Do you ever just get fed up tired with all the push back against simple baseline values like the human right to equity? Why is this battle still raging? What the hell?
And if I’m tired, I can only imagine how exhausted Black folks feel with the endless manifestations of white supremacy they have to put up with. What about women? LGBTQI+ folks? Immigrants? Muslims? That people still get up every day and keep working for a better world is remarkable. Many would likely say, “We have no choice.” But it’s still a marker of amazing resilience.
Resilience is based in relationships and communities. Which is why such resiliency can be hard to come by for folks who look like I do. White folks like me are often isolated in politicized notions of individualism, gated community ideas of status, dominance culture, etc. Because its isolating, we don’t have access to the deeper reservoirs of resiliency in community.
The work for white folks like me is to infuse our lives with connection by reaching out across diversity of race, sexual identity, religion, immigration status, gender and all they ways in which human complexity intersects. But since, collectively, white folks have done and are still doing so much harm, we have to earn trust in those other communities.
If we don’t do that bridging work and connect into other communities, folks like me are stuck in the whiteness culture bubble. Despite all the good some of us might seek to do from within that bubble, we’re swimming upstream against a generations old whiteness culture of hyper-individualism, status, hierarchy, and dominance. Because it is so isolating, it offers us very little resiliency for the work. Or for simply being human.
Resiliency, the ability to keep going during challenging times, comes from having robust networks of connection and community we can rely on for support. The curse of privilege in any dominance-based culture designed to create power over others (both inside and outside one’s group) is disconnection and lifetimes of isolation. If our particular community is only based on markers of power over like rank, status, and dominance, then it is inherently isolating and provides us no resiliency. All we get is the fight or flight energy of anxiety and panic. Which, ultimately is exhausting.
In dominance-based masculine culture, men are raised to distrust the idea of community. We are blocked from infancy from learned to engage relationally in nuanced ways. We are instead slotted into systems of bullying. and dominance, taught to navigate world in that way. Learning to let go of our fearful dependence on dominance-culture is at the heart of men’s work. It is at the core of healthy masculinity.
And healthy masculinity requires connecting across differences. This work results in vast gifts of rich meaning and belonging.
If you are a man who wants to create authentic expression and diverse connection in your life, seek out a therapist, join a men’s circle like @mankindproject, find books and podcasts. Our healthy masculinity books, podcast and other resources are here. https://linktr.ee/remakingmanhood
Meanwhile, I’m going to keep doing my own work.
#diversity #culture #equity #community
Previously Published on Medium