Welcome to episode 30 of F*ck Like a Woman. Today, I’m sitting down with a room full of diverse men to talk about the challenges of masculinity. The reason I wanted to facilitate this discussion is to bring to light some of the points and perspectives on what it means to be a man in modern day, told by men. Many of my male followers have expressed sentiments that they don’t fit perfectly within the main, traditional box of masculinity. They’ve confided in me that they don’t feel as though they quite measure up in their sex lives, their love lives, and in many other ways. By listening to this group of men speak tonight about their experiences, hopefully my listeners will feel more acceptable in their own skin, and maybe even inspire them to continue these discussions with their own friends, family, and lovers.
Everyone, regardless of how they present or identify, should have a vested interest in loosening the tight grip of patriarchal masculinity because it not only hurts women and LGBTQ people, but it hurts men, too.
Here are a few of the ideas we discuss:
- The overwhelming statistics of violence by men, not just to others, but to themselves (suicide), and the gaping void of close friends they can turn to in crisis within individualistic societies
- The myth of the “real man”… who is this mythical man?!
- The lack of vulnerability men are “allowed” to show, especially when it affects their physical and emotional well-being
- When the tough guise of manliness serves a purpose as an adaptive mechanism (combat zones, police force, etc) versus when it’s maladaptive (in family life, relationships, with our children, etc)
- The lack of healthy leadership for boys as they transition into adulthood, that directly impacts their ability to be good, present fathers and learn how to enjoy their sexuality in a healthy way
- The socialization of men into being autonomous and not asking for help, even when situations are dire
Stay tuned for next week’s continuation of masculinity, where we talk specifically about sex and masculinity. We unpack some of the biases and challenges that men face in the bedroom. See ya next week!