Jen, Valerie, Kaia, Alexa, Sheri, Bethany, and all the women & men who have been part of this ongoing conversation on TheMenSchool’ page here. First, I THANK all the women here, who have weighed in on such a painful, complex, & terrifying topic, and done so with fierceness, clarity, passion, intelligence & grace. You have modeled for our community how to truly stand in love & truth … I am grateful & humbled.
I want to say this directly: I hear you, I hear & honor your perspectives, I hear your anger, I hear your outrage, I hear your love & patience … and truly, I feel your pain. I am a man, and I have labored long to become conscious of the Sacred Feminine that lives in the core of who I am … right next to the Deep Masculine that I have worked hard to awaken. In my own work, and in my 30 years working with men, this is the work that too few of us have done. In our circles, we are good at healing the father wound, we are not so good at healing the mother wound. At the risk of pissing off some of my brothers, and with an intention to speak from my own experience, my own learning, and my own heart, I offer these thoughts.
The patriarchy is crumbling (thank you Donald Trump), the rules of engagement are drastically different, and even those of us who want so much to be your allies, find it difficult to not imagine that as men in the eyes of women: we are guilty by default. The toxic masculinity surely needs to be transformed, but masculinity is not toxic. The Deep Masculine is an archetype that lives in both men and women … as sacred principles, values, and right action in the world.
So, are men confused these days, are they scared? I think most men are fucking terrified, or are just too stupid to give a shit. And maybe this is exactly what needs to happen. That we have to be rudely cast out of our comfort zone, flushed out of hiding, held accountable for the crimes that we have committed, intentionally or otherwise. We have transgressed the feminine beyond measure, even beyond our right to say I’m sorry … those words here mean nothing. Women have a right to be angry, and for a very long time. The poison is just beginning to come to the surface, and it needs to spew until it is done. Still, I am willing to bow my head before you.
However, while it is true that many women have been victimized by men from time immemorial, it is dangerous to hang out too long in that archetype. There are too many places to hide, too easy to blame, and it invites and justifies continual perpetration. I posted Claire’s article as it called some of this to attention.
My mission in the world is to help men (& women) heal their wounds, so they learn to open their hearts, and live from love & truth. I have been wounded by male violence & sexual abuse, in my household and on the streets when I was a boy … I know the beast well. And I know the wounds in our souls that have engendered such unconscious actions & horror upon you, upon each other, upon Mother Earth. And they are still doing this, without a fucking clue.
That you know the degree of damage that we have done, yet still care enough to help us learn, that says something about you and the Feminine. I fear that this wound … so huge, so unfathomably painful, so continuing in far too many places … will take a long time to heal.
I came of age in the 60’s, a hippie and card-carrying radical. We have not had a revolution since then … maybe it’s time. Actually, maybe it’s long overdue. I often thought it might come from women. I stand with you, my sisters.