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For years, Wil S. Hylton had been drawn to his cousin’s strength and violence. He was pulled in by the archetype that he embodied and was envious of the power he seemed to command.
Wil describes his relative’s violence as “ambient” and “endemic,” but he was sure it wouldn’t turn on him. Until a few years ago, when his cousin tried to kill him.
On today’s Sunday Read, listen to Wil’s wide-ranging exploration of masculinity — that of his cousin’s as well as his own.
“My attraction to my cousin and my detachment as a husband both reside in the pantheon of male tropes,” he wrote. “Masculinity is a religion. It’s a compendium of saints: the vaunted patriarch, the taciturn cowboy, the errant knight, the reluctant hero, the gentle giant and omniscient father.”
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The Daily is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi and Rachelle Bonja. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan and Desiree Ibekwe.