You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity (Paperback)
"This is a call to action that has the potential to provoke conversation and change, and is a unique crossover of sports memoir and astute social commentary. From success as a football player to his mission as a feminist and educator, McPherson has spent decades sharing his story and advocating for a new definition of manhood. This timely and coherent study of gender roles is highly recommended."
--Library Journal, Starred Review
"McPherson's insight and unique perspective as a Black athlete and activist trying to reduce men's violence against women are likely to find a receptive audience across genders. Drawing from personal and real-life experiences, McPherson explores issues of privilege and sexism. He reminds us that while voices of women must be heard, it will remain a one-sided 'women's issue' unless men are engaged, too. With sports as a relatable backdrop, this book makes an important contribution to broadening our understanding of toxic expressions of masculinity."
"McPherson wants readers to begin to understand that traditional masculinity is a burden to boys and men, and to help change the narrative handed down to them...This is a valuable contribution to the new choir of traditionally masculine men reevaluating themselves on their own terms."
"You Throw Like a Girl is one of the most important books ever written by a former elite male athlete. Don McPherson's willingness to look inward and share his insights and experiences on and off the field represents an invaluable contribution to the growing literature about the ways in which limited definitions of 'manhood' cause immeasurable harm to women and men alike."
--Jackson Katz, author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help
"I have had the good fortune of interviewing and working with Don McPherson many times over the years. His voice and candor in talking about his own journey and the necessary changes we need to raise healthy and whole men and boys is so compelling and powerful. This thoughtful and inspiring book is an important contribution to this timely conversation. I am grateful for Don McPherson's voice, as a feminist and activist for ending violence against women, and as an advocate for reimagining masculinity."
--Marianne Schnall, journalist, founder of Feminist.com and WhatWillItTake.com, author of What Will It Take to Make a Woman President?
In You Throw Like a Girl, former Syracuse University quarterback and NFL veteran Don McPherson examines how the narrow definition of masculinity adversely impacts women and creates many "blind spots" that hinder the healthy development of men. Dissecting the strict set of beliefs and behaviors that underpin our understanding of masculinity, he contends that we don't raise boys to be men, we raise them not to be women.
Using examples from his own life, including his storied football career, McPherson passionately argues that viewing violence against women as a "women's issue" not just ignores men's culpability but conflates the toxicity of men's violence with being male. In You Throw Like a Girl, McPherson leads us beyond the blind spots and toward solutions, analyzing how we can engage men in a sustained dialogue, with a new set of terms that are aspirational and more accurately representative of the emotional wholeness of men.
About the Author
Don McPherson--an All-America quarterback at Syracuse University who went on to play professionally in the NFL and Canada--began his work on gender-based violence prevention in 1994 at Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society. He has served on the boards of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the NCAA Sexual Assault Task Force, and the NCAA Board of Governors Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence. His educational programs and lectures have reached over one million people in more than three hundred colleges and communities throughout North America.