Facing Complexity and Men’s Issues

 

Not As Special As They Claim

Now we tred into difficult territory. No doubt there are wide differences concerning how men view themselves. In general behaviors and attitudes suggest men are meant to demonstrate that they are superior to women and will lead them. The problem is that many men don’t feel that way. Deep inside many men don’t feel as special as they claim but accepting those feelings would give them opportunity if they can seize it.

Being direct with oneself would help men clarify who they think they are and how they should devote themselves. That requires them to accept that they can actually do that. It may mean turning away from a devotion to power. Sharing it and its different levels would benefit us all.

Then There is Sports Tyranny

The confinement of men is well illustrated by the role of sports in their lives at many levels. From a very early age it is expected that boys will devote themselves to sports. If they are not good or don’t care they may be ridiculed and treated badly.

There is the image of the small boy wearing a ball mitt standing adoringly before a sports star. It almost seems required. Is that boy good at sports or will he feel diminished if he does not measure up to his “idol”.

And what if he doesn’t care about sports. He may be ridiculed and told it is essential for his conditioning and physical wellbeing. In fact there are many other conditioning and self maintenance alternatives. They are more apparent now than when I was a child. Being able to choose alternatives will offer ways to enhance self esteem as well as skills and help open the bounty and diversity of the world.

Being Who We Are

As soon as we question men’s self esteem we have the chance to explore their world. That world includes not just a view into self esteem but also their ability to make choices about numerous alternatives for their lives. That in turn offers them a rich type of future with the woman of their choice. 

Not long ago it seemed we thought that our development ended with what we call the beginning of adulthood. In fact, our complex development continues throughout life. And it helps if we are not confined by a rigid identity and limited choices as often happens to men. When they open their world they let a woman in for greater rich experience together.

A Lesson From Women

Currently we are seeing something with women that is instructive. 

I don’t remember the exact time but it was a few decades ago when some women were looking for power and a new place in life. Some chose to dress down closer to what men wore. It seemed unreal and confining. It didn’t last long and it disappeared from the stage.

And now, with empowerment, It is truly lovely to see smart, assertive women appear on television and they may be dressed beautifully. They show their talents, commitments and intelligence. Yes, they can be pretty, smart and important.

The Bottom Line

Perhaps we might look at empowerment as a universal need. We are already seeing benefits in the empowerment of women. Now, if men can overcome common self esteem issues and self image issues it may be that they can be empowered in a new way. And with both men and women being empowered we will find a new form of partnership. 

This can be a wonderful new day. We can look forward to rich and enhancing self and social explorations.

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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

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. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

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

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. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Calling On Men

 

Posing an Opportunity

The focus has been on the movement to empower women. But there is something we’ve been missing. It might be very useful to turn toward men and ask them what they want. I’m definitely not talking about older white men because we know generally what they want. Of course there are surely some who are enlightened but we know the public wasteland which has been enduring. So, we turn to young men who are living through a new and difficult age. We might find that people have not been asking them and they would have some thoughts.

What Might We Hear?

I do understand that when you start asking questions you may be surprised by the answers and the range of answers. But, in general, my sense is that there has been far too much silence out there in man land.

The atmosphere in America of late has been stunningly uninspiring. What if we offer men the opportunity to seek a vision and open a world to them at the very moment that there is an opening for women?

An Opportunity

I’m going to refer now to the American Wasteland. What I have seen recently is a wasteland lacking in vision. Or at least that is what has been dominant and now we are in the moment when we are at great risk. Perhaps this is the moment to ask moving questions. And the word wasteland should focus attention.

As I look back over my life I see a rather rigid set of expectations for men but that has been changing. We have taken down the crucifix of rigid sexual and marital expectations. We have a growing LGBTQ community and are calling out for racial and ethnic acceptance and are experiencing a backlash especially visible in the white power movement. This may well be the moment when we need to turn to men and ask them what they might want. And how they may contribute in our hour of need.

I say “might want” because for many men they may feel they have never been asked. The pressure has been on following the established path. Why not? It has always led them to dominance. We might just raise the possibility of sharing a much magnified and diverse set of partnerships and options.

Just a Thought

But again I come back to the fact that we have a movement to empower women and we might ask men if they want a movement as well. But one thing needs to be clear. When we are talking about empowerment, we are not talking about dominance and taking on domination. We use empowerment in terms of women because too often they have been forced into relatively powerless positions. 

Empowerment can come in many forms and one of them can be to enhance partnership. It would be useful for us to broaden our thinking.

The Facts

In fact power has been in only a few hands. Of course that generally is how it works because w leadership and organizations are needed but currently there are too many aberrations and corruption. It is time to rethink. The impulse of some is to say they are fed up and to just close up and turn away. What is needed is increased attention and commitment. This crisis may be a huge opportunity if we will make it so and as part of it I would love to hear what men say if they are offered a new form of empowerment and partnership. 

###

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

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. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

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

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. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Echoes From The Past

 

Life’s Promise

Somehow we have a dream that a stable and glorious future will open before us. It is unlikely. Our lives are not ours alone because we share it with family and intimates, but also must share it with the world at large which is not under our control. But the past has a way of reaching out to us which is not necessarily a bad thing. It may tell us about how the world is and such things as the variability of opportunity. 

From My Past

In 1967 (yikes that’s a long time ago) I took a job in the inner city of Baltimore. I was one of the first people hired in one of the first community mental health programs in the country. I was just leaving Duke with my doctorate in hand and I was definitely ready to depart academia. The whole idea of community mental health was to bring mental health services to the public using a public health model. It was a marvelous idea.

Wait a Minute!

But there was not just one problem. Communities are different, and because of that the whole idea of applying the medical model to our inner lives was flawed and established practice is not so easily changed.

I was given an office and told to give service. But there was no one there except for a woman social worker. She led me out into the city and steadily the staff grew. Young professionals learned about the community and what it needed. It was tumultuous and fascinating.

Wait Another Minute!

But in some ways the least of our problem was adapting services to a poverty environment in chaos. An even larger problem proved to be the conservatism of the mental health establishment. All they wanted was the grant money and the glory of having landed funding for a “glamorous” enterprise. They had been providing services by psychiatric residents and medical students on six week rotations. We dug in our heels. The people of that community needed reliable ongoing services, not a series of inexperienced people passing out medication. Granted, our group of twenty somethings were inexperienced, but we were dedicated as a group to learning fast and meeting real needs. 

What We Concluded

What we found was a need for life management  in a form of partnership. Many “mental health” problems were an outgrowth of the dynamics of the poverty environment more than anything else. Of course, it was much more complicated than that but that is a rough outline. But we had found that a highly beneficial set of services and programs could have been focused.

In the End

At last though, those in power are in power after all. In time the bright eyed, groundbreaking young people moved on and the higher powers invoked a retrenchment. The community based clinics were closed, staff was withdrawn to a central building and business as usual restored.

Across the country the reform movement of that era was coming to an end.  And with its end came the end of community mental health. I tell the whole story in my book Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health.

Now the Lesson

Yes, community mental health came too soon and its time is still not yet at least until we get through our present upheaval when a younger generation with vision may take power.

But, looking back we can see something. On the street we learned a huge amount about such communities, but all the data was kept in our heads and used to formulate a highly focused, problem solving service system. If a system with managers of more vision were to be devised now, the information technology at our fingertips could help us sift, store, integrate and develop data for a viable system. And it could be adapted to fit the community at hand—whatever its form. Then we would truly have a community mental health system, but probably with a more refined name. And if we had had information technology we could have documented and built.

Coming back to one of my original points, I can see that something from the past can be brought forward to a much more adapted use at a future time when new tools and vision are available.

###

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. 

As We Enter A New Year

 

What Lies Before Us?

It is traditional at the beginning of each new year for us to explore its meaning and what it may hold. This year is no different but it appears to hold extraordinary possibilities. What may emerge is far from clear and we see both chaos and transformational themes on the horizon. But transformation is not always inspiring and uplifting. The possible transformation on a threatening world stage is something to be feared even while we see the wonderful transformation which may occur as women are released from subjugation and come to power.

Searching Future Possibilities

On my blog this year I will continue searching the landscape of our future. I should emphasize that I consider my blog posts to be what I call “thought documents”. I am an intuitive personality type which means my focus is on possibilities. And that is what I will seek in the posts. I will not attempt to be comprehensive for any given topic but will identify something worth considering.

Transformation

I truly believe we are facing transformation which can be devastating or uplifting in an extraordinary fashion. Perhaps it will involve a clashing of both types with our response yet to define where it will lead us.

When the idea of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy began to form I did not see where it would lead. Among the components were my being intrigued by the myth of the mermaid and at the same time I’ve been intrigued by the movement to bring women to power over the last few decades.

I thought I was writing a story but found an exploration. 

Partnership Rather Than Power

Perhaps the word power is not a good choice regarding women because if we were to replace the dominance of men by the dominance of women, perhaps we have missed a chance. Over the millenia humankind has grasped language, culture, extraordinary changes including such things as the Enlightenment. But now the better word related to our best opportunity refers to true partnership between men and women. Such a partnership can offer fulfilling potentials for all of us and provide a bastion of commitment to bring more dangerous forces under control.

This will truly be a fascinating time and for me it holds shining hope needed to support the development of our full potential. And in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy we see what powerful women may bring us.

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 Vision of women

Searching for Meaning

 

 

Do you have a clear vision of and for women?

There are events and then there are the meaning of the events. The difference is something we would do well to understand. Women are assuming different positions, importance and balance. In some ways the United States may be catching up to the curve. We did not get a woman president this time. But other nations such as India, Israel, Great Britain and Germany among many others have been led by women. 

Now we are offered an unparalleled opportunity for exploration of attitudes and potential. It is not just a matter of women coming to the fore in greater numbers. What does is mean about the potential and the future of humankind?

Exploration is Needed

One of the things we must do is to examine our beliefs, our cultures and our feelings. It is easy to say “the times they are changing” and leave it at that. It is not so simple and it would be unfortunate to be dismissive because the import is highly significant.

The battle to get women the vote took almost one hundred years although in a sense it has been thousands of years. Eventually we let them drive, permitted them to have credit cards of their own among other things and these things were quite recent. Why we changed is not clear.

Matters of Power

We are seeing some of the basis of the problem in the matter of power. At least in the United States it seems that women who seek power are not to be trusted. How interesting. Men are to be trusted but women not. It comes to us unexamined but was confirmed by a study at Yale University. I have yet to hear justification for why anyone would believe this. 

I hold a different position. I do not routinely trust men with power. In so many instances they have proven themselves incapable of effectively wielding it again and again. Are we to accept it just because they have always been doing it? Effective management is much more impressive and I have seen women to be ever so effective. They are showing up in greater numbers in politics and so many are impressive. The men who are in office in larger numbers are often less so. The absence of mission and perspective is too often stunning.

Who Are We?

Is it possible that we perceive women as weaker and less able to control themselves. In general women cry more easily than men and may cry tears of anger. The reality I learned in studies and in couples therapy is that men feel just as strongly but contain the feelings inside and so do not cry. Does that make them more capable of leadership. I think not.

Like it or not, we can already see the effects of the empowerment of women and it is broadly beneficial. The largest issue before us is that we have not sufficiently examined our attitudes and cultural perspectives. Why be suspicious of woman wanting to take the reins of power? I hear silence and dim prejudice. What is it that men are afraid of? And, for that matter, what is it that women are afraid of as women take the reins of power? We need to examine these matters. 

Understanding Would be Useful

We seem to be heading toward true partnership and need to clarify what it means and why we are so afraid of it. The benefits will surely be world changing and I am raising the issue that we should be examining this process in more detail and what is holding us back. I contend there are other issues than power and it would serve us well to search for what they are.

What alternatives do you see?

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