Excerpt from “Wrestling with Masculinity” Message 4: Real men take responsibility for their actions

Below, some notes about gender in wrestling, from “Wrestling with Masculinity: Messages about Manhood in the WWE” by Danielle M. Soulliere

Message 4: Real men take responsibility for their actions

As perhaps a derivative of being confrontational, manhood also entails taking responsibility. The message revealed was that real men take responsibility for their actions. Both the male performers and the announcers effectively disseminated this message about manhood. As The Rock tells Jericho after Jericho’s actions cost them a match and the Tag Team championship: “The Rock just wants you to

be a man and live up and own up to your responsibilities.” (RAW 10-08-01) Here, The Rock is suggesting that men recognize and take responsibility for their actions. Like- wise, JR suggests that part of being a man entails accepting responsibility when he addresses the firing of fellow announcer Paul Heyman and his subsequent immature behavior:

It’s just a sad state of affairs when people aren’t man enough to look in the mirror when they have a problem. That’s where the answer lies. (SD 11-15-01)

JR suggests that it is Heyman’s own fault that he lost his job and that if he was a real man, he would own up to his mistakes and accept responsibility.

In another example, Test tells Jericho to “be a man and apologize” to Stacy Keibler for causing her injury (RAW 02-03-03). Announcer JR remarks that this is “what a man should do. You make a mistake, you just admit it.” Again, the message is clear: Real men take responsibility for their actions.

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