A Different Perspective

Menstuff® provides a different perspective on men's work.


For Starters
We Are Different
A Twisted View of Hatred
Violence is a Social Disease
I Wish I Knew Now What I Knew Then
A World Without Passion Will Die
Homophobia
What's Happening to Men's Work?
Make the Political Personal
Are You Man Enough to Ask for Help?
It's Not Time for Relationship Work
Men Make the Best Fathers
When Daughters Come Second
Fathers & Teen-Age Daughters Rite-of-Passage
Ritual Abuse of Boys
As in Sports So in Life

 

This is an oportunity to challenge beliefs that you carry which may be your parents or those of some group. It's a chance to challenge your own free thought process. Those beliefs, both conscios and unconscious, shape our relationships. We often pick up these beliefs from our parents, some group, or the general culture, and never examine them. And often these beliefs warp our relationships and prevent us from owning our truth. This piece points out beliefs that hold us back from healthy relationships and fulfilling lives.


For Starters


I believe that women and men are each other's natural allies. We are inherently are eager to be in close, warm, loving contact with each other, regardless of sexual orientation. Men and womenare not natural enemies. We need to listen to each other's stories of victory and struggle to eliminate the rigid rolls into which we have been locked, taking responsibility for our own lives and moving forward.


We Are Different


As women and men, even as men and men, we are different. No two bodies, minds, thoughts, or people are the same. Too many similarities usually represents someone without a mind of their own.


A Twisted View of Hatred


Some say a man rapes in the name of all men. Is this true when a woman premeditatively kills her husband. Even when the women cheer her on a talk show? Interesting concept. Reminds me of the Feminist Dictionary definition of "misogyny: the hatred of women as a refusal to suppress the evidence of one's experience with women; a man's defense against fear and pain; an affirmation of the cathartic effects of justifiable anger." While their definition for "Misandry, the hatred of men includes the beliefs that men are stupid, petty, dishonest, silly, irrational, incompetent, undependable, narciccistic, dirty, un-emotional, oversexed, undersexed...Such beliefs culminate in attitudes that demean our bodies, our abilities, our characters and our efforts and imply that we must be controlled, subdued, abused and used, not only for female benefit but for our own." Are either of these acceptable concepts? Would either of them be acceptable if the meanings were under the other heading, which is the way they actually were in the dictionary. Interesting that hatred of men is justifiable but hatred of women is a sexist attitude that should be fought against at all costs.


Violence is a Social Disease


Violence is a social illness that is only getting worse. While it's mandatory that we work with the after effects of violence or potential violence, it is becoming clearer each day that preventative measures must be implemented soon if we ever want things to change. And, the education of our youth towards conflict resolution and appropriate emotional release (not hitting and not thinking it away) seems to be the primary preventative opportunity. Changingthe fundamental attitudes and behaviors of our youth, is key. As long as we teach our children to stuff feelings, we'll get nice girls and boys growing up and nice men and women who, when things get to be too much, blow their problems away. (See violence.)


I Wish I Knew Now What I Knew Then


Men are inherently gentle, intimate, responsible, enthusiastic, sensual, tolerant, courageous, honest, vulnerable, affectionate, proud, spiritual, committed, wild, nurturing, peaceful, helpful, intense, compassionate, happy and to fully and safely express all emotions. When will we stop training him to be otherwise? (See Feelings.)


A World Without Passion Will Die


"Young men will burn down the culture rather than live meaningless lives," quotes Michael Meade. A culture that denies passion and intensity, mistaking it for potential violence, creates a situation that offers no healthy alternative. Most women and men have been required to "stuff it". "It" is one's feelings and intensity for life, leaving us without the opportunity to face our multitude of tasks with mystery, fascination and passion. The importance of understanding that anger is an emotion, not a behavior, and violence is only one of many behaviors that can be drawn on, is our true lesson. When that is learned, by women and men, we will see men's intensity return, including safe expressions of anger, leading to a passion for positives changes in the world, the likes of which have never been seen.


Homophobia


Homophobia is the fear of being or being perceived as a homosexual. It locks all people into rigid sex-based roles that inhibit creativity and self-expression. It inhibits appreciation of other types of diversity, making it unsafe for everyone because each person has unique traits not considered mainstream or dominant. We must remove all oppressions so we and our children can lead full, creative, happy lives. (See Homophobia.)


What's Happening to Men's Work?


More "Women Respond to the Men's Movement "than men. Our continued portrayal that any man in a men's group or doing personal work, runs around nude in the woods beating drums keeps men from risking. Let's find ways to get men out of their caves rather than pushing them further into it. Only people can give warmth to a cold, lost, angry heart. And, a challenge to those who criticism men's work: don't stand on the outside reading inaccurate information written primarily by men who are not willing to experience the work. Find out from the inside. Feel it first. Won't you take my hand. Will help each other stand.


Make the Political Personal


Most men's work in the recovery and mythopoetic areas is personal. Most work within the Pro-Feminist and Men's Rights areas is political and is a place where workaholism is ignored. It's time to look at our own dysfunctional behavior and how, by cleaning it up, our political work will become healthier and probably more effective. As Andrew Harvey said, "Political activity not founded in the heart is doomed." The only thing more painful than going through recovery is not going through recovery. Are you man enough? ("What have you done for you lately?")


Are You Man Enough to Ask for Help?


While many men might think we don't have many if any issues beyond work and family, we have been able to identify 100 major categories and several hundred issues within these categories. Don't wait til it's broke to start doing some preventative maintenance on your life.


It's Not Time for Relationship Work


There's a trend for women and men away from personal work and towards relationship work. Some may be truly ready. But, even more may be using this as an easy escape from really getting to the bottom of their own dysfunction, hoping that it will be cleaned up by working together. Think again.


Men Make the Best Fathers


The more distant the father is kept from his children, the more dysfunctional this society becomes. The brainwashing of the children against their father's is at least psychological abuse of their children. Now that girls are picking up Uzis and running previously all-male gangs, maybe we need to start looking at the impact of making the father a visitor rather than a full, participating parent in his children's lives. (See Videos for "The Vanishing Father".)


When Daughters Come Second


Alot of men's work has revolved around fathers and sons. The father's responsibilities encompass many important lessons for his daughters as well. He is the primary shapper of the way the daughter relates to the masculine side of herself. The way he relates to her feminine side will affect the way she accepts that part of her. And, since he is different from her and her mother, he is the only one who can really confirm for her that she is unique and separate from her mother.

We, as fathers, inherently posses the ability to nurture as well as teach the value of setting and enforcing appropriate boundaries and limits. We need to model how to give and receive affection and tenderness as well as the proper use of strength and power. We must openly show our inherent vulnerability and sensitivity. When we accept the role of primary disciplinarian and boundary setter, we must also take the responsibility to lovingly prepare our daughters to venture out from the protected realm of the home - to deal with the outside world and its conflicts. We must seize the opportunity to teach decision making, balanced with objectivity and responsibly along with the ability to work with authority.

If we are not there for her in a committed and responsible way, encouraging the development of her mental, physical and spiritual sides in all of its uniqueness, it will, most likely, have a drastic affect on the way she sees men and sees herself as a woman in the world. (See Fathers & Daughters.)


Fathers & Teen-Age Daughters Rite-of-Passage


When fathers don't take an active role in the raising of their children, their children will go elsewhere to be initiated into adulthood. Many will initiate themselves before the age of fourteen into the world of drugs, alcohol and sex. Others through initiations like the first auto accident, joining a gang, a criminal act, even the first pregnancy. These just aren't adequate replacements for healthy rites-of-passage.

For the first time in history, women are taking on "non-traditional" roles previously the exclusive territory and responsibility of men. Because of this, there is a need to start developing a unique rite-of-passage only a father can give his daughter. One that acknowledges and supports these major social shifts. In doing this, we can actually start developing completely new models for positive ways fathers can be with their daughters, as much as their sons, especially during the difficult teen years. See also Daughter's Rites.


Ritual Abuse of Boys


In the United States, 7 in 10 boys are ritually or sexually abused before the age of 15 (less than 1 in 2 in California.) This common custom of sexual mutilation called "circumcision" is a rite that was picked up from primitive cultures and continues in only two civilized countries in the world - Israel and the U.S. We know how tied it is to sexual dysfunction, we're just learning how it may be tied to misogyny. Whatever the connection, it disallows the child's religious freedom by forcing them to have this primitive blood ritual done to them, leaving them scarred for life. We wouldn't allow clitorectomies of our girls (even if it is a religious practice in other parts of the world). Why do we accept such a violent act to be forced into our boys lives without the same concerns? See more at circumcision and abuse.


As in Sports So in Life


The Washington Redskins are often a favorite to go to the Superbowl in January. Other Division teams seem to consistently end up on top. In the NFC West, it's the Atlanta Niggers. The NFC Central has the Tampa Bay Yids, the Dallas Wetbacks are a good pick for the NFC East while in the AFC, it's the Kansas City Savages in the West, the Tennessee Crackers in the Central and New York Guineas in the East. Did I offend you? If so, were you offended when I mentioned the Washington Redskins? When will we start to honor, respect and really understand that Native Americans aren't mascots, they are people. Think about it! See Multicultural.

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Differences challenge assumptions. - Anne Wilson Schaef



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