It’s probably not surprising to know that I’ve never been in a fight. Verbal fights, yes, most certainly, though they’re to be avoided at all costs. But physical fights, I’ve managed to steer clear of those for 30-years now. I’m proud of that. And while I’m sure, to some, this signifies a weakness of character or betrays that I’m not a “real man,” I don’t care. Fighting is a mistake, not a solution.
First, the “real man” label is an embarrassment. Let those so concerned with masculinity and what it means to be a man live on their own island somewhere they can hunt and fight and yell and sweat and objectify women from afar to their heart’s content while the rest of us go about living a life of meaning. I’ve always been annoyed by talks of “being a man.” It’s utter nonsense. And perhaps the calls for proper masculinity were more apropos during a time with more imminent/immediate physical danger; but, in modern times where we settle our differences with words and not fists, fighting doesn’t make you “a man,” it makes you a nuisance, a liability, a child even. If masculinity calls for escalating words to blows with little provocation, then I reject it wholeheartedly – call me what you will, but I’m not a “man” in that way, that’s for sure.
Fighting is an embarrassment, simply put. It’s an utter failure to communicate, and a total intellectual failure. At the risk of sounding pretentious, or rather, more pretentious, I find physical fighting to be the last refuge of the barbarian. It signifies that a person bypassed their rational mind and went right into animal instinct. There are those who think such a strong connection to our primal nature is an asset. It isn’t, it’s a total liability. Knowing someone who is given to fight with little to no goading is exhausting.
I’m sure I’ve been in situations that have seemingly gotten close to a physical altercation, but it’s never gotten there, thankfully. I’m too rascally with my words, fights fizzle before they begin. As I said before, this is something I’m proud of. I can see no good reason to engage in some form of physical fight, I don’t know what it accomplishes. To the men that are given to brawl, I imagine it amounts to a badge of honor, it signifies the defeat of an unworthy foe, I’m sure. But really, it shows the completely lack of intelligence and intellectual maturity on the part of the fighter. A fight only happens when words fail, and words fail because one or more participants let them fail. What I mean is, a verbal argument only gets physical by way of one or both parties nudging it that way. Intellectual arguments rarely, if ever, end in a physical altercation. This is because physical strength could not be more irrelevant to intellectual matters. Somehow, when people fight, they seem to believe that it settles a disagreement. What it really does is tear you further away from your own humanity.
Fighting, to me, was always disturbing. The idea of using your body to deliberately hurt another person is rather alarming, and indicative of a disturbed person. We’re not talking about self-defense; protecting yourself from an attack is another situation entirely. But fighting when words fail, to me, betrays an obvious inclination for hurting others. If fighting is not only an option in your toolkit, but one of your primary options, it shows that you’re a brute, an animal. It doesn’t show that you have strong convictions, it shows that you’re perhaps a bit sick, that you don’t mind hurting people. That, to me, is something I can never get behind.
So, no, I’ve never been in a fight. I don’t even associate with the kind of people that would fight. It’s an unevolved mindset that leads one to settle a verbal disagreement with physical combat. I find the instinct to fight, or even confront, exhausting. Hell, there’s people who most certainly would like to fight me just for my last year of published pieces. But let them live with themselves, their lives and minds are far too turbulent for me to bother with. Fighting is a failure, a failure I can’t be bothered with.