Do let Thomas or me know what you think. God Bless,
Today is International Men’s day.
I’ll put a link to a page you might find interesting at the bottom of this personal one-minute reflection as well as a link to the Cambridge Men’s Group which I’ve been facilitating since 2013.
It’s shocking the stuff coming out these days about the behaviour of some men towards vulnerable people, particularly women. We hear of the rampant misuse of power, inappropriate sexual aggression, misogynist culture in the work place, innuendos, glass ceilings and the rest. The horrific stories of the last few weeks have been an eye opener for many of us; a sharp awakening to a flawed culture in which we have all been participants, both men and women, participants not always fully aware of the distress and destruction caused.
The destructive flaws are unacceptable. They need to be acknowledged, challenged and uprooted.
As a man myself I feel the need to review my own way of acting today and in the past. I feel I need to listen to women.
And we men, I feel we need to talk and listen to each other.
Because not all men are on a power trip. Not all men are bullies.
Many men are in deep distress. The rate of self-harm among men is alarming. The figures show that suicide is the first cause of death among men, including among adolescents.
Perhaps there is a link of some sort between the two phenomena – between a “macho” culture and the vulnerability which all too often men try to hide.
I don’t know. I’d like to find out.
What I do know is that we are a lot of men, the majority, who are in the middle as it were, who are striving to live as decent a life as possible, establishing relationships which are respectful, doing their job honestly, working to contribute to the health of society, acknowledging their limitations, and enjoying a pint now and again. These decent men, the majority, I celebrate today.
One of the main reasons I founded the Cambridge men’s group four years ago is because men who knew me were asking me to. And I shared their desire, the desire to create a space where men can talk to each other, listen to each other, challenge and support each other; as a place where we can explore our feelings, thoughts and experiences; a place where in our own personal, sexual, social and professional situations we can develop ways of living out the deep integrity of true men of the 21st century.
I’d be grateful if you got back to me with your own comments.