The things men worry about may not change, but the way we talk about them does.
“Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”
“Why are you worried? It will work out.”
“What are you worrying for? You’ll get over it.”
“It’s no big deal. What are you worried about?”
Yes, we’re supposed to have it altogether. We’re supposed to be the strong ones. We’re supposed to stand up, man up, protect, speak up, fight, right? Not just for ourselves, but for others.
A bit outdated, don’t you think?
What about when we’ve got our worries? Are we going to keep our jobs? Be good enough mates? Is the car going to last through another winter?
Are the troubles in the next city going to come into our town, and what will we do if we agree with the protestors? What if we agree with the police?
What needs to be fixed on the house? What’s going to be on the news tonight?
Do I look good enough? Am I reading the right things and watching the right things?
What if I like the stuff people say I shouldn’t? Can I talk about that stuff?
And if we don’t like what we’re supposed to?
We get told all the time that we should just be ourselves and not worry about what other people think. Easier said then done.
This is the place to talk about these things. Getting beyond stereotypes and “supposed to”. Getting out of the “man box”. Talking about what does and doesn’t happen when we do…or don’t. The conversations aren’t easy. There are plenty of people ready to blame and shame others for what they believe and feel. There is plenty of disagreement about how to go about our day-to-day lives. And yes, there are plenty of things that are not ok. Abuse, sexual assault, violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, pedophilia, behavior that hurts others.
But there are few people that would disagree that part of being a man means learning and growing, being willing to look at other points of view, even if we ultimately disagree.
That’s part of what The Good Men Project is here for, to connect people and conversations.
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