This morning I went out to the yard at 9 o'clock and found me a shaded area by the building to do my exercise. I took my white cotton t-shirt off and laid it on the concrete ground as a mat for my hands. There were a couple of older African American men working out about 10 feet from me. They had rap music blasting from their boombox. After doing two hundred push-ups and four hundred mountain climbers (hands on the ground kicking alternately), I was feeling a little pumped. I noticed eyes were on me as I walked to get a couple of swallows of water. On my way back I walked bast the two men who were checking me out. One of them asked,
"Do you do pull-ups?"
I said, "Yes."
"Did you just finish doing some?" the other one asked.
"No," I said, and I kept on walking to finish my exercise.
After I went back inside the building, an African American I knew came up to me and commented on my physique. He said the two older men were impressed with who "cut up" my body was. He said,
"Eddy, you're just all sliced up. Somebody must've used a knife to shred you."
I accepted his compliment.
Without the presence of women to make men feel masculine, physical appearance is one way to demonstrate strength and power. Many people work out in prison to look good, but not necessarily for their health. They exercise consistently but smoke cigarettes and eat an unhealthy diet. They don't care about their internal health, only how their body looks.
Other ways men assert their masculinity in the absence of women are showing off how much money they have, how many "bitches and whores" they have or have been with, what kind of cars they have, what gangs they run with, how much drugs they were selling or are pushing, and how many homeboys they have.
Such is the reality in warehouses full of testoterone without estrogen.