BECOMING ‘REAL’ MEN!
We live, and love, in a world that only seems to value and respect one version of masculinity… that is essentially emotionally shut down and controlling. In realty, there’s probably almost as much variation between different types of men, as there is between men and women; but only limited kinds of maleness (the ‘man box’) are deemed to be ‘normal’ or acceptable in our culture.
Men can escape from this box and discover the enjoyment that comes from being their true selves; forcing ourselves to fit in to an idea of ‘manhood’ that isn’t ‘natural’ for most men, isn’t healthy for us, or for the people we’re close to.
Many men are unsure these days what it means to be ‘a man’ and whether they’re ‘man enough’? Combined with a fear about expressing their creative (more ‘feminine’) side, it makes it hard for men to allow themselves to be fully living, loving human beings who can be proud of themselves and what they bring to the world, and who aren’t threatened by women who want equal rights and respect. And with less traditional ‘manly’ jobs to be found, it’s harder for us to feel sure how to earn respect in our communities and families.
Most men are doing their best to be ‘good men’, and be supportive to women and children. But having grown up in a culture that makes it a taboo to show any kind of vulnerability , many of us still have ambivalent feelings about intimacy, sex and love which we need to sort out in order to allow ourselves to feel loved appreciated, and to become better partners and parents.
There aren’t a lot of good role models around. Most mainstream representations lof masculinity are incredibly limited. The titles give it away: ‘Iron Man’, ‘Man of Steel’ , ‘Rambo’, ‘Rocky’ etc. The crazy ideal seems to be..a ‘real’ man doesn’t really feel anything…except anger!
FeMANism is all about men working to support each other, and also acting in solidarity with with what women want from Feminism: nothing more, or less than equal rights and equal respect for everyone.
This site is intended to be a place where men can share suggestions for how to feel better and be better – lovers, friends, colleagues and human beings. It’s about learning to be our true selves: being courageous enough to experience and express our emotions; and develop a sense of pride in helping create a fairer and safer world for everyone.
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Steve Garrett (Cardiff, Wales)
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