I'm working on the beginnings of a book, and I thought I'd throw a little teaser out there to test the water.
Here's a bit of the introduction. I think the gist of the book will be self-evident from the reading below. Enjoy!
Before we get going, I wanted to write a quick note on masculinity. The word itself is incredibly toxic and implies a whole host of things causing a whole host of really serious problems. Look no further than the #metoo movement to see how toxic men are in our society. Everything from 45-year-old men throwing elbows in a pickup basketball game to the atrocities in the Catholic Church to the 99% movement can be related to masculinity run amok. “Win at all costs, be a boss in the bedroom and the boardroom, mansplaining, manspreading” and countless other quotes and notions paint a picture of men’s desire to exert dominance and live without respect for others or themselves.
I am not anti-masculinity. I think that a huge part of the problem we are facing as men can be tied to a tension between natural urges and a society where those urges are outdated and unacceptable.
Make no mistake, those urges are outdated and unacceptable. The suffering of women, the destruction of the environment, the plight of the unlucky, and even the suffering of other men at the hands of “masculine” people is inexcusable and needs to stop now. The problem, as I see it, is that men and boys are not being asked to find appropriate outlets for aggression, sexual urge, and physical energy (none of which, on its own, is inherently evil, by the way). They are being asked to deny those things. Resentment, anger, and fear can quickly blossom in an environment where part of a person’s identity is denied and unexpressed, and with the power our society grants to men, the outcomes of living with emotional dissonance is be tragic.
This book will explore a series of problems men are facing and the places where the manifestations of these problems rear their heads frequently. Also, and perhaps more importantly, I hope to lay out a template for appropriate expression of things like desire and competition.
Now, more than ever, humanity needs men to change quickly. Let’s get started.