact that Russell Wilson was divorcing.
and word for word posted the following:
“We all wanted to think that Russell Wilson was THAT good of a guy that he wouldn’t trade up from the unattractive heart-of-gold woman he decided to wed before he got paid up. Alas, human nature wins again. As long as scoring doesn’t keep him from scoring…Get em Russ.”
For the post I was accused of an anti-feminist sentiment, and it was implied that I’m a misogynist.
With a goal of posting once a week, word from my wife that my ish is too long, and a lack of another topic to write about, I thought I would defend myself.
First…from start to finish, after learning of the news I probably spent about 30 seconds from brainstorm, rough draft, revision, and workshopping of the status update… Such that I didn’t really consider many of the gender politics that can unravel in a close reading of the post.
Secondly, my sentiment was more a brief (and knee-jerk) commentary on hero-worship and America’s celebrity culture. The football world, and especially Seattle, has created this unattainable ideal for Russell Wilson that the 25 year old man can never live up to. He’s a religious, almost christ-like leader who always says the right, humble and perfectly crafted things. In a league where the receiving yards leader can’t stay off drugs, Aaron Hernandez can’t quit murdering people and even good-guy Ray Rice isn’t immune from having to knock out his fiance from time to time–Russell Wilson is our savior to our outlook on humanity. He is evidence that virtue can be the causation of talent rather than two concepts (virtue v. talent) that are in no way even correlated.
This is how we get blindsided that Tiger woods was playing way more than 18 holes on a given weekend, or that even one ball is more than Lance Armstrong has displayed having throughout his life. Don’t even get me started on Pistorius, A-Rod and the rest. When we build these people up to be more than human, our collective cynicism spikes as we’re heartbroken rather than starting with a measured approach and admiring rather than idolizing.
Sooo…Wilson’s story of his divorce broke and I reacted to it. I realized that while I was (strangely) disappointed by the fact that his marriage was ending…I shouldn’t be. We all liked the fact that rather than Pacmanning it up at strip (I’m sorry Gentleman’s) clubs like we’ve come to expect in the NFL, he was in a committed (and christian or whatever) relationship. Through conjecture, timing of his divorce (right after becoming one of the NFL’s most recognizable figures and right before becoming a multi-millionaire) seemed opportunistic for financial and oat-sewing reasons. At the very least, backing out of a pledge to a woman he made before god runs counter to the messianic narrative we’ve created for him as a christian.
That being said…I’m writing this because I feel that the criticism against me has some credence to it. I don’t know the Wilsons. I think when Russell Wilson meets me he and I will pretty much immediately be best friends (we’ll probably hang out a bunch, riding tandem bicycles together while Rich Homie Quan’s “My Niggas” becomes OUR song. We might even break out in tickle-fights and people will look on and think its weird but we won’t care because WE get it…you know), but that hasn’t happened yet. I don’t really know their life. As such, the idea that this “champion man” would toss aside his woman because he doesn’t have a prenup and now wants to philander may be inaccurate. It’s also a visualization reflective of a male-dominated hegemony where women are trophies rather than valued members of a relationship. I also called her unattractive, as though that’s the first virtue she possesses.
And my defense is…
I calls it like I sees it.
Ashton Wilson may have decided she was done with the spotlight as it was too much pressure and didn’t receive the attention and intimacy she needed from a marriage. Or, as complicated as marriage is, they may have simply drifted apart. Or hey, maybe she’s a terrible person and hanging out with all those cancer kids is some cynical front she puts up.
But based on everything I know about the world, I think Russ called an audible, temptation was too much, and half of 500K is way less than half of 20 mil. Ladies can be mad all they want about it, but that’s the way it works some times.
Because here’s the thing…
I consider myself as feminist as a red-blooded man who doesn’t smoke weed can be. If I list all the people in my life that I truly draw inspiration from and rely on…the short list is all women. When I vote, I’m straight down the line on the women’s side when it comes to birth control, pay, laws, and representation. But I also think that feminism does no good when its constructs can’t exist in a world that’s 49% men. And that’s why I’m not particularly sensitive to gender-politics when they conflict with how I understand the world. Perhaps I should be, but I’m not.
Calling Ashton unattractive. I’ll take a strike on that as a chauvinist but not a misogynist. Since she’s skinny and blonde the comment is somewhat a reaction to the anglo-constructs of beauty that oppress most of us, but she can’t control what she looks like so it’s a cheap shot. I apologize. Doesn’t change the fact that I wouldn’t hit (it’s a joke, relax).
So yup. I think that Wilson dumped his girl (which he may regret at the end of his life when the glory fades) so that he can start knocking down some poon in the off seasons to come, and in several years will re-marry a tanner and bustier woman who could give a sh** about sick kids.
Time will tell. In the meantime, while its always nice to see a guy resist temptation and honor his marriage, he hasn’t done anything that makes me dislike his ice cold quarterbacking skills. So go Seahawks… 2 in a row baby. Let’s get it.
Meanwhile outside the russel wilson residence.