Breaking Point


Dr. William Raymer:
Are you saying the boy has no disturbance in this area?

Dr. McKinley Thompson:
Of course he has a disturbance. It's gonna be a long time before he can approach a relationship with a woman with any degree of confidence. But, Will, he came to us because he was troubled and all he ask is what's wrong with me and everything he says leads to the same question: What is a man?

Dr. William Raymer:
Well if you saying the boy's problem isn't homosexuality, what is it?

Dr. McKinley Thompson:
I've lived through it and so have you... and so has every American male over fourteen. You sit around in a barracks or in a vacant lot or on the job and every man there takes turns telling their adventures with the girls. Now each one knows he's lying but he thinks he's the only one and everybody wonders. Everybody has the nagging feeling that he's not living up to the great American male image. The great Western hero: strong, silent, half-Neanderthal man, half-Don Juan. Now in this concept of a man there's no room for tenderness or understanding of other people's feelings, no place for sensitivity or aesthetic feelings. All that is considered feminine. Sure, with this boy's family situation and his Army history, he's obsessed with masculinity. He's afraid of failing with a woman and maybe he will. The rest of us have worked out the answer to Paul's question one way or the other. He hasn't found it yet. Of course, there are those easy answers and Paul can get those from his brother Murray. But what's the truth? Before we judge him, before we let him accept his own diagnosis, maybe we ought to examine the question ourselves: what is a man?

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