Friday, June 27, 2008

Would You Rather Have Balls or Heart?

Since I used my last post to rant against feminists, I think I'll use this post to target something decidedly more masculine. I'd like to talk about balls for a moment.

How tough are balls really?

Having balls (or cojones in Spanish) is equated with being tough, strong, and fearless. The irony is that balls aren't tough at all. They are actually one of the most vulnerable parts of the human body. The first thing a girl learns when she is growing up is to kick a guy in the balls if she gets attacked. Balls are so fragile, boys had to invent special apparatuses to protect their balls while they are out playing games. A bit of cold air or water and balls just shrink up and hide away.

We respect people with balls. Conversely, people without balls are weak, unworthy of respect, pussies. But whereas balls are constantly in need of protection from the tiniest threat, a pussy can withstand to be ripped in half by a 10 pound kid and then bounce right back. Try that with some balls. It goes without saying that our ideas of balls being tough and pussies being weak are all about our ideas of men and women. Although I might also point out that being a dick is not considered a complement. Dick's are heartless, inconsiderate, and mean (insert Dick Cheney joke here).

The Meaning of Heart

When we say someone has balls, we put a veneer of toughness over something ridiculously vulnerable, but what about when we say someone has heart? The heart comes encased in a protective cage of bone that takes incredible force to break through. It is pliable and precise, yet strong enough to power an entire body. A heart is essential for life. Everyone has a heart.

Asking someone to have a heart is asking them to be compassionate, empathetic, and sensitive. Yet having heart is not weak. When a basketball player plays with heart, it means he is emotionally as well as physically tough. The player with heart is not respected for the fearless bravado of someone with balls. The player with heart is respected for strength, skill, intelligence, dedication, and teamwork.

Of course there are negative expressions associated with the heart, being a "bleeding heart liberal" for example. But even that expression just reinforces the strength and importance of the heart. It isn't a healthy heart that's a problem. It's a malfunctioning, bleeding heart. In the grand scheme of things, do you want to be gawked at as someone who has the balls to dive at something thoughtlessly and recklessly in order to camouflage inherent weakness. Or would you rather be someone who has the quieter, essential, steady, life-affirming strength of a heart?

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roadrunner said...

In persian language we exactly use the same words with the same meanings.
I linked this post in two of Iranian web2 with persian translation.

Melanie said...

Hi Roadrunner. Glad you liked the post. Thanks for translating it. I wish I could read your site. Interesting that in Persian you use the same expressions. In Spanish too. I wonder how many languages have similar expressions.