Male Dominance – Under Attack or Dead Concept?

Is it part of men's inherent male nature or does it comes from how they are nurtured?

Men develop under their mother’s influence and live in a society that is increasingly feminised by the media. They are left wondering where this leaves them as men.

In the future will men continue to dominate or will it be the turn of women? Will men continue to be domineering?

Is it time for men to embrace a new world view of equality and justice or is it time to batten down the hatches and protect what they have?

Continue reading →

The Magic of Certainty

While building a confidence course for other men, I learned the source of my determination.

I am launching an online course for men. Last week the sales were not at a level I expected. I fell into a crisis of confidence, a crisis that felt like its claws were digging into the core of what I feel about myself as a man. This crisis involved my relationship or, more accurately, my imagined relationship with my dad.

Self-confidence and a man’s relationship with his father are key elements I examine in the course. I had not expected that creating it would bring these so personally to the fore. The process of resolving my crisis, however, has given me certainty and enabled me to see my dad for the man he was rather than as an ideal in my mind, just what I intend for students of my course.

My father passed on many years ago and has become more of an image in my mind rather than a physical reality. He has always had a powerful influence on me in ways that I didn’t understand. My belief was that he was the cause of my tendency to dominance and anger. In writing about him last year, in ‘My Father Was An Angry Man‘, I highlighted that he was a man who liked to have the last word and be right.

It was a powerful attitude to fight against when I was growing up, learning how to shift from being a boy to being a man. I developed a masculinity of dominance and anger. It worked for me in many ways, on the outside I became a powerful man, but inside I was a different man, a weaker one.

Recent events have caused me to re-assess my relationship with my dad and my power as a man.

I was sitting one evening with my wife, playing with a Ouija Board. This is a game where the influence of everyone present is used to answer questions. Some people believe it enables a spiritual presence to communicate, others that it’s just a bit of fun. My wife has spiritual intuition and started talking to me about a presence she felt.

The spiritual presence of my dad was in the room and he wanted to let me know that he was there supporting me. He apologised for leaving me to deal with family issues without my understanding what was going on. I felt a calmness and a compassionate connection that was at odds with the vehemence of my original feelings about him.

Several days later I was being taken through a Journey process by a friend. This is the process developed by Brandon Bays that was instrumental in her defeating serious cancer. I have come to appreciate it as a way of discovering and resolving hidden, internal issues. It involves falling through the layers in our minds to discover and resolve what’s underneath.

I was working on the issue of self-doubt, digging through the layers of causation and my attitudes to them. One of the underlying causes was the fact that I was born with a club foot. This happened in my mum’s womb and was connected with my birth being a breech. My foot is not normal and required two major operations when I was young.

My mum had boatloads of guilt over this and during the Journey process I went back to a point when I was five years old. It was after an operation, when I was at home with the family, trying to walk again. I felt my mum’s doubt and concern about the situation. I absorbed this realisation in the Journey process and saw that the source of my self-doubt was something external to me, something I did not create.

At the end of the process, though, I was shocked to realise that I had been holding, deep down, the idea that my dad was not a strong man. Rather than seeing him as a determined man, someone to emulate, I felt that he was the weak one. It was my mum who was the strong one, emotionally involved. She channeled her guilt and doubt into positive action. She was determined that her pain should not affect my life. Having a club foot was bad enough, she didn’t want me to take on her emotions as well, although, ironically, that’s just what I did, because I absorbed a sense of weakness about being a man from my dad. Unlike my mother, my father was not emotionally involved. He was unable to help me cope with the situation, unable to shield me from my mum’s guilt. He had no alternative view for me, no masculine view. His dominance was a way of cloaking this, a way of appearing to be in charge. My mum’s emotions held sway and he seemed to be powerless.

In creating the course for men I encapsulated my views on masculinity and revealed the man inside. I saw the project failing and events not going my way. This spoke to my need to feel validated as a man. Would my failure destroy my outward masculinity? Were my inner emotions still controlled by doubt? If so, then I was not the man I revealed in the course. I was failing in the very issues I was helping other men deal with. The core of the crisis was the question of whether I was living a lie and whether others would see this.

Last year I wrote on the Mask of Masculinity. I said,

For many years my ‘Primary Question’ was, “What if I’m found out?” I regarded the life I was leading as a lie, a mask, a masculine stereotype. My fear was being found out. My fear was that people would see the real me, weak, indecisive and scared. To avoid this I put on a front of strength and determination. What I hid behind was a view I had of masculinity, a view that protected me.

In having the crisis, was I back behind the mask of dominance and control that I learned from my dad? The idea that I can only move things forward if I am in control is one that had been eating away at me. It took me back to seeing my dad not being able to control the situation with my foot, to him feeling locked out from the powerful emotions coming from my mum.

My dad pushed it out of the way and acted as if it didn’t exist. Be a man, be dominant and people will listen to you, even if they don’t want to! This was how I dealt with my previous career. It worked, for a time, but resulted in several business failures.

After a few days of anguish, of feeling a void inside, I came to a resolution not to be bound by my mum’s doubt or my dad’s weakness. I took action on what I wanted to see happen with the launch. I saw I didn’t need to take control, I just needed to communicate. In four days I tripled sales. What is even more important, though, is that my wife saw a transformation in me and in my energy. She saw me move from being a man on the verge of giving up to a man on a mission.

I feel different inside. I feel an inner certainty, a knowledge not just of what I want, but that what I want is what will happen. The difference is that this is devoid of dominance, it doesn’t push others out of the way but it offers me and my experience to them. I now know the simple power of my inner core as a man, I know that what I want, what I do, is valid.

What do I feel, now, about my dad?

Maybe he was just teaching me to be independent, to trust myself and be strong inside. If so, that’s where I have finally reached. Is that what he wanted all along? Could he only achieve that by detaching from the pain and from the emotion? I have a sense that his presence after the Ouija Board was him connecting with me, showing me he wasn’t disconnected after all.

How does this inner work play out in reality?

It appears in me knowing what I want and knowing the direction I want to go in. Others will choose to come alongside and work with me, or have relationships with me, not because I put pressure on, not because I am the loudest. People will come with me because they choose to, because they see power in what I am doing. There is nothing I can do to create this other than be sure of it myself and allow others to see my belief in it.

Then the magic happens…

Why Do Men Cheat – The Dirty Lowdown Of The Affair

Women seem to talk constantly about why men cheat. There is a perception that men cheat all the time, is this true? It creates an impression that men are not to be trusted, do you find this?

When both men and women are asked why do men cheat, the immediate responses are often,

Continue reading →

If I Could Hold On Through The Tears And Laughter

"And if I could hold on / Through the tears and the laughter / Would it be beautiful / Or just a beautiful disaster?"

The lyrics of a Kelly Clarkson song speak to me of the pain of love. They speak to me of the idea that love is hard but worthwhile. They speak to me of someone who doesn’t know the way out, the way through to the sunlight. What’s beyond the tears and laughter?

Love is such an over-used word that people commonly don’t know what it means. They talk about loving and being loved and all they see is connection. But what is the connection? Is it need, desire, control or love?

Continue reading →

6 Lessons on How to live a Great Life

For all those men who are wondering how to live and love.

There is a lot of pressure on men from all sides, pressure to justify, pressure to perform. The answer is simple, let the intellectuals and the activists argue about the state of men and look at yourself and how you live.

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyse you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.
—Bernice Johnson Reagon

Continue reading →

A 40 Day Challenge for Men — Day 20

Dealing With Chaos — What Would You Like To Change?

Having a perspective on what you like and don’t like about yourself leads naturally to the question of change. Change is something that is constant in everyone’s life and something most men shy away from. Natural change ensures you grow older and shift your viewpoint on life. Conscious change, however, can be traumatic or it can be liberating.

Continue reading →

A 40 Day Challenge for Men — Day 7

Dealing With Chaos — Show Me How To Control Others

It’s so easy to control the ones you love and, especially, the ones you don’t. Control of yourself is something you shy away from. Men often tend to ignore the need for this relying, instead, on righteous indignation at what life has done to them. They think that if they change the world they will improve their lives.

Continue reading →

Advice On Relationships From The Rolling Stones

advice on relationships rolling stones

I am always looking for advice on relationships and I recently found a fascinating source.

In the autumn of 1963 I saw The Rolling Stones, at the Odeon Theatre in Manchester, on their first UK concert tour as a supporting act for American stars including Bo Diddley, Little Richard and The Everly Brothers.

Continue reading →

5 Questions To Reclaim Your Life

I focus on my inner soul and my relationships with others, I focus on what kind of person I am.

I live in the hills of Andalucia, a region of heat and dry landscapes. I have two dogs with me that love to go walking and hunting in the hills. They are outside dogs who have a wide ranging territory of rocks, heather and rough ground.

Continue reading →