A Proposed Solution
So how can men navigate this impasse?
- Negotiate instead of refusing. You don’t have to refuse to protect your wife or refuse to be a fireman as a consequence of MRA. You simply have to put a value on it. If you are a fireman you should be paid a hefty risk bonus. If you protect your wife and do all the heavy work around the house, then it makes no sense that you split the rest of the housework down the middle. We men need to learn how to negotiate, and not take our own sacrifices for granted.
- Be vulnerable, not weak. You can tell your woman—and other men—how you feel and what you need. Just do it your own way. Most men aren’t interested in the seemingly endless sharing and validating of emotions that women find so rich. However, you can dare to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is a paradoxical stance that breaks through all kinds of barriers. Rather than opening up and endlessly sharing in a New Age kind of way, it’s about daring to be authentic and transparent about where you’re at and what is going on inside of you. Being vulnerable is akin to being an interior warrior.
We tend to think of women as more empathetic than men, and that may well be true. However, you cannot be empathetic without any input. Women haven’t received quality input from men about the male gender role, or about men’s inner world, and therefore women (and feminism) have made their own assumptions.
In order to change this, we need men who are strong enough and vulnerable enough to be men’s rights activists in their everyday lives.
Ultimately, there are no conflicts between exploring your male identity, meeting women, and standing up for men’s rights. The man of the future is a man who can speak his truth and do so in the moment. Speaking that truth is a sign of strength, whether the content of the truth is that you deeply appreciate the woman in front of you, or that you are truly concerned about the absence of men’s issues on the political agenda.