Men! It’s Time!

 

Time to Explore

It is clear this is when women are to become empowered. Do we stand on the sidelines and wish them well or oppose what must come?

There is a third alternative. Seize the moment to look at ourselves so that we may have perspective on who we are in history and who we are to become. I’m finding our silence stunning. Certainly some of us are embedded in one of the other two alternatives but I hear precious little about who we are to become. In fact, I hear little discussion of who and what we are.

Beyond Alternatives

Perhaps the most compelling possibility right now is not whether we support or oppose the women’s movement. I would suggest it is time for us to decide about our identity and the future we might choose.

As I’ve explored thoughts about what is happening I find I am sifting issues about politics and power. In our current climate I find almost everything these days is reduced to politics and I find that narrow. At the same time I see a lot which seems related to power. Not just power among men in our government but whether our response to the women’s movement is about our view of our power—over women.

Why Power?

It is so curious that we are having this crisis. Yes, it is a crisis because, like or not, the outcome of the empowerment of women is a world changing process. If what men are fighting is about power then we have an issue which badly needs attention. Why the hell do we need to have power over women?

Are we so insecure that we think we must have control over women. If we have fallen in love with her, are we afraid she will leave us? Does that mean we hold ourselves in such low regard? Certainly relationships and marriages break up. Do we fear the process of life so much that we have to maintain a grip over women and for what reasons? Or do we have such a low understanding of what is being demanded of us that we fear any change?

More Questions 

This whole issue about men in the era of women’s empowerment is driving me down a path with many more questions than answers. At base It is my feeling that men badly need to examine themselves. One way to put it is that it is almost as if men need to be empowered. And that is not about having power over women but about the possibility of our own insecurity and fear of inadequacy.

Answers

Surely there are answers but I caution us against an easy dismissal. We really need to look at ourselves. The pictures of the freshman class in the House of Representatives was stunning. On the one hand was the picture of white Republican men in dark suits. On the other was a picture of Democrats with a large contingent of women in multiple colors. Was it past and future?

When I started writing this post I thought i had a focus. But when I began to explore I found I had no focus because I think men need to explore what has not been explored. And I feel we cannot accept easy answers and dismissals.

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Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

(Available now in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.) 

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before them.

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

(Available now in Pre-Order and goes on sale April 29 on Amazon)

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

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A Focus on Society and Its Change – Partnership

Imagine What May Be at Our Doorstep

 

And now we turn to our future and what may be the potential. Women have raised the torch of their empowerment high and it is now for men to respond and join them. Men have their own empowerment at issue. What seems like power can be in many senses a reflection of the fact that too often men have been feeling powerless. That takes some thought. And when we come together in an honest dialogue in the light of this new era we can help men overcome some of their own burdens. This bears repeating because men are burdened as well.

Our Contributions to Society
This is not just about justice for women. We have a chance to enhance our societies. From time to time societies need to do an in depth reevaluation and this is one of those times. We may begin by examining ourselves and then move on to society as well. What opportunity does this bring to us? We must go much farther than simply saying this abuse must stop. It is a time for self examination, examination of the traits of society and a search of what has now come on the horizon. This is not a time to simply say men must stop the harassment and abuse. This is a time to look at what opportunities this presents to us. We have been wasting so much of the potential of our people. And it is not just a matter of opening their potential to full flower. At present what women are presenting to us is foremost and they walk hand in hand with people raising issues of race and ethnicity. These issues are not that far apart.

What is truly disturbing is that we have highlighted the need for a substantial reevaluation of all these issues. Change is needed but there are people who stand in the way “in the schoolhouse door”.

Expanded Horizons

When we expand the horizons of examination there is a multiplying effect as we explore the possibilities. These changes will have broad consequences. And now we can seize the opportunity to shape those consequences. It is not just a matter of cataloguing a list of issues. We need to scan for potential. It is when we go into crisis that there are monumental opportunities.

One of the Key Issues Is Devotion to Partnership

And now with the opportunities unfolding before us we have one truly precious opportunity.
The very concept of partnership must be studied. With these changes we have the opportunity for substantive change in partnership between men and women but also a new form of partnership between and among men. We have recently opened to view loving partnership in paired men and paired women. We have opened self transformation and recognition as in transgender people. But now we advance a whole new frontier. The front of liberation has expanded and we can only begin to wonder about the benefits for society and the world at large. We have been so restrictive and now we can explore our multitude of partnerships. There truly may be a dynamic future for us as we unburden ourselves from constricting baggage.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Issues For and From Men

 

Again I come back to asking men to examine themselves and their culture. The change there must be on the horizon is not up to women alone. While there were men who were wise and made crucial contributions in the past, there are also many men in history who had devastating effects.

Exercising Power to Dominate Others

One of the issues most often noted when we discuss abuses by men is the issue of power. We see efforts to dominate and control others. Certainly women see this especially in the way women are subjugated. When men introspect many often see this issue as a force in their own lives. It begins early and may be displayed in peer groups and in the form of “leadership” they exercise in such groups. And later certainly it comes up in business and military settings of all kinds. Bullies portray it and it comes out in sports. Less often it is at issue in school performance which has an objective measure.

Widespread Manifestation

Over a lifetime these themes are manifested in ever so many settings and is something that men suffer as well as women. But women have suffered more and it is still at issue. It may be domination in meetings, harassment by other workers in various forms. Thus, it comes out in competition of all kinds, even in adult life. It is rarely brought up but it is something that we all must contend with. Now is the time when it should begin to be highlighted.

Power as a display of sexual supremacy

But the primary issue placed before us now is the issue of sexual domination and harassment. The matter begins early. “Did you get any?” one boy may ask another. Real men are supposed to be preeminently successful in not just winning favor but in taking it. Certainly when this topic is brought up it is frequently greeted with insistent denial. But, no matter how we try to push it away, there is an implicit theme especially among men at a younger age. Of course, it then carries over to later in life. It may be a matter of competition and personal belief that a man should take sexual domination because power of all kinds is the province of men—supposedly. Too often it is not examined as a principle which is right or a valid pursuit.

Failure to Examine Supports Abuse

Of course, especially to the degree that it is not examined, it may support abuse of all kinds—even molestation and rape. It may feed issues of self esteem and perceptions of strength among male peer groups.

It cannot be overestimated how much there are underlying issues in male culture. Any attempt to raise them usually leads to denial, even anger at its mention. Certainly men don’t want to discuss it with and before women especially as we enter the era of empowering women. But they do not relish opening the issues with each other either. It is a touchy and difficult subject.

It Must Be Dealt With

But again I come back to the necessity for men to air it among themselves at last. Among each other is where it should begin in an honest environment. If there is resistance, then we must ask, in a forthright fashion, why and for what reasons.

These core issues lay the groundwork for our future. The power of men is eroding whether they like it or not and realignment for the future requires the retirement of denial.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

A Focus on Patriarchy – Pt. 6

Continuing to Share

Family Origins

Since I’m calling for men to come together to share who they are and how things are for them, I’m going to continue to share in this format.

My family was definitely not a feminist bastion. It focused on our home where my mother tended that home and the two sons. My father had a certain authority in those days as the man of the household and partly because he was surgeon.

Interestingly, he had a distinct tinge of feminist leanings and he made it clear to me that he supported women coming into medicine as physicians and did not see women coming to power as a threat. His attitude had a leveling quality to the coming reality.

My mother was not antifeminism but it was nothing she would have fought for. It was simply that her background meant this home with a successful man who had fought his way out of poverty in Mississippi was just fine with her. She could not have wanted more.

Another Direction

It feels to me that I had been freed by distancing myself from “normal” male identity.

It seems my nature is what led me away from patriarchy toward support of feminism. I was always intrigued by possibilities and sought novelty. I regret (though it could not have been otherwise) that there were no computers until long after my youth. I would have been a rabid computer nerd. I was not competitive unless wanting to do a good job and get things done was a form of competitiveness. I never saw power as important and often was dumbstruck by venal men in power and what fools so many of them were as they served only themselves.

Who Men Are

Some say men are competitive and aggressive. I was neither. My favorite book as a young child was Ferdinand the Bull. His core attribute was that he loved to smell the flowers. My mother read it over and over to me. Again, if there was any competitiveness, it related to doing that job well and uncovering new possibilities which could be pursued relentlessly.

I learned the limits of male power over time and found it often errant and saw endless skirmishes around men who sought power and domination at all costs. As I watched men pursue power and their own financial interests, I came to see the limitations of their power and its worth. I learned to fear them not at all. In my estimation the shallowness of their pursuits disappointed me. And to this day I see their pursuits were often damaging to so many among us. If my future was impaired by their machinations, then I could go somewhere else. Something else is always possible. And, of course, as is apparent, not all men are devoted to power and financially focused sociopathy.

What Satisfies

Of course not all things, no matter how long they have dominated, will endure. I believe in the cultural flow and know its relentless nature. It may be glacial but it does flow and requires endurance and patience. We see that need for patience in the empowerment of women. From the suffragettes, women in World War II, women’s liberation and on to today we see their endurance and, yes, gains. There is much more to come.

In another regard, what do you see coming and what would you wish? Please let me hear from you. roger.burt@earthllink.net

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

My Personal Reactions

 

 

( Look at the faces of the Mom’s in the picture! Fabulous.)

My Personal Reactions

Why I’m Devoted to Empowerment

I’m offended and have been offended. What men have been doing has been putting many different kinds of pressures on other men which actually has the effect of suppressing their potentials as well. And then when you open partnership you find the potentials are multiplied in everything from our love life, our commitments, our children and each other in education and business. We have a remarkable opportunity.

As I said, early on I was attracted to the promise of women’s liberation as it was called in the 1960s. As soon as Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine came out my wife and I subscribed. I had to ask myself why I cared. It proved to be a difficult question to answer. But some incidents proved intriguing.

A Boy Looking at Men

There was a day when I was perhaps nine years old and was standing on a baseball diamond watching two other boys at home plate arguing with each other over whether one was out or safe. It seemed interminable and finally I tucked my ball glove under my arm and walked away—never to come back. Part of the problem was that I was a card carrying intuitive type who dreamed out the window and sought novelty and intrigue. That ball game offered none of those things.

I also remembered college football games. At the University of Michigan the cheerleaders were male only. (How boring.) We lost some games and won some. I just couldn’t care that much. In some ways I was an outcast in the male culture. At last I went to a basketball game thinking I probably should get involved if only as an observer. “Wow he just got two points.” Other end of the court, “Wow he just got two points.” And so on back and forth until — wow he didn’t get two points. I finally had to ask myself why I was there. I wasn’t very competitive and didn’t have a lot of talent for sports. I didn’t have good balance and so as a child I was a stick who fell over.

Seeing Novelty and Potential

Other avenues in life always called out to me. And some of those avenues were in the world that included girls where I saw potential and diversity.

Later in life I found myself studying men in the workplace and found many men lacking in vision who were imposing their power on others. All male meetings were often stultifying as men talked sports and patted each other on the back. When a woman joined in we got much more done. Quite a revelation.

Personality Directing My Search

And again I have to say my personality led me to seek discovery and to search for potential. Increasingly I found those things in relation to women. How could I not be involved in supporting their future.

I’ll leave it there for now. Much of the male culture was simply not attractive to me but it deserves considerable evaluation as we move forward into what I believe is a new and wonderful era.

Let me hear your thoughts! roger.burt@earthlink.net

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt