Ah, did you all see twitter blow up last week in the UK? It caused a storm actually. I’m not too sure if it hit the shores of the USA.
A twitter Mom outraged at the fact the message of sleeping beauty promotes inappropriate sexual misconduct between a man and a woman, tried to get the books banned from Schools.
Yeah, I can see where she’s coming from actually. I mean I get it. I really do.
But this has caused me to think about the deeper issues of masculinity and being healthy as a man. It’s really great that we’re moving forward and thinking and improving on ways in which we’re interacting with women; making life better for them, and generally respecting them a whole lot more than we used to — a time where I come from in the 80’s where it was acceptable to grope others and so on.
I’m a bit at a crossroads here though. I know through my own experience that I was raised entirely by a woman that enforced how I properly interact with and respect women. I had a Dad that treated women no more than pieces of meat; his to use when he had the cravings or throw to the dogs when he had had enough; the last thing my Mum wanted for me was to turn out like him. And now, with the media fervently dashing to the needs of women, with large displays of how to act appropriately with them and so forth.
It was the same when I was going through my radical change, where I re-built myself from the ground up. The book I was handed was “No More Mr Nice Guy – By Doctor Robert Glover” – and the hook for this book was for men that couldn’t get women, whereby reading this book and working through the tasks would end you with the Golden Ticket at the end – the ever elusive long-term relationship with a woman.
Women. It’s all about women’s perspective right now; Toxic Masculinity, Rape Culture, Deadbeat Dads, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, these things need to be talked about to have substance.
What about teaching men to be men though?
Sometimes a man needs to go off in the woods with his father and be taught how to survive and be independent. Although that was a metaphor the idea still stands. Some of the most educational times in my life have been when men have taken me under their wing and shared their experiences with me. I managed to stay clean from the alcohol because an older man had befriended me and he had been clean for a year longer than me. I looked up to him. Then there’s Natalie’s Dad; he’s always around this house teaching me how to fix things and properly worry about my family. My Granddad, before he died, he would take me everywhere. I was only a fit young lad because my Granddad would walk me until I could walk no more. The places we have been. I miss him. I miss him dreadfully.
The number of times in the past I had been knocked back from a woman because they didn’t want to date another one of her girlfriends was more than I could count. I was a shy guy, but I still braved the question after a while. Only to be knocked back nicely and told that I was a better friend than a date.
Women just don’t want to date guys that pander to their every need.
We often forget that there’s a bottom-of-the-iceberg reason for every action; I was a “nice guy” that pandered to women’s needs because I had a Dad that treated them like shit and a Mum that wanted me to be the opposite of my Father. In a sense I had gone to the other extreme; I wanted to treat women better than “all the other guys” but what I hadn’t realised at the time was not many men were like my father.
This is why I fear we’re only hearing one side of the story. Women are doing their bit, of course they are. They are shouting what they want from the roof-tops, and so they should be. It’s time we men did the same. Is time us men started to take better care of ourselves, by speaking for our wants and needs. If we even know what this is these days.
I believe in a balance to life. The well-balanced man understands the healthy balance inside himself; he is part masculine, part feminine. That way he can show his masculine traits when he needs to, and his feminine traits in similar fashion. I draw my strength and stoicism from My Mum, so those are my feminine qualities. I don’t believe there is a general gender rule to these, but I do really believe there need to be more well-balanced men on the podium talking to other men. It’s great and all that we’re learning to understand, communicate and work with women better, but what about ourselves?
What about when you just want to have an afternoon away with the lads; burp & fart, make crude jokes and act like a 5-year-old? This sounds perfectly acceptable to me as long as it isn’t harming anyone. My Granddad swore like a trooper when he was away from Gran. I remember when we met his friends on the Golf Course — I actually didn’t know you could string that many swear words in one sentence. I was shocked. I was a teen; yet that was his thing. He was allowed his time away to be a man and have fun. Also, his shed, yeah, I forgot about his shed! He loved that place.
One of the core elements of being a man (and a woman) is learning how to accept yourself. If I’m honest I really don’t believe there’s much difference in outcome when we accept, love, and have respect for ourselves. Man or woman, you’re going to be treating others as you would yourself, and that’s only in the highest regard. People that love themselves rarely do bad things to others.
That’s why I say there needs to be a man at the front leading the charge for men. Love, peace, abundance, and safety. I watch Prince EA lots; he’s an awesome role model.
Let’s hear more about what men can do, and why men are awesome. I’m tiring of hearing what men shouldn’t do. Yes, it’s a voice that must be heard, but let’s not forget the balance. Men are good too!
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
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