Friday, April 10

When Men are Real Men

Back in the 70’s at the height of the women’s liberation movement I remember thinking “ Thank God, the men’s liberation can’t be far behind.” It’s just starting.

Maybe the men’s liberation is the realization that women aren’t the enemy but their own egos. In many countries men are actively threatened by the idea of educating females to the point of shutting down schools and forbidding them to hold jobs or venture beyond the house. Now there is a growing trend where men are helping to build schools and encourage the education of girls. There is an African saying “Teach a boy and you educate an individual, teach a girl and you educate an village.”

Men are learning to define themselves by who they are rather than what they own. Men build monuments to themselves- the better car, material wealth, the perfect family, sexual conquests. Measuring themselves by external achievements. When they lose any of these, they feel they are losers. Instead they are learning to look -like women - at intangibles like inner peace, the support of family, how they overcome adversity. Those are real masculine values.

Men are beginning to change their image. It’s not just being cold jocks. It’s helping to raise a a child-diapers and all. It’s being able to make fun of the old machoism, whether it’s allowing themselves to look silly or effete to admitting how much they need male friendships like the movie “I Love You Man”. Men -real men- can cook, redesign a room or express emotions beyond anger and it’s ok. Women like that, really we do.

Women’s liberation has become the liberation of men as well and it's about time.

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