We sat in the cafe, me drinking an Americano and she a Capuccino, talking about our past, feeling our way through the pain and shame of our previous lives. The partners we had mistreated and been mistreated by. The parents who had shamed us into submission, who had distorted our views of reality. Mostly we talked about how long it had taken us to understand and accept the culture of domination and suppression, the culture we had both, unknowingly, bought into many years ago.
How To Love A Woman Course now available. Click here for full details.
Jeff Brown is the author of ‘Soulshaping’ an inner travelogue of his journey from archetypal male warrior to a more surrendered path, ‘Apologies To The Divine Feminine (from a warrior in transition)’ and ‘The Awakening Man’.
Recently I wrote about my masculinity I am Proud Of My Masculinity.
It was 1984, my birthday, I was 36 years old with 2 sons 5 and 3 years old. I was in the office at work on a lighting project when my colleague brought me a cup of coffee and suggested I sit down. She put a call through from my wife who told me that my dad had died suddenly in the night. He was only 72 years old, exactly twice my age, and very fit and healthy. Bang—just like that—no warning—a heart attack.
Anger is a part of all our lives whether it comes from inside or whether we experience it from other people. Anger is a recurring theme in relations between men and women both on a personal and cultural level. The recent shooting in the US has generated countless pages both about the shooter’s anger and the anger of those reacting to him and what he did. Much of that anger has been directed at a perceived battle between men and women, some of it has been about the pressure of men’s entitlement and the effect this has on women.
According to Tony Robbins we all have a Primary Question. It’s a question we ask ourselves everyday of our lives, one that controls our focus and the direction of our lives. 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, an attempt to bolster my male power. My fear was being found out by someone, by anyone. My fear was that people would see the real me, the weak, indecisive and scared me.
There is a lot of talk on The Good Men Project about inclusion across the areas of gender, gender identity, race and other important issues. But the topic of how we treat those with learning disabilities like everyone else is just now coming to the forefront of the discussion. No matter how hard we work to include those who seem to be not like us, many people still find those with learning disabilities a challenge. I know I do. Autism and Downs Syndrome can be especially difficult as the effect is to disable simple communication. If we cannot communicate through words with someone how do we include them in our life?
In my view it is not so much a gender issue as a human issue. It is about sad people who cannot see how to live decent lives and take that out on others. What is tragic, though, is how it blights the lives of those involved. Often the lives of the victims are shattered with devastating ripple effects. The lives of the perpetuators are affected as well, often for the rest of their lives. Victims can become perpetuators, and so on.
As a man I spend time thinking and writing about the experience of being a man. I look to understand my own experience and that of many other men. I do this to develop who I am and to provide other men with material that will enable them to develop who they are, to create a situation where men become men.
A critical part of this is understanding what it is to be a man, how men become men. In relation to what, you might ask. It’s important to know what not being a man looks like. Where is it that men are when they seek help from ‘Graham Reid Phoenix’?
This is an essence of the debate on Sex and Gender. What is a man and how is this man created? The point of this article is not to debate this issue but to point out where I am coming from as a writer.
Being dominating and using mental and emotional abuse is as bad as being physically abusive.
I was in Glasgow with my parents on our annual trip back to Scotland to visit family. I must have been in my early teens. I went off for the day to explore the city on my own. I’ve always enjoyed walking around new and strange cities. My love of steam trains (they still existed then) took me to St Enoch Station.
Standing on the steps looking at my map and wondering where to go next, I was approached by a man seeking to help me.
I was the typical innocent abroad and trusted this man. We started talking and he offered to buy me a coffee in the station cafe. I accepted.
We sat in a quiet corner and at one point he gently took my hand and laid it on his leg. I realised my hand was on his erect penis. I was horrified and only then realised why this man was so helpful. I got away as quick as I could.
Although nothing serious happened to me this experience has remained with me for 50 years now. Continue reading →