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Men Reaching for Humanness

Chris wrote about the limitations of the “as the father of two daughters I am offended” approach to interrupting male domination. [See previous article.] I agree that as men we need to lay claim to what it means to be a man based on the reality of our caring humanity. I also think that when men invoke the “women they care about,” it is an attempt to find a voice on the issue. Given how much male domination shames males for caring about anything, it’s understandable that guys feel they need to call on the one area in which there’s a little space to care. But then it gets mixed in with the oppressive mandate to protect women.

I had breakfast with a close man friend and we talked about the presidential debate of the night before. He talked about how upsetting it was to watch what he described as Trump being abusive toward Hillary Clinton and how, even if she wins, we will still have sexism and male domination in our culture. He brought up that his daughter is a female and how much he loves her, but I could tell he was reaching for humanness that went beyond that. I teared up hearing him talk and care. As soon as he saw the tears in my eyes, he began to weep. In the male culture I live in, openly crying with another man is very rare. I was pleased that we could both risk feeling something.

It will be good to listen to more men.

Andy Vernon-Jones

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of men

(Present Time 187, April 2017)

Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00