The #metoo campaign is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen on social media. It is absolutely devastating. And it is also liberating. Silence, shame, hiding - these are the tools of oppression. I am disturbed by the masculine silence. Are you a man struggling with how to show up? Let's talk about it.
I have truly had to face the ugliness of my own patriarchy. Because I have taken leadership positions my mistakes and blind spots have had larger, messier impact. I’ve made a commitment to transform myself, to truly be a better man, not just someone that doesn’t hurt others and avoids messiness but someone that shares my learning to help others grow.
Over the years I’ve realized a crucial error in my thinking: I equated patriarchy and masculinity. I made them one and the same. And in doing so, I sought to erase the integral masculine part of myself.
There is a powerful and accurate discourse on toxic masculinity and the way it permeates the culture. That is patriarchy. Patriarchy is the structure of domination, abuse and oppression that defines our culture. Patriarchy is why our governing and economic structures are failing our humanity. It is the reason we pillage the earth. It is why we spend half of the national treasure on war and destruction. And it is why we live in a rape culture, where sexual assault is normalized. The system is not designed for men to understand the damage we are doing, and we must do better.
Masculinity and patriarchy are closely connected, but they are not the same. There is such a thing as conscious masculinity. There are ways for people to be masculine and true to our nature in ways that actually serve society.
This is what I want to explore and dive into. I am working for a group that I’m temporarily calling “the better men project.” The group targets cis-gender, heterosexual men in committed relationships - simply because that’s what I am, it is what I know, and so it is the best place for me to start. It is for men who want to be better, to show up better - at home and in the world.
I am now holding 15 minute interviews with men that are open to doing this work. I want to systematically speak to men who might consider this course, and learn as much as I can about how they define the need and the problem.
Are you one of them?
Do you know someone I should talk to?