A Perfect Illustration of the Act Like a Man Box

Wow. This is exactly what I wrote about in The Performance of Masculinity. (click on the image to see it full size)

This lovely “report” was created by Pat Lynch, a high school guidance counselor and football coach from Wyoming, and given to the football team. It seems that his way of dealing with boys who have been bullied is to shame them into the Act Like a Man Box. Some of the highlights from the “Hurt Feelings Report” include:

  • Reasons for the report:
    • I am thin skinned
    • I am a pussy
    • I am a queer
    • I am a little bitch
    • I want my mommy
    • I have woman like hormones
  • Name of “Real Man” who hurt your sensitive little feelings
  • Name of little sissy filing report
  • Girly man signature
  • Real-man signature (person being accused)

Since this came to light, Lynch has resigned as football coach and the school board has apologized for his actions. However, he has retained his position as a guidance counselor, under administrative supervision. Lynch has apologized to the school board:

“I would like to apologize for my lack of judgment and the poor choice that I made from my position as head football coach for Buffalo High School. I know that this situation has caused you pain and discomfort, and for that I am truly sorry. As a person and a professional, I believe I will learn and grow from this experience and use it to help others.”

“I appreciate having had the opportunity to coach in this community for the past 22 years. It has been a rewarding experience. I am eager to earn back your trust as I continue to serve in a profession that I truly love.”

But it’s interesting that he didn’t apologize to any of the students he gave the form to. It isn’t the school board who has experienced pain and discomfort around this, though I’m sure they’re worried about lawsuits and have their own concerns. It’s the students who expected that their coach and guidance counselor would be there for them who deserve his apology. So much for being an ally and mentor for teens.

Pretty much everything from the “report” highlights how deeply the Act Like a Man Box is rooted in many men’s psyches. Whatever it is that prompted Lynch to create and distribute it to the team, I hope he figures it out and deals with it before he goes much further in his career as a guidance counselor.

5 Responses so far.

  1. lalouve says:

    People I’d like to subject to the tutoring of my friend the Navy Seal, who identifies as a softie and thinks the world needs not more tough guys but more hugs…

  2. Thurman Hart says:

    This guy should not be allowed any profession with the word “counselor” in the title. He damned sure shouldn’t be entrusted with advising kids on anything.
    I am HOPING that he meant it as a joke. It doesn’t seem that way. Regardless, he’s despicable. 

  3. Thomas Roche says:

    Wow, that is incredibly disturbing. And how much more disturbing is it in light of the Penn State scandal?

  4. Rebecca H. says:

    I am suddenly VERY curious about the educational and licensing requirements for school counseling in Wyoming.

  5. Jacgo says:

    incredibly disturbing.

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