Following on from my last blog where I wrote about the world of women, quite naturally, this blog needs to be about the milieu of men.
I’ll start off by saying I know even less about men than I do about women. Given my lack of knowledge on the topic, I haven’t known how to even begin until today when I heard myself saying “But – he’s a man” and it occurred to me that there must be a blog behind that simple sentence.
I have been storing some furniture for a friend while she was building a new house. Finally the house was ready and she had moved in but she kept cancelling her plans to come pick up her furniture because ‘her friend’ wasn’t able to help her. I naturally figured this friend would be a man because when it comes to moving furniture most women will try to find a man to help. They came to get the furniture today and while the woman friend was certainly capable of moving some of it on her own, there were a couple of larger pieces that my friend and I thought would require the two of them to move. But, no, he was able to move the heavy piece on his own. He actually found it easier to move it on his own than try to juggle it between the two of them. That’s when my friend gave me that look that said, “I think we both should be carrying it” and that’s when I said to her “But – he’s a man.”
My statement wasn’t subtext on ‘he’s being macho’ but rather it was an acknowledgement that men are physically different than women and they are capable of doing things that we are not. It’s that simple. Men have more physical strength than women do.
Because I’m from the generation of Women’s Liberation, it has taken me a long time to come to the natural conclusion that we are equal BUT we are different. Men have an innate physical strength that women don’t have. I know many men who are of a much smaller frame than I am, but they are way stronger than I ever was at any age.
To some degree this physical difference in strength is just the outer casing that we, as a society, have moulded men into. Men were once gentle, vulnerable little boys who were told to toughen up and never, ever be seen crying. Nothing was more insulting to a boy than to be told you run like a girl, or you throw like a girl. It only stands to reason that men began, at a young age, to hide how they were feeling. They learned how to hide their gentle side, their vulnerability and their tenderness.
Before we are divided into casts of gender, we are all human beings, children of God. We have the same range of emotions. We have the same abilities to love and be loved. But men are cut off from their true selves in this regard because it isn’t ‘manly.’
As we evolve, as a species, and wake up to this fact, we are now asking men to unwind generations of programming of what it means to be a real man. What will this look like?
Some simple examples I’ve seen in my friends recently are
And the list goes on but what I’m trying to demonstrate is that the change – the change that will allow men to deprogram the ‘must be macho’ pattern – is going to take place in small everyday ways.
Nowadays there are fathers pushing prams and men’s groups meeting weekly. Some things that weren’t seen only a few years ago don’t even bring a second glance in the 21st century. Just as women once needed women’s groups to find their voice, to be heard – men can now benefit from the same camaraderie amongst themselves.
More importantly, we can all, men and women, support our evolution back to soulfulness by acknowledging that we all come from the same creative spark. Yes, men and women are different physically but are all one and the same once we shed our mortal coil.
Gayle Cue loves writing about life, reflecting on every day miracles and pondering on the big picture.
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