It’s unfortunate that many of the males in western society have fallen victim to the hypnosis of inter-generational social conditioning that has told them gentleness is a sign of weakness. And that to express emotions somehow makes them less of a man. Our current state of global conflict and the rising suicide rate among men should be sending a strong signal that gender equality is about much more than pay equity. It’s about balance. This is what I mean.
Many of today’s males are struggling to find their place. The new “sensitives” often hide their gentleness for fear of ridicule by their peers. They are often the ones who succumb to substances to numb their isolation. And when things get too out of balance, many end it all. I’ve often said that when women get depressed, they take Prozac but when men get depressed, they take their lives. That needs to change!
I read a good Time Magazine article by Jack Myers recently called the Future of Men. It talked about the need to redefine what a good man is in the 21st century. In order to do that, Myers says we need to “invest in an educational redesign that better serves both boys and girls”. We also need media and advertisers to start sending different messages and for the television and movie industries to portray men in more multi-dimensional and caring ways. And for parents of boys, it’s imperative that we change the conversations we have with our boys so that they honour their gentleness rather than attempt to stifle it.
It’s a tall order and the changes may get messy. But they’re necessary for us to evolve as a more balanced and peaceful society. I’m already seeing evidence of the changes. Let’s keep it up!
Love from your Joy Mama
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