With the growth of blogs there is a growth in men feeling they need to explore where they are. Is this necessary or even helpful? What is it that established men like this?
Here even I succumbed to the desire to set out the stall for men. In ‘Personal Masculinity for Re-Awakened Men‘ I said …
Apparently masculinity is out-dated and in decline. The world has moved on from the old ‘ideal’ of a ‘tough’ masculine man. We are told that in today’s modern society that is no longer appropriate.
But dealing with this by apologising to the feminine is perhaps not the way to go’
‘Let’s be hard and gentle! Perhaps women will love us now!’ Surely just another archetypal approach to masculinity, another idea for us all to conform to.
Hmm… Well perhaps I wasn’t quite into this manifesto thing…
What are men concerned about? What is going on?
In ‘A Manifesto for The Conscious Man‘ Arjuna Ardagh and Gay Hendricks said,
I come to you today as a man committed to becoming more conscious in every way.
I want to apologize to you and make amends for those actions, in order to bring forth a new era of co-creation with you.
The manifesto goes through the details of how to achieve co-creation with women and finishes,
From this day, moving forward, I vow to treat your heart as the sacred temple it is, and I commit to honoring the feminine in you and me and in my relationship to all life.
This seeks agreement from women that what is proposed is OK with them. While this is a noble idea it doesn’t actually solve the situation, we are still putting an unnecessary burden on women.
It’s just another example of men trying to dominate women, this time with exaggerated sorrow and responsibility. Lets love and respect each other and stop telling each other how they should be. That means as men we should look to ourselves.
On a more realistic note in ‘The State Of Men Address’ Michael van Osch said,
The shift that is occurring right now is one where men are standing up to be counted as men again.
He talks about the dominance of women by men and says,
I’m not sure all of those issues for women have been solved and there is more work to do there but this does not preclude the development of men and of the celebrating the unique power and gifts that only men have.
This acknowledges the responsibility that men have and leaves the solution squarely with men, no apologising, no seeking approval.
In his ‘Men’s Manifesto‘ Ben Atherton-Zeman tries to define a new form of manhood free of abuse,
One of the reasons our brothers and fathers have abused their wives, girlfriends and partners is because we havent said, with a unified voice, that this isnt a manly thing to do.”
To clear this out he starts to define his manifesto,
We will be our own role models, and the role models for other men and boys. Rejecting some of traditional masculinity, we will embrace what is useful to us and sometimes create new definitions of what it means to be a man.
This along the right road, but it still requires us to accept that we have caused the pain inflicted by men and requires us to conform to a set view of manhood.
Surely we want to go further than,
1. We are sorry we are men.
2. We are sorry that men have been bad.
3. We promise we won’t do it any more
4. Will you tell us it’s alright now.
We are men. One of the things we do well is give certainty. One of the characteristics we excel at is being grounded and standing strong as life whirls around us.
However we see manhood I would like us to stand in our power and just be how we think we should be. This is not to deny the past. This is not to celebrate all that has been wrong. It is to show how we need to be in the future.
I am a father and I always set more store in the behaviour of my children than in what they said. It’s fine to apologise but it’s meaningless if it is not followed up by action. But a shift in behaviour is very powerful and would always catch my attention.
In ‘Personal Masculinity for Re-Awakened Men‘ I said,
“Here I talk a lot about a particular style of masculinity, that is my masculinity, the model based on my life. I know it works because I live it.
Although I propose this as a model,
I have met many men who I regard as masculine men and their lives are very different from mine. They know who they are and what they want, they have Awareness, Acceptance and Authenticity.
What should we do as men, how should we react to all the evil perpetrated by men?
For me the answer is simple and I set this out as my ‘Manifesto‘:
Know and understand all that has gone on in the past and is still going on today. Know what you feel about it. Know how you are, what your behaviour is. See the world as a mirror and see yourself in what is wrong out there.
Hold in your heart the reasons for all that is wrong. Know how much has been caused by the patriarchal society we have lived in. Accept that your life as a man can contribute to this.
Live the life you want to see others live. Let it start with you. Show by example how it can be. Know that how you treat women, how you treat those in need, how you act towards those weaker than you is going to be magnified by society.
There is a famous quote by Gandhi,
Be the change that you want to see in the world.
Don’t preach, be. Live your life and let others see how it can be.
How do you live? What do you think? What do you do in your life to change how men are?Connect on...