A male friend commented on a recent post I did on “One Billion Rising” – a movement acting to stop and raise awareness on violence against women and girls – saying that he HATES MEN. Through an emoticon he then expressed his sadness about the behavior of (some) men. This is my answer:
Beautiful friend, please LOVE MEN and thus – love yourself. I do as well, as much as I can, more and more every day. I honor and cherish every man who has the courage to dive into their emotions and other spaces that has been just as prohibited for them as, for example, political power has been for women in our history.
So many men are exposed to violence every day, most often (even if not always), men are and have been the vast majority of soldiers in every war since at least 6000 years. On top of that, they have been, and – globally – often still are, kept from having deep and meaningful relationships with their children.
More than often, men have also carried the role of enforcing our strange laws and cultural habits, themselves forced by social contracts and the pressure to provide food, shelter, money – not for only themselves but also for their families, tribes, wider community, country… How often have not priests, lawyers, kings, knights, noblemen, politicians, chiefs, husbands, fathers been (felt…) forced to act against their own hearts, against their inner child, against their intuition – against the very things that make us human – to do their job.
Men also suffer greatly under expectations. We often talk about how many roles a modern woman is expected to fulfill – what about the men? There are expectations on them to be that strong warrior, the gentleman (but not too much, it can be considered provocative), have a well trained body, have a well-paid job that preferably also should be exiting and impressive, travel (preferably to exiting places doing smth dangerous) AND take care of their children, spend a lot of time with their significant other, etc etc.
I could go on but I am tired…. (I wrote this just before going to sleep).
But I wanted to write this, to myself and to you, to just say – lets LOVE MEN. Lets forgive and forget. Lets release our old stories and write new ones. Lets discover – beneath our stories and cultural interpretations – what it really means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.
I think that the disrespect and aggression that some men show towards women, as well as their own children, only mirrors their inner pain and the aggression and disrespect that they are shown and have been exposed to themselves.
I deeply honor all the amazing men in my life, so many of which are in a deep, courageous, conscious and heartfelt process of healing their patterns and themselves. You are one of them.
Love yourself 🙂 ❤
(The text above was written after One Billion Rising 2016, just found it today as a “memory” reminder generated by Facebook. Below a quote from a good article about men and feelings.)
“Just because men aren’t adept at expressing their feelings, don’t for a minute think they don’t feel, and feel deeply. Many times, men express their feelings using a secret code—a code that even they can’t decipher.
Men may convert one feeling into another. Men may convert stereotypically feminine feelings, such as sadness or vulnerability, into feelings like anger or pride—feelings more socially acceptable for them to experience.”