Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. In this groundbreaking new book, the author, a trans man, trains to fight in a charity match at Madison Square Garden while struggling to untangle the vexed relationship between masculinity and violence.
Through his experience boxing—learning to get hit, and to hit back; wrestling with the camaraderie of the gym; confronting the betrayals and strength of his own body—McBee examines the weight of male violence, the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes, and the limitations of conventional masculinity. A wide-ranging exploration of gender in our society, Amateur is ultimately a story of hope, as McBee traces a new way forward, a new kind of masculinity, inside the ring and outside of it.
In this graceful, stunning, and uncompromising exploration of living, fighting, and healing, we gain insight into the stereotypes and shifting realities of masculinity today through the eyes of a new man. Read more Read less. Previous page. Print length. Publication date. August 14, See all details. Next page. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Frequently bought together. Total price:. To see our price, add these items to your cart. Some of these items ship sooner than the others.
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Login now. McBee…interviews sociologists, trains for a boxing match himself, and writes about his relationships to the important people in his life, especially his late mother, all in pursuit of a greater understanding of masculinity. Inside the fight, McBee finds reconciliation. McBee describes the journey as a way of grappling with his newish place in the world of toxic and privileged masculinity It is in many ways a happy dismantling of these expectations, an opening of masculinity to make room for love, support, and tenderness — something McBee is pleasantly surprised to find along the way.
It is also a classic fight story. Superbly written and keenly observed, Amateur manages to juggle all of these elements with grace and wit. Yet at the end of Amateur , after all the punches, interviews, and introspection, the author does not arrive at any simple answers. Instead, that initial question about men and fighting multiplies into larger ones While he gets closer and closer to that eventual fight night in New York, his investigation of men is made more powerful by this lack of certainty—ultimately asking whether anyone, including those who flaunt their political strength in Washington D.
Who better to explore this crisis than someone who has had to interrogate, with every cell of their body, what it means to become a man? With exhilarating clarity and tenderness, Amateur exposes patriarchy for the construct that it is.
He wants to know, as a man, how to fight gender inequity At a time when equity of all kinds is being suppressed, Amateur is a reminder that the individual can still come forward and fight.
Author of the award-winning memoir Man Alive , McBee expected men drawn to boxing were motivated by bloodlust. Instead, he discovers mentorship among men overcoming weaknesses. In finding the vulnerability guys hope to hide, McBee finds hope for all men. The training sends him into uncomfortable territory as he works to unpack whether violence is a necessary component of the maleness to which he has transitioned.
He provides readers with a fascinating, poignant account of his desire to push at the constructions of what it means to be a man in order to better understand himself. Nothing short of superb. It all adds up to a gripping and fascinating journey.
In this memoir from Scribner, [McBee] grapples with masculinity, gender, and violence as he recounts his training to become a boxer. Amateur is more than a boxing story, just as it's more than a trans narrative. It's a highly recommended case study in manhood. All rights reserved. Amateur Am I a Real Man? Mendez Boxing gym was wedged between anonymous buildings in the Flatiron, under one of those ubiquitous green Manhattan awnings that signal perpetual construction. I circled the block, fashioning it, three times before finally heading in, looking foolish in my brand-new Adidas boxing shoes, pulled-high athletic socks, and neon yellow shorts.
I told him I was looking for an acquaintance, Chris Lewarne, a rep from the boxing charity that arranged my fight. I suppose I had indeed spent a lot more time not knowing what to say since my transition. This was the sort of place I would need to be watchful, to be careful to whom I spoke and what I said. I had already decided that I would not tell anyone that I was trans. Still, I suspected from the moments that I moved anonymously through space that the understanding that my male friends especially had about my body impacted the way they treated me, and my goal was to go undercover, to embed, never mind to stay safe among men who liked to beat each other up for fun.
In the coming months, that decision would dog me, not least because it highlighted a thorny truth: that, for all the world, I was just another dude in expensive Nikes learning to hit other guys in the face.
Real boxing gyms, dank spots that were actual training grounds for Golden Gloves champs, were rarely open to gangly newbs like me, but a spate of legendary gyms such as Mendez followed a profitable business model that attracted scrappy Olympic hopefuls, washed-up amateurs looking to become personal trainers or to coach the Next Big Thing, and high-rolling charity fighters alike. The sport that produced Muhammad Ali increasingly lacked in both heroes and the deeper social narrative of his era, leaving a vacuum eventually filled by a boxing-fitness craze perfect for Instagrammable moments.
A hedge-fund manager I met at another boxing gym confirmed this. He wore the classic Adidas triple-striped pants, a Haymakers T-shirt, and a light beard, but was the kind of handsome that required zero styling to appear stylish. He was the only reason I had a good shot of getting on the fight card at such short notice—just five months before the event. So what if I had to cross my eyes to look in a mirror? They were holding us back, the bad dads and the mass murderers and child abusers, the wife beaters and the harassing bosses and the corrupt politicians.
Not until I was much older did I realize how complicated her feelings were, that she loved men too, and that her anger was forged in that love: obviously for my brother, and her father, but also for the coworkers that stood up for her, the ex-boyfriends, the civil rights activists she marched alongside in the National Mall, listening to Martin Luther King Jr.
Bearded and swarthy, standing beside him, I felt like the brainy villain next to the hero in an action movie. Then he introduced me to my potential coach: Errol, an impeccably groomed, bald-headed black dude, who looked at me warily.
I wondered, self-consciously, if he presumed me a certain sort of white man, or if his assessment was a colder, more physical one. This was my inference, of course. Wu-Tang blared over a bell that rang out every three minutes and the constant thwap of men hitting bags, mitts, each other.
I did not run a six-minute mile, but I did run three miles in twenty-five minutes, driven by adrenaline and pure terror through a hazing that lasted two grueling hours. We knew each other only vaguely, and mostly from social media. Not that Chris seemed to make any distinction. He looked at me curiously, but told me not to worry about it. As we watched a guy across the way do one hundred sit-ups, pause thirty seconds, then do one hundred more, I realized how scared I was. I wore my insistence that I be taken seriously, an inheritance from Before, differently on this body.
With nobody challenging me anymore, that drive now just looked like standard-issue male confidence. I felt an acute awareness, sitting next to Chris, of the inches and muscle the other guys had on me, and within their bodies the potential for my own spectacular failure.
I flinched at the attention. I had a fight! I walked all the way home, that night, thirty blocks, like the king of New York. I pretended to be in less pain than I was as we practiced keeping our guards up, looking over our gloves, crab-walking around the ring, then turning into position quickly, so as to expose as little of our bodies as possible. This defensive style was cagey, smart.