Sebastian Molano shares a new resolution to pursue a “new masculinity.”
New Year resolutions. Since I was 16 years old, every 31st of December, I devote part of the day to reflect on the goals for the coming year. This is a thoughtful exercise that requires reflecting on setting expectations and priorities for the following 12 months. I include in this list concrete goals such as learning how to play bar chords in the guitar (specially the F chord) or improve my language skills. I also include a sort of classic resolutions such as exercising more, drinking less and leaving behind bad habits.
Throughout the years, writing this list has proven to be incredibly helpful. It has allowed me to keep on check my ability to make personal commitments, stick to them (or not) and move closer to the image of the human being I want to be. For the past three years, we have made this exercise with my partner. This has taken the New Year resolutions to the next level. I have learned that sharing actively the new agreements you are trying to achieve is the first step to achieving them. If accountability starts with oneself the mantra should be “sharing commitments is the first commitment.”
In this sense, this year I have decided to make an addition to the list. It is not related with the number of times I need to run per week, the professional goals I want to attain or the special friendships I want to nurture. This 2014, I have included in my list as a goal to pursue actively a new masculinity. Why getting a new one? What is wrong with the one I have now? And most importantly, What does that looks like?
Gender roles have changed and will continue changing. That is a fact. If you are interested about empirical and anecdotal evidence that show how power relations between and within men and women are shifting rapidly, I invite you to check the book “The end of men and the rise of women” by Hanna Rosin. Life is a constant process of evolution and revolution. Unfortunately, in terms of how to reshape gender relations in our societies, we are barely talking about men. Women have done an outstanding job of learning, speaking and acting towards a different type of gender relations based on feminism and vindicating women’s rights. On the other hand, as men, we need to step up and be ready to assume the challenge. The old pattern of protector, provider and reproduction is old dated. The new setting of gender relations requires a new type of men. As such, working toward a new type of masculinity is an essential part of adapting to the new wave of gender relations.
For these reasons, I have identified three aspects of my masculinity that I want to change or improve this years, in order to get closer to the man I want to be. I want to share them with you and invite you to devote some minutes to think about this, an why not, to include specific resolutions about how to achieve a new masculinity. Here it goes:
- Recognize and express feelings of fear. Unfortunately as men we tend to express fear with aggression and violence.
- Hugh more and tell people how much they mean to me. This includes learning how to express affection without feeling emasculated.
- At least cry in public once this year. This is a really tough one, especially as a Latino male. Crying represents the ultimate vulnerability for a man, but also, the most natural human reaction.
I would like to encourage you to be purposeful in your search for a new masculinity. Do not take it lightly. Changing the way in which you live and express your manhood and your masculinity is a powerful tool for promoting social change. So why wait until 2015?
Photo by Flickr/xoder