A Path to Intimacy


This blog post is the third post in a series leading up to our first Men’s Call that will take place at 8:30pm ET on July 8, 2019. This series explores adrienne maree brown’s blog post relinquishing the patriarchy. Check out post one, Let’s Relinquish Patriarchy, and post two What is Patriarchy for context, and sign up for our men’s call here

It’s important to note that adrienne’s post is inspired by the pain of the women around her. She talks about the exhaustion and resignation of straight women. Many who feel that they just have to give up on the idea of a healthy, fair, fulfilling relationship with a man. She names heartbreak, confusion, despair, and an unmet human need for true intimacy.

I know first hand that patriarchy is terribly painful to us, as men. I know that it cuts us off from our deepest humanity. It limits our experience of human emotion. It short-circuits our longing for intimacy. And it leaves us terribly alone. And it makes us dangerous to ourselves, to others and to the world.

I do not want to take away from the ways in which patriarchy hurts us, men.

But with this note, I want to invite us to focus on feminine pain. On the pain that women have to bear in this patriarchal society. It is easy for us to intellectualize. To “understand” it by abstracting it. This is one of our tendencies. We can talk about something without embodying it.

When was the last time you listened to a woman as she spoke her pain, fear and frustration about living in a world that is built against her?

I know I can think of times when my wife has wanted to unload, and has wanted me to understand. And even now I can remember my resistance, the voice inside me that would not feel her pain because “I already know this.”

To know in your head is very different than to understand it. It is different than feeling it. Are you able to tune in to those women in your life who might be willing to share their experiences with you? Are you able to do it without being consumed by shame, without asking for answers, without rushing to solutions?

Consider just listening. Consider learning how to listen deeply. Let’s learn to develop the capacity for holding the pain that the women in our lives have been holding.

This is a path to intimacy. A path

informed by emergent strategy and pleasure activism, and by life. this is for men who don’t want to be alone. who want to be part of communities. who don’t want to be a burden to humanity. who want to be trustworthy! who don’t want to be assholes and fuckbois and distant dads, but can’t see how they are perpetuating patriarchy.

This is for men who want to know love in their lives.

Thank you for being with me on the journey. I look forward to being with you on July 8. And I encourage you to comment below.