Let's Relinquish Patriarchy

adrienne maree brown is a prophetic voice for our times. She just wrote a clear and precise admonishment for any man who dares to pay attention. Relinquishing the Patriarchy is a helpful and concise way to focus that attention.

People are gathering around her books Emergent Strategy and Pleasure Activism. I’m inviting men to gather around this blog post. Let’s take a deeper dive into the conversation.

I launched the Better Men Project soon after the #metoo movement forced our society to contend with the horrors of patriarchy in a new and deeper way. It is my own work of atonement. A commitment to become a better man and to help men become better.

Let’s have a zoom video conference call together. Join me and other men on Monday, July 8, 2019 at 8:30PM East Coast Time. Let’s take time with this clear text. Let’s allow it to impact us and how we show up as men.

Sign for our men’s video call on Monday July 8, 2019.

On this first call, we will come together, break into small groups and do three things:

  • Talk about the impact of patriarchy in our own lives.

    • How does it limit us?

    • How are we contributing to it right now?

  • We will share our insights from adrienne’s post

  • We will each commit to one action step towards relinquishing patriarchy

I launched the Better Men Project because I want to take responsibility. And I want to be with men who are willing to do the same.

I launched it because I have made the mistake of equating patriarchy and masculinity. The mistake of making these one and the same. The truth is that we know a lot about toxic masculinity. But we know very little about conscious masculinity. Masculinity is not a bad thing. It can, should, and must be good for the world.

As adrienne puts it:

“this is mostly a note to straight, cis men; but also includes trans men, queer men, and all who participate in masculinity – if you see yourself in these words, this is a love note to you.”

I am a cisgender heterosexual male in a committed relationship. This is the perspective that I bring. But it is my hope that this invitation resonates with all who participate in masculinity.

adrienne goes on to say:

patriarchy (the system of society/government in which men hold the power and women are excluded from it) is collapsing, and it’s time for you, too, to give it up, to get yourself out.

it won’t be easy.

i don’t believe total revolution or liberation happens in one generation, but i know from my own life and many lives i have witnessed and accompanied, that it is absolutely possible in your lifetime, in a generation, to personally relinquish an unjust ideology, to begin to practice a more evolved way of being.

when enough of us relinquish injustices that only pretend to benefit us, we tip society towards justice.

It feels like the right invitation. adrienne’s work is solidly anchored in the social movements of our day. This is the space in which most of my work has been held. But it has long been my hope to expand my work beyond that space. It is my desire to learn to reach men who are outside of this social movement discourse.

In order to do this it is important that you come into this call with a strong commitment to her 3rd point of practice:

don’t get into language supremacy, or read-the-most-feminists supremacy. don’t think that you are better than other men because you know the language of patriarchy, feminism and other isms. it’s the overcharged competitive nature, the desire to be better than, the inappropriate topping itself that is toxic.

This is not a space for performing wokeness.

I have been learning a lot from the 12 Step Recovery Programs like Alcoholic Anonymous (see post Machos Anonimos). Here we come together not as people who know a lot. But as people who have been hobbled by a shared illness. It is humbling work. Not grandstanding work. It is about asking for help. And it is about coming together.

I want to get to a point when we are strategically talking about widespread disruption of patriarchy and its norms. But let’s start by taking a close look at ourselves. Let’s do the emergent strategy fractal thing that adrienne is inviting us into.

Please only participate if you can do so by video. It is important to look each other in the face as we do this work.

I also invite you to do a weekly reading of adrienne’s post between now and then. These are texts that we need to study. We need to read and re-read. This is how we can start to feel our way into this wisdom. To get ourselves deeper than our heads.

Come ready to share. What is the action that you can commit to? What is the step that you are ready to take?

Real Leverage

Real Leverage

Only ten percent of our happiness is determined by our circumstances. Where we live. How rich or poor we are. Our health. Our place within the structure of oppression.

I want my work to have a direct impact on the objective conditions of the people. I want to have a positive effect on people’s circumstance. But it is imperative that I pay attention to how I go about doing this. Because I risk limiting my impact. My work should aim for more than only 10 percent of a person’s experience of happiness, of freedom and aliveness. I want real leverage.

How To Change Your Mind

How To Change Your Mind

Michael Pollan just wrote a beautiful book on the “psychedelic renaissance.” He titled it “How to Change Your Mind.” And it is a phenomenally important work. He is a best selling author many times over. Many of you may remember groundbreaking books like “The Botany of Desire,” “The Omnivore's Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food.” I mention these because he is one of Time’s 100 most influential people. This is what is important about this post: Michael Pollan just made “Journey Work” go mainstream.

Vision& Justice

Vision& Justice

the Vision & Justice Civic Curriculum is now freely available to you.

“How has visual representation both limited and liberated our definition of American citizenship and belonging?”

This is the animating question behind the Vision & Justice Project, led by the incomparable Sarah Lewis. Visual representation has always been a powerful tool for reshaping our culture. But social media has exploded the power of the image. We need to be aware of this power. And we need to wield it with intention.

Machos Anónimos

Machos Anónimos

It is too easy for the work of dismantling patriarchy to become an arena of “competitive wokeness.” A well developed analysis can actually shut down curiosity. We tend to hold it as a fundamental truth. And the work becomes about grandstanding. Everyone wants to get it right. To let others know they have it right.  And to enforce what is right. I call it movement fundamentalism.

I have nothing against what is right. But I do have a problem with spaces that make us afraid to get anything wrong. The fundamentalism that underlies “competitive wokeness” can paralyze us with fear. No one wants to get it wrong. No one wants to be exiled from the tribe. A primal fear hijacks our thinking. And fear is how possibility erodes.

Let's Meditate Together

Let's Meditate Together

We are part of a global community that meditates together evrey Wednesday morning at 9:30am Eastern Time on a Zoom Video Conference Call. We support each other in our meditation practice. It is a powerful way to deepen our sense of connection.

Our work brings together shamanic ritual and the practice of emergent dialogue. We experience it as a forward facing remembering.

We tune into the aliveness of our shared consciousness. We nurture the possibility of something that can take us beyond the boundaries of ourselves and what we think we know.

This is an experiment. You are welcome to join us on any Wednesday morning over the next three months. You are invited to join us starting Wednesday, April 10 at 9:30AM Eastern time.

Prayer for the First Women

Prayer for the First Women

It is important for the “first of” women in congress to know they have our support. We show that with our resources, with our volunteer hours, with our voices in the public forum.

It’s not easy to be first. The old guard feels like you are taking their place. The old system is shaking. You are what the future looks like. And you are perceived as a threat. It is a merciless environment. You are under a national microscope. You are facing waves and waves of digital hate.

Let's Get Closer

Let's Get Closer

Deepening human connection is at the heart of the evolutionary leadership framework. It is a response to our times. It understands that the species is at a choice point. That we are on the fast track to an evolutionary crash. And that we need to take an evolutionary leap. A leap at the level of consciousness and culture. A leap away from the narcissism of our day. And towards the possibility of a new “We.”

We can only grow in this direction by coming closer to each other.



I turn 44 today. Samantha and I had a date yesterday, and she held space for my reflection. Birthdays are good for looking back and looking forward. I had to start with gratitude. I know that I am abundantly blessed. Blessed by the goddess. By my family and friends. By my community and vocation. By the light of my ancestors. and by the grace of life in these times, in this place and in this moment.