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Sunday, January 08, 2017

Don't Man Up


In preparation for the Alabama/Clemson face-off in Tampa tomorrow, I'm at home, drinking lavender tea and listening to a podcast on public radio about toxic masculinity!

This "Man Up" episode of the To the Best of Our Knowledge series focuses on ways men are forced by society to be who they are not. The artists, thinkers and social figures in this episode are talking about a kind of men's rights that is not a vitriolic backlash to feminist culture. What they are getting at here is men's rights to the kind of equitable empowerment,  self-esteem nurturing, and soul-searching that the women's rights movement has long supported for women.

I learned that the founder of the men's rights movement in the '70's, William Ferrell,  was not a misogynist angry about the sexual revolution, but instead, he started as a major organizational member of NOW (National Organization for Women). He says that one of the reasons the cause of feminism still flounders is because we still pump men full of false notions about who they need to be and the limits to which they can express themselves. Ferrell highlgights that, men, upon turning 18 and getting their license, are required to register for the draft and they face jail time, fines and lack of access to federal jobs if they fail to do so. Imagine, says Ferrell, if only women were required to do this---there would have long been protest sparked by feminists. But men still swallow these notions, they don't even pause to consider that this might be unjust--because men, unlike women, have been left behind in the social trend towards evolving their gender.

Part of my work as an intimacy consultant to men is about making this better.

If you would like to listen to all the segments in this episode, click here.

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