It’s difficult to think of a time when men and masculinity have been under more scrutiny. In his role as senior editor of the Good Men Project, Mark Greene is confronted on a daily basis with the complex challenges facing men today. He’s convinced that the problems begin from birth when boys are conditioned to lose touch with their emotions.
Culturally, we need to let go of this idea that emotional expression is a sign of weakness, or in case of men, that it’s a sign of being feminine. It is not. It’s a super power. It’s our capacity to connect and operate in the world, and to create trust and connection and meaning.
He also blames an epidemic of isolation which our culture has forced upon us and says that men in particular suffer from a lack of real connection with friends.
If we begin to form connection and communication….If my son can pick these skills up when he’s 12 …he’s got the ability to begin connecting, self regulating, forming community, self empowering….. he won’t fall prey to peer pressure…..all of these capacities will give him the ability to feel like he has a place in the world and he has a community that he can be in connection with.
He also says that we’ve lost the art of truly listening to each other with an open heart and mind. He encourages both men and women to practice changing their listening habits.
If you set your mind to listening with the expectation that you’ll be surprised and that you’ll learn something, you pull more threads of the conversation than you would if you were listening with a reinforcement of what you already think.
Listen here to Mark Greene’s thoughts on Remaking Manhood.
I am an emotional man i can very easilly cry when i watch sad things or others. I like the idea that it is a super power not weakness.
The easiest way, I’ve found, for us to solve this challenge is to make sociology a mandatory class in schools beside math and english. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology
Boys, like girls are inherently able to experience and embrace emotions.
It is the message society delivers to boys and men, that need to be addressed. I believe the rise in homosexuality (especially with Black America) is due to a boy’s hyper-awareness of what they should do or be.
So many boys are able to feel and experience emotions, and enjoy it. However, our culture has limited the realm of possibilities available to the “male self”. Instead of seeing themselves as being a well rounded human being, they see themselves as less than in the eyes of the larger society and then forced to seek refuge within subcultures (LGBTQ).
I didn’t enjoy the podcast at all. The focus was misdirected. Attention needs to be directed toward changing cultural norms to accommodate real boys and men, not on better preparing boys to face a society that is against them.