by Casey Harper
Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe wrote a long post on his website responding to a New York Times story about manhood, but when someone called him sexist and bigoted, he had to respond.
The NYT piece said, “The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will,” but Rowe said otherwise, and his critics didn’t like it. A Facebook user made this meme:
Mike Rowe Meme, Crystal Newman, Facebook
The meme drew criticism to Rowe, but he said it was out of context, and then proceeded to school his critics on the art of satire.
“Clearly, The Times is suggesting that men who own guns in this day and age are something less than ‘modern,’” Rowe wrote. “My response was an attempt to juxtapose the absurdity of that contention, with an equally absurd implication that a man who does NOT own a gun, is somehow “less manly” than one who does. Get it?
“Satire. Parody. Irony. These things all require context. But the meme you saw provides no context at all. Stripped of it’s original setting, my comments now resemble something else altogether – a very deliberate statement-of-belief from me, pushed into your news feed by an organization that wishes to associate my words with their agenda.”
Rowe’s response to the criticism came after a man named E.K. Billie who identified himself as a “veteran, conscientious citizen, and a man who chooses not to own a firearm,” called Rowe sexist and bigoted.
“Why you would say something so boldly sexist, and bigoted?” Billie wrote. “Implying that a man who chooses NOT to own a weapon is what? Less than a man, a WOMAN, a neuter?”
Rowe responded with his explanation of satire, and ended with a zinger.
“Finally, I’m not in a position to tell you ‘what kind of man you are,’” Rowe wrote. “I suspect you’ll need to sort that out yourself. But if I were you, I wouldn’t rely too heavily on the opinions put forth by The New York Times, The NRA, or some B-list celebrity with a Facebook page. ”
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