You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity (Paperback)
"The Central New York community knows Don McPherson as the Hall-Of-Fame quarterback who led the 1987 SU football team to an undefeated season. But for the past 27 years, he's also been working on publishing a book that tackles the tough issue of how boys are traditionally raised with macho stereotypes that impacts sexual and domestic violence."
--Bridge Street (WYSR 9, Syracuse, NY)
"Former SU Quarterback Don McPherson isn't fighting for yards or touchdowns, he's in the fight to reduce violence against women. He just published a book, You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity."
--WAER (Syracuse University 88.3 FM, Syracuse, NY)
" McPherson] is also out with a new book entitled You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity. In it, McPherson examines his own life experiences and how they impacted his perception of what it was to be a man."
--CNY Central (NBC3 Syracuse, NY)
"After playing professional football for seven years, McPherson has spent the majority of his life advocating for social justice, using his influence to discuss issues like violence against women and bullying."
--Syracuse Sports Podcast with Brent Axe
"It's unlikely that Don McPherson, an All-American college quarterback who also played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Oilers in the NFL and in the Canadian Football League, knew that his shining athletic career would merely be the prelude to his most impressive act of leadership--his life's work helping men and boys find the courage and skills to become healthier and more well-rounded human beings. He's been working to transform manhood and masculinity for the past three decades."
--Voice Male Magazine
"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."
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.