As an empowered woman, I have no qualms with speaking up for Men.
Y’all. I love men. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
We have done so much to lift women into empowerment and equality over the past century, but I’m afraid that collective at large has forgotten how to raise our males to be men, to be strong individuals. I’m afraid we’re shying away from appreciating all the masculinity that our world desperately needs.
I know too many men who have impounded with the message “It’s not okay for you to speak about how women have done hurtful, demeaning things to you, because you were born male. Our species is too sensitive and naive and attached to our wounds to give you that equal opportunity. So please be quiet, even though you may have had nothing to do with the pain of women who were hurt by other men you will never know. It’s too painful for them to let go of their victimhood, and their power is derived from victimhood- not from the self realization that they no longer have to live in attachment to their transgressors.”
It sickens me deeply when I see men who have sank into isolation and hopelessness because they are not allowed to make themselves heard, because we do not have the capacity to listen to the complexity of their stories, or worse, that we don’t possess the capacity as women to see ourselves as transgressors towards the sex we have deemed as our transgressor.
When we act out of our wounds, we can enact wounding toward those outside us. Our ego needs to see ourself as justified and good, but our soul needs to see the array of experiences that others have and our connection to them. It always comes back to finding understanding and compassion for why we do the hurtful things we do,
so that we can forgive it all.
Without that understanding and forgiveness, how are we ever to get out of the violent cycle of bitterness, closed hearts, defensive, and power struggle? It is a debt that can never be paid in full. It can only be surrendered and forgiven.
Our capacity to wound others and also to be wounded comes from unmet needs and fear of the other in our sense of separation (another deranged interpretation born of the function of the thing we call Ego). Most of us are not born and psychologically or emotionally wired to understand a general sense of trust with all the perceived Others in the world. If we were raised to understand that someone’s aggression came from however they were not cared for, I firmly believe that we would not be so overcome and ruled by fear, at least not to the degree that we are now.
Many people are overcome with fear and anxiety just at that suggestion, but I assure you this does not imply raising children to be naive about the real and present danger in the world. That is way most children are raised now, ironically, because of parents that want to protect them from reality- reality of family conflict, of their parents’ financial struggles, of the awareness that people around them are in pain and need connection to heal that. This is not the way we raise our kids.
Most of us filter the experience of the world for our kids so heavily, subtly sending them the message that they can’t handle it. What we mean to tell them is that we are the ones that are too afraid to tell them the truth. But the truth comes out eventually and the kids are emotionally impacted by the cognitive dissonance emotionally impressed in their being (they pick up *everything* regardless of what we tell them) and the version of the story we have cherry picked for them. This only leads to a sense of distrust toward their authorities, and worse, a sense of distrust towards their own experiences and emotions. We end up believing the stories told us about “needing to be afraid of the world and others who are unlike us” when even our closest caretakers don’t come across as telling us the truth.
If that’s not oedipal complex in action at its most pervasive level then I don’t know what is.
Returning to the topic of how the sexes relate to each other in light of historical reputations, I say all of that because we can’t have the conversation about change of our attitudes and relationships until we also look at where this attitude is most basically being fostered in the first place- the stories we pass on to our children, audibly and unconsciously.
It is not productive or true to demonize or criticize general traits like being male, assertive, being a bread winner, a door opener, or the person obligated to pay for a meal on the first date. Whatever you feel about those things is valid, but not the only truth in the sea of collective objective truth. These are things that accumulate projected meaning for us as individuals. That’s it. And they are subject to change constantly.
We need masculinity more than ever, real masculinity. We need it just as much as the boldest, softest, flourishing expressions of femininity that many of us have felt divorced from over the years. If we don’t want “toxic masculinity,” or sheepish pushover fearful boys, then we better learn to listen to them like their individual experiences and suppressed emotions are worth just as much as the precious babies they help us women create. They are our catalysts for that most mysterious and wondrous process of creation, in which we so divinely pride our feminine selves.
Much love to all you who read or don’t read this, and I make request for “emotional amnesty” (as Marianne Williamson coined the term) toward myself and one another through this process as we work out all our incongruent ways of thinking and being.
Thank you. And Live Adventurously.
Recommended reading and listen: Teal Swan’s book, “The Anatomy of Loneliness”
You can also find a great amount of talks and interviews she has done on youtube over these topics of how loneliness and separation from one another creates the capacity to perpetuate these wounded relationships, as well as violent crime on heh whole. I think understanding this dynamic at play will be crucial to us evolving into a more conscious adn harmonious species. Not trying to positively think our way into something new turning a blind eye to pain and confrontation.