In case you missed it, Cam Newton has recently found himself in hot water over some comments he made about women & relationships on a recent podcast (see this link for a quick summary: https://nypost.com/2022/04/11/cam-newton-opines-about-women-who-cant-cook-and-dont-know-when-to-be-quiet/). For some background, in case anyone isn’t familiar with why I even care about what Cam Newton says, he has been the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers- the only NFL team in our state- for most of my adult life. Cam is also my age & led the Panthers to an almost undefeated season in 2015, capped off by a Superbowl appearance against Peyton Manning & the Broncos (which unfortunately they lost). Since then, if I’m being honest, his career has been mostly downhill. But there is just something about Cam that I have always liked. Maybe it’s his winning smile, maybe it’s the way he loves to throw footballs to kids after scoring touchdowns, maybe it’s the confidence he has to wear ridiculous outfits & not care that a large portion of the press (not to mention everyday Americans) makes fun of him for it. Whatever it is, there’s just something about the man I can’t help but like.
Now on the surface, I’ll admit his recent comments make me cringe a bit. They were clearly badly worded & generally in poor taste. And- let’s be real- I’m not sure Cam is someone I’d consider a bastion of romantic wisdom. This is a man who fathered four children in just under four years with a former stripper with whom he had an on-again, off-again relationship (Kia Proctor)- AND had an affair with an Instagram model which resulted in a child who was born shortly before his last child with Proctor. Let’s be real- maybe HE is the one who needs some romantic advice! This, of course, many have pointed out. I’ll admit I found myself laughing & nodding along when I read the reaction of Kayle Nicole (Travis Kelce’s girlfriend): “That man ain’t had a job in months. He has nothing but time to “be quiet” and get that ass in the kitchen.” I mean, she has a point, a very legitimate point!
Having said that, one of my main goals in life is to judge every concept on its own merits. What that means is I sincerely try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In other words, even if I generally like someone, it doesn’t mean I take every word they say as gospel. Furthermore, even if I generally don’t like someone or don’t respect a certain aspect of their lives, it doesn’t mean everything they say is garbage. I still try to judge their words & actions as objectively as I can. Isn’t there an old Biblical proverb about how even an ass speaks the truth every once in a while? (Yes, there is- I looked it up. Google it if you don’t believe me.)
Anyway, the point is, yes, I generally like Cam but I also am very willing to admit that he probably isn’t the best person to be dispensing relationship advice. Also, it’s entirely possible that what I’m reading into what he said is just an attempt to “whitewash” it & make it more acceptable to myself since I do generally like him as a person- though obviously I don’t actually KNOW him, & he could in fact be just as much of a sexist pig as most of the media has been screaming ever since his recent comments came to light.
Enough preamble. Let’s get to the meat of the issue! Upon closer inspection of Cam’s comments what I’m hearing him say is that men these days no longer feel needed. Perhaps at times they don’t even feel WANTED. And this is something that I think we ladies need to seriously consider. Let’s be real- as women we NEVER have to worry about feeling superfluous. If for absolutely no other reason, we KNOW that men will ALWAYS need & want us for sex. Always! And any decent man will want us for more than just that. Men on the other hand- especially in the age of IVF & sperm donors, financial independence, & general societal equality (all of which are obviously good things)- do actually run the risk of feeling superfluous- or, to put it bluntly, unnecessary. Does this mean we women need to go around catering to every man’s needs & desires & foregoing our own? Of course not! But what I think Cam was trying to say is that he is tired of hearing women say “I’m a strong, independent woman & I don’t need no man.” And then wondering why men aren’t interested. Or why men feel unwanted. It’s the same phenomenon that happens when women constantly bemoan all men for being liars & cheaters & then wonder why decent men avoid them.
Now obviously I think it’s fantastic that women don’t need men for many of the things we used to need them for (e.g. bank accounts, generally supporting us financially), but at the same time, relationships cannot survive if both partners don’t feel needed & valued emotionally. That’s just basic human psychology. And I think maybe that’s what Cam was rather ineloquently trying to say. So as tempting as it is to just throw him under the bus as another sexist entitled brat- which, naturally, is the popular feminist thing to do- I think his comments touch on some deeper issues at play in our society & thus are worthy of some deeper inspection. Is he (or someone like him) someone I’d be jumping up & down to date? Not hardly! But that doesn’t mean everything he has to say about relationships is garbage. After all, ladies, if we expect men to take our criticisms of them seriously (& obviously we do), then we have to return the favor. If we can dish it, we have to be able to take it too, as the old saying goes.
Again, I will gladly admit that maybe I’m just twisting Cam’s comments into something I think is valid or acceptable. That’s always possible. But the contrarian, anti-establishment element of me just can’t help but speak up when I see (almost) everyone else running the other way & decrying Cam as just another sexist idiot. Maybe he is. Even so, maybe he did touch on something worthwhile, albeit not in the most eloquent fashion. Or maybe he just needs to hang out with some women who have actual life skills & goals & aren’t just pretty faces on sexy bodies who are likely just after his money. That’s always a possibility too!
What do y’all think? Did I read way more into this than I should have, likely just to make myself feel better? Or is it possible I’m onto something? In any case, I’ll end by saying this- even if I’m wrong about what Cam meant by his recent comments, I still think the idea of men feeling superfluous in our society is a legitimate concern & something that we all need to consider.