Saturday, December 7, 2013

Again heads up on the new web address being

These days I'm volunteering at the Nanaimo Men's Resource Center and a few weeks ago I was able to attend my first annual general meeting.  After the business portion of the meeting was finished each person was asked to introduce themselves and share how they became involved with the centre. My final thought and bottom line was men need to catch up… the feminism bus pulled out of the driveway and men were left standing there looking like Macaulay Calkin in the “Home Alone” movie.  And like Macaulay they stood their ground assuming the family would return.  
Feminism spent the past 50 years evolving women into whole beings… we left behind oppressive stereotypes and kept the things that were working for us.  Were mistakes made? Hellz ya! First we wasted way too much time in a gender war, before recognizing that patriarchy was the enemy. The women who came into political power in the early days focused on insignificant crap like semantics instead of important issues.   Getting women into good jobs like the post office is far more important then whether you were called a mailman or mail-woman. After women started taking those job the titles change to gender neutral words like letter carriers.  One of our biggest mistakes was not bringing men along for the ride. We could have found the best from their world and shown them the best from ours as we all moved forward into breaking free from the shackles of patriarchal social convention and into living as whole beings.
Now guys… you can’t entirely blame feminism for not letting you on the bus, some (enlightened) guys drove themselves to the party.  Even without the feminist movement gender roles were changing as we moved from an industrial society into a technological society; the employment landscape was leveling. So let us not waste anymore time in a new gender war as we address the need for a Masculinity Movement.  For those of you who want to say the whole world has always been about men, it is NOT about today’s men.  The patriarchal privilege we fought against in NO way serves or represents the 21st century male.  It is for us who have fought this battle before (and did well) to share what we have learned and help men to vanquish the patriarchal dragon once and for all.
Before patriarchy and the self-serving empire building models grew; humankind lived as tribes with all its members (male and female) living in service to the community. Women never really lost that; even as we moved into the breadwinner / powerbroker roles, we remain skilled at connecting with each other and building support networks.  Men need to re-establish that skill. Men’s Centres (there aren’t nearly enough of them) provide a safe place for men to get together in supportive groups. Usually there is a purpose in the agenda (anger management or parenting etc) but the most important thing being learned is (I hope) how to get support and be supportive.      
The biggest hurdle for men is redefining their roles. “Man-Up”… WTF does that even mean any more.  It is just another example of patriarchal oppression squeezing the human-ness out of men. The true purpose of a place like The Men’s Centre is to help men become happier healthier people; who will then be better husbands, fathers and members of our community (tribe).
I’ll probably talk about this and related issues again but for now have a joyous day my friends.   

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