Anthony Carter believes men can do anything, but to really grow as humans, sometimes we’ve got get out and push our comfort levels.
Men can do anything.
From the time we create our first toast pistol, put a frog in the blender, discover our appendage or make a cape from a towel, we learn that the world is ours to manipulate and change.
We also get indoctrinated into patriarchal society and its twin pinnacles of effectiveness: domination and subjugation.
Since it is not natural to cause others pain and harm, it can be assumed that this is a practice that is taught which means we can replace it by teaching something else.
Here is a list that should be taught along with why putting a frog anywhere near an electric appliance is a very bad idea.
1. Listen to and love women: Stop referring to women who are clear, focused and direct as bitches, ball busters and cunts. Get your mitts on some bell hooks, Audre Lorde and any woman who is clear thinking and committed to her own and the planet’s growth.
2. Seek professional help in dealing with childhood trauma. Trust me—if you survived childhood (and if you’re reading this that means you did) then there’s some trauma, misunderstanding or confusion that needs sorting out.
3. Delve into a spiritual practice or create one of your own. Whether your spiritual practice is age old or new age/new thought, no evolution and commitment to being a full human being is complete without a spiritual base.
4. Develop relationships with young children. As someone who has taught four year olds and high school students and everyone in between, I am aware of people’s misunderstanding around men’s significance when it comes to being in a child’s life.
5. Stop determining your worth by what you have, as opposed to what you do. This is directly related to number 4. Many people wrongly assume that teaching and men teaching is the result of being unskilled and the least desirable choice because it is the work of the mind. Prove them wrong. Teach.
6. Give up the belief that your only contribution is a physical one. Invest in brain-teasing, synapse-changing activities and interaction. Although I suck at scrabble and never win, I am mentally challenged and have never left a game not having learned something. Maybe chess or checkers would be more to your liking. Anything that moves our minds and gets them to stretch and move beyond what is comfortable and familiar is a great thing.
7. Get clear about sex and what it can and can’t do. See points two and six as a starting place. Sex can and does result in pregancy, HIV, STIs, hurt feelings and disappointment. It can also lead to closeness, sharing and powerful metaphysical bonding if we allow it.
8. Stop lying about your feelings, accomplishments, disappointments, height, weight, penis size and sexual prowess. Tell the truth about your fears and how you handle them, your unrealized dreams and how you created new ones. Define what the term “all night long” really means (it is a song from the eighties)and why it isn’t that important.
9. Develop friendships and relationships with people who are different and navigate the planet differently because of race, sexual orientation, religion or age. If you are straight get yourself some gay buddies. If you’re gay, get some straight comrades. Remember we’re not talking about folk who are really curious and are one cocktail from “trying something out”. We’re talking about real relationships where it is understood that not only is sexual intimacy out of the question but so are ridiculous assumptions, less-than-thought-out inquiries regarding one another’s lives and ridiculous entendres that are dumb, juvenile and pointless.
Try some of these out. Mix and match. Maybe focus on one per month and the notice the results. Take note and witness when you are kinder, wiser, more thoughtful and far less assumptive. Write me and let me know your results. I’ll be playing Scrabble, hanging with a straight pal or playing with one of my nine grandchildren.
Lead Photo: Flickr/ashley CHILE baz