Masculinity of Mike Tyson

Topics: Mike Tyson, Boxing, Evander Holyfield Pages: 7 (2700 words) Published: September 22, 2010
“Iron Mike”
Events, icons, technology, and environment affect the male population in America. Most males have a person they look up to for inspirations and motivations. Males want to be tough and strong, and they want to be feared by other males. Males enjoy being better than everyone else and impressing women. When a successful male icon experiences a downfall, most men are shocked and fear for their own downfall. Mike Tyson is an example of a successful male whose downfall became a public spectacle for all to witness. Tyson, once a popular male icon, soon affected the male population while building his own criminal record. The fight of Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield demonstrates how far a man will go to obtain the title of the “Iron Man.” Mike Tyson’s negative and criminal behavior adversely affects males by glorifying violence and embodying a mentality that implies any means is permissible in pursuit of victory. Mike Tyson had a rough and difficult childhood. Tyson’s humble beginnings encouraged him to get to the top and create a name for himself. His parents divorced after he was born, and his mom never remarried. This created an unstable environment for a child to grow up. Due to his mom’s meager income, she was forced to raise her son in Brownsville, NY, a city ranked as one of the most violent ghettos in the country (Mollett 1). As a result, Mike Tyson had to learn to deal with violence. At a young age, Mike Tyson became a member of one of the local gangs known as the “Jolly Stompers” (Mollett). Once a member of the gang, Tyson’s behavior digressed causing him to get in trouble with the law and be sent to detention centers various times. After several short stints in correctional facilities, he was finally sent to a detention center in upstate New York. At this point, his mother had come to grips that she could no longer control her son. While in the upstate detention center, Tyson tried breaking loose and it took several men to take him down, and he had to be put away in handcuffs. Such misbehavior was a repeating pattern, and it resulted in him being “violent, depressed, and mute,” which explains his carelessness towards his wrongful behavior in society (Mollette 2). Because violence was, something he faced every day, Mike Tyson never questioned whether it was right or wrong. Mike Tyson’s criminal behavior started to change once he met Bobby Stewart, a former boxer. Tyson asked his councilor at the detention center if he could have the opportunity to meet with Bobby Stewart. Tyson asked Bobby if he could be a boxer, and he was shocked at his harsh reaction. After the encounter, Tyson’s attitude and behavior changed completely (Mollett 2). He had a positive attitude, and the criminal behavior stopped immediately. Stewart was notified about Tyson’s behavior, and made a deal to coach him in boxing if Mike tried going back to school. This deal with Steward motivated Tyson causing him to become dedicated to the sport. Bobby Stewart noticed great improvement, and knew Tyson could make great accomplishments. Stewart took Tyson to a “legendary” trainer to demonstrate Tyson’s abilities in boxing (Mollett 2). The trainer was amazed by Tyson’s skills and determination that he decided to coach Tyson and lead him to the boxing ring. From then on, Tyson’s name became well known in the world of boxing. Tyson became a heavyweight champion, and was feared in the boxing ring. He became a masculine icon, with his muscular body and being part of the manly sport of boxing. After much success in the ring, Tyson coined the nickname “Iron Mike,” which described his invincibility and strength. With his nickname, Tyson created a manly and powerful name for himself and made sure others knew who he was as a fighter. The nicknames he received described him as the ultimate man. The male population was intrigued by his success and power. This elevated Tyson’s social status above just a boxer and made him tantamount to a masculine icon. While...

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