It’s safe to say and we can all agree, that just as all women are not all the same, men are not either. In this episode Gina Lazenby spoke with three men who discussed masculinity, and the many different shades of this takes.
We already heard on the Rise of the Feminine Radio two weeks ago from Jim Myers, author of The Future of Men, that young men in particular are struggling with finding their way to adulthood while more young women are increasingly focused on their education, achievements and planning a well-paid career. They see a relationship as a distraction that can hold them back, so relationships are less of a priority in their 20s.(Listen to that episode here).
That’s one perspective on what’s happening with young men while many older men, particularly white males, can be feeling the squeeze as organisations try to make space for women leaders and people of different ethnic backgrounds. In this episode Gina referred to author Dr Roy Baumeister who says in his book Is There Anything Good About Men, that it is currently taboo to speak good about men. “To be sure, men still outnumber women as top achievers in some domains. Does that mean that in some respects men are better than women? Hardly. We have all been taught to dismiss superior male achievement as evidence of prejudice and oppression.”
The rise of the feminine is about the ascension of women and the increasing values BUT it must not be a movement that puts men down. It is about the rise of women, about finding the feminine within all of us, and for men to connect with their feelings and emotional expression.
Kenny D’Cruz, the Man Whisperer, says that men are asking “where are all the women?” Women can very much resonate with this as this is a question on many single women’s lips.
Kenny says that men are likely to find a relationship if they become a “man” and not a boy who, he says, are not looking for a real woman. Being a man is more about a life stage than an age and becoming a man involves a process of self-awareness and growth, something that can be done alone, but is more effective by the support of good role models and even attending an increasing number of men’s groups.
David Brower reflects on French masculinity. While sexism still exists in France as it does in many countries, David observed that the French culture and appreciation of beauty, arts and cuisine was a way that helped to get French men out of their heads and to open up their hearts.
Secondly David noticed that expressing an opinion was much more acceptable than in his native America where David felt the restriction of black or white view viewpoints. In France there is more openness to expressing and hearing the many shades of grey in between.
As the father of three boys, Nick Haines valued giving his son is a good grounding in Emotional Intelligence, giving them permission to feel and express as wide a range of emotions as they wanted without feeling inhibited by any old sense of what a man “should” do or show.
In Nick’s household the roles of parenting were flexible so both parents were taking on the roles of breadwinner and carer together. This modeled an adult life that will not confine his sons to feeling pressured to perform to a stereotype but be free to create any household or relationship dynamic that they chose.
Tune into The Rise of the Feminine every Monday on Voice America 9am PST/5pm London