A small story:

Baseless theory in 3,2...

Part of the outpouring of completely earned love #TedLasso is getting is because in an unshowy, undidactic way @jasonsudeikis and Bill Lawrence created a potential pathway forward for masculinity.

(spoilers) https://twitter.com/RawStory/status/1356651735629123601
Ted Lasso loves sports, stands up for his friend when her ex-husband is being an absolute dick to her, has a wardrobe which he has spent no more than 16 seconds of thought on.

In sum, he ticks a lot of the "Guy" boxes.
He's also curious, which demands vulnerability because to be curious must begin from the statement, "I do not know."

I know a fair amount of male-identified humans.

That's not an easy thing for them to say.

He's enthusiastic, gleefully supportive of his friends and players.
A lot of toxic masculinity springs from a zero sum worldview, in which there is a finite pie and if you appear to be having a big slice then, damn it, you're having MY big slice. Add in that Lasso is a coach, a person whose very career is Ws and Ls and he should be a jerk.
But from the first time he meets the team, it's not about that, much to the confusion of every one he meets. Hell, he takes advice from Nate, the beleaguered equipment manager, not because Lasso is desperate but because Lasso's inclination is towards generosity.
Social media loves binary points because either/or leads to fights and fights keep people around longer. I suspect most men have to be fairly worn down by the lifetime LARP of masculinity as it has been defined; it can't be any fun to have to keep wearing that costume.
Like Alice with the Red Queen, you men have to run faster and faster just to stay in one place when it comes to this performative masculinity, but neither are you the "Herpdederp" Stupid TV Dad/Manchild, which seems to be the other image you are offered.
(Looking at you, Phil Dunphy)
Ted Lasso is a kind, flawed adult, a man who, all things being equal, would rather be happy and win than be slightly less happy and lose but either way, he's going to remain himself. Any man still wearing that mustache isn't that susceptible to the opinions of others.
A man who stood up for his friend (god, I loved that scene) but also accepted help from her when he had a panic attack in a karaoke bar when his wife - whom he still loves - wants a divorce, without denying his misery or her support.
Masculinity is frequently presented as an edifice, shiny and impenetrable, no toeholds, maybe a few runic symbols up at the top; no one's getting in, no one's getting out, ideally you die a complete enigma to most people in your life.
TED LASSO says, "What if that's just no fun for anyone, either inside or outside of it?" The first season tracks the ripple effects of this person on this highly structured traditionally male environment. By the end, some people are acting differently.

Those people are happier.
Masculinity as it currently exists is frightening for many women but maybe it's also frightening for the men in it.

Maybe it's irrelevant.

Maybe we can put it away.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to rewatch the first season agin.
And now, THE AD! If you like these Small Stories, can I coax you into helping to support them? I promise to speculate with you what those biscuits are that Ted brings every day.

(Pretty sure they're shortbread) https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4846197 
And now, the other ad!

I have a deal for you on @librofm
( http://libro.fm/redeem/Quinn )
My membership benefits @vromans! Yours could benefit your local indie bookstore! Here are three books sort of about the changing narrative of masculinity you could get!
I had forgotten this beautiful paragraph @moryan wrote.
You can follow @quinncy.
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