A Focus on Society And Its Change – Partnership

Imagine What May Be At Our Doorstep

And now we turn to our future and what may be the potential. Women have raised the torch of their empowerment high and it is now for men to respond and join them. Men have their own empowerment at issue. What seems like power can be in many senses a reflection of the fact that too often men have been feeling powerless. That takes some thought. And when we come together in an honest dialogue in the light of this new era we can help men overcome some of their own burdens. This bears repeating because men are burdened as well.

Our Contributions To Society

This is not just about justice for women. We have a chance to enhance our societies. From time to time societies need to do an in depth reevaluation and this is one of those times. We may begin by examining ourselves and then move on to society as well. What opportunity does this bring to us? We must go much farther than simply saying this abuse must stop. It is a time for self examination, examination of the traits of society and a search of what has now come on the horizon. This is not a time to simply say men must stop the harassment and abuse. This is a time to look at what opportunities this presents to us. We have been wasting so much of the potential of our people. And it is not just a matter of opening their potential to full flower. At present what women are presenting to us is foremost and they walk hand in hand with people raising issues of race and ethnicity. These issues are not that far apart.

What is truly disturbing is that we have highlighted the need for a substantial reevaluation of all these issues. Change is needed but there are people who stand in the way “in the schoolhouse door”.

Expanded Horizons

When we expand the horizons of examination there is a multiplying effect as we explore the possibilities. These changes will have broad consequences. And now we can seize the opportunity to shape those consequences. It is not just a matter of cataloguing a list of issues. We need to scan for potential. It is when we go into crisis that there are monumental opportunities.

One Of The Key Issues Is Devotion To Partnership

And now with the opportunities unfolding before us we have one truly precious opportunity.
The very concept of partnership must be studied. With these changes we have the opportunity for substantive change in partnership between men and women but also a new form of partnership between and among men. We have recently opened to view loving partnership in paired men and paired women. We have opened self transformation and recognition as in transgender people. But now we advance a whole new frontier. The front of liberation has expanded and we can only begin to wonder about the benefits for society and the world at large. We have been so restrictive and now we can explore our multitude of partnerships. There truly may be a dynamic future for us as we unburden ourselves from constricting baggage.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Issues For and From Men

 

Again I come back to asking men to examine themselves and their culture. The change there must be on the horizon is not up to women alone. While there were men who were wise and made crucial contributions in the past, there are also many men in history who had devastating effects.

Exercising Power to Dominate Others

One of the issues most often noted when we discuss abuses by men is the issue of power. We see efforts to dominate and control others. Certainly women see this especially in the way women are subjugated. When men introspect many often see this issue as a force in their own lives. It begins early and may be displayed in peer groups and in the form of “leadership” they exercise in such groups. And later certainly it comes up in business and military settings of all kinds. Bullies portray it and it comes out in sports. Less often it is at issue in school performance which has an objective measure.

Widespread Manifestation

Over a lifetime these themes are manifested in ever so many settings and is something that men suffer as well as women. But women have suffered more and it is still at issue. It may be domination in meetings, harassment by other workers in various forms. Thus, it comes out in competition of all kinds, even in adult life. It is rarely brought up but it is something that we all must contend with. Now is the time when it should begin to be highlighted.

Power as a display of sexual supremacy

But the primary issue placed before us now is the issue of sexual domination and harassment. The matter begins early. “Did you get any?” one boy may ask another. Real men are supposed to be preeminently successful in not just winning favor but in taking it. Certainly when this topic is brought up it is frequently greeted with insistent denial. But, no matter how we try to push it away, there is an implicit theme especially among men at a younger age. Of course, it then carries over to later in life. It may be a matter of competition and personal belief that a man should take sexual domination because power of all kinds is the province of men—supposedly. Too often it is not examined as a principle which is right or a valid pursuit.

Failure to Examine Supports Abuse

Of course, especially to the degree that it is not examined, it may support abuse of all kinds—even molestation and rape. It may feed issues of self esteem and perceptions of strength among male peer groups.

It cannot be overestimated how much there are underlying issues in male culture. Any attempt to raise them usually leads to denial, even anger at its mention. Certainly men don’t want to discuss it with and before women especially as we enter the era of empowering women. But they do not relish opening the issues with each other either. It is a touchy and difficult subject.

It Must Be Dealt With

But again I come back to the necessity for men to air it among themselves at last. Among each other is where it should begin in an honest environment. If there is resistance, then we must ask, in a forthright fashion, why and for what reasons.

These core issues lay the groundwork for our future. The power of men is eroding whether they like it or not and realignment for the future requires the retirement of denial.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

A Focus on Patriarchy – Pt. 6

Continuing to Share

Family Origins

Since I’m calling for men to come together to share who they are and how things are for them, I’m going to continue to share in this format.

My family was definitely not a feminist bastion. It focused on our home where my mother tended that home and the two sons. My father had a certain authority in those days as the man of the household and partly because he was surgeon.

Interestingly, he had a distinct tinge of feminist leanings and he made it clear to me that he supported women coming into medicine as physicians and did not see women coming to power as a threat. His attitude had a leveling quality to the coming reality.

My mother was not antifeminism but it was nothing she would have fought for. It was simply that her background meant this home with a successful man who had fought his way out of poverty in Mississippi was just fine with her. She could not have wanted more.

Another Direction

It feels to me that I had been freed by distancing myself from “normal” male identity.

It seems my nature is what led me away from patriarchy toward support of feminism. I was always intrigued by possibilities and sought novelty. I regret (though it could not have been otherwise) that there were no computers until long after my youth. I would have been a rabid computer nerd. I was not competitive unless wanting to do a good job and get things done was a form of competitiveness. I never saw power as important and often was dumbstruck by venal men in power and what fools so many of them were as they served only themselves.

Who Men Are

Some say men are competitive and aggressive. I was neither. My favorite book as a young child was Ferdinand the Bull. His core attribute was that he loved to smell the flowers. My mother read it over and over to me. Again, if there was any competitiveness, it related to doing that job well and uncovering new possibilities which could be pursued relentlessly.

I learned the limits of male power over time and found it often errant and saw endless skirmishes around men who sought power and domination at all costs. As I watched men pursue power and their own financial interests, I came to see the limitations of their power and its worth. I learned to fear them not at all. In my estimation the shallowness of their pursuits disappointed me. And to this day I see their pursuits were often damaging to so many among us. If my future was impaired by their machinations, then I could go somewhere else. Something else is always possible. And, of course, as is apparent, not all men are devoted to power and financially focused sociopathy.

What Satisfies

Of course not all things, no matter how long they have dominated, will endure. I believe in the cultural flow and know its relentless nature. It may be glacial but it does flow and requires endurance and patience. We see that need for patience in the empowerment of women. From the suffragettes, women in World War II, women’s liberation and on to today we see their endurance and, yes, gains. There is much more to come.

In another regard, what do you see coming and what would you wish? Please let me hear from you. roger.burt@earthllink.net

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

My Personal Reactions

 

( Look at the faces of the Mom’s in the picture! Fabulous.)

My Personal Reactions

Why I’m Devoted to Empowerment

I’m offended and have been offended. What men have been doing has been putting many different kinds of pressures on other men which actually has the effect of suppressing their potentials as well. And then when you open partnership you find the potentials are multiplied in everything from our love life, our commitments, our children and each other in education and business. We have a remarkable opportunity.

As I said, early on I was attracted to the promise of women’s liberation as it was called in the 1960s. As soon as Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine came out my wife and I subscribed. I had to ask myself why I cared. It proved to be a difficult question to answer. But some incidents proved intriguing.

A Boy Looking at Men

There was a day when I was perhaps nine years old and was standing on a baseball diamond watching two other boys at home plate arguing with each other over whether one was out or safe. It seemed interminable and finally I tucked my ball glove under my arm and walked away—never to come back. Part of the problem was that I was a card carrying intuitive type who dreamed out the window and sought novelty and intrigue. That ball game offered none of those things.

I also remembered college football games. At the University of Michigan the cheerleaders were male only. (How boring.) We lost some games and won some. I just couldn’t care that much. In some ways I was an outcast in the male culture. At last I went to a basketball game thinking I probably should get involved if only as an observer. “Wow he just got two points.” Other end of the court, “Wow he just got two points.” And so on back and forth until — wow he didn’t get two points. I finally had to ask myself why I was there. I wasn’t very competitive and didn’t have a lot of talent for sports. I didn’t have good balance and so as a child I was a stick who fell over.

Seeing Novelty and Potential

Other avenues in life always called out to me. And some of those avenues were in the world that included girls where I saw potential and diversity.

Later in life I found myself studying men in the workplace and found many men lacking in vision who were imposing their power on others. All male meetings were often stultifying as men talked sports and patted each other on the back. When a woman joined in we got much more done. Quite a revelation.

Personality Directing My Search

And again I have to say my personality led me to seek discovery and to search for potential. Increasingly I found those things in relation to women. How could I not be involved in supporting their future.

I’ll leave it there for now. Much of the male culture was simply not attractive to me but it deserves considerable evaluation as we move forward into what I believe is a new and wonderful era.

Let me hear your thoughts! roger.burt@earthlink.net

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Discovering How Life Really is

 

Where Our Identity Comes From

Establishing an identity is a complicated process. It has to do with who is available for us to identify with, our ability patterns, intelligence, and our personality. And I think you can probably come up with other factors.

Given my dissatisfaction and lack of interest in many things which are supposed to interest and enthrall boys meant I sought other things. I chose to explore science, looked at the world as my family traveled, and sought to experience the world in general. That is hardly a comprehensive list because opportunities were always presenting themselves. For me I think personality was central. I wanted to seek out possibilities and unique opportunities.

My Father and I

Naturally my father played a role. I was closer to him than my brother was. Even as a surgeon he liked to get his hands dirty in the yard. He never got entirely away from his early years in rural Mississippi. We went deep sea fishing off Montauk on Long Island, he taught me to shoot which I liked as a hobby but not when it involved killing animals and he took me to ball games which I endured until the day when we went to a Yankee double header. The first game was 26 innings. Enough was enough. He was handy around the house and built furniture. Those things interested me.

Doing a Good Job

One thing that was particularly important to me was doing a good job. Power was not of interest. Getting things done especially in new ventures was of considerable interest. Too often though I saw men of power who lacked vision. When I took the job in the inner city Baltimore I was stunned.

The heads of the psychiatry department were utterly lacking in vision and the psychologists were no better. The latter group invited me to join them and in the first meeting they spent the entire time talking about how they could try to seem more important to the psychiatrists. I never went back. There was substantive work to be done. And even worse there were no women in the central halls of power. Oh yes, there was a nursing department but what I saw out in the programs on the street was their frustration as they did battle with the men in power. At basic levels there were women nurses and social workers who contributed to diversity of viewpoints. But at the top levels there were men only.

Closed Systems

Because of the import of the job I had to face a closed male system. And it was inevitable that I would come to view the men as struggling with their image of themselves and the threat involved by the women struggling for recognition and a say in a new enterprise. As it turned out this was just at the cusp of the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1960s and their meaning and substance utterly engaged me.

Masculinity

What kept emerging over time was seeing in men a central problem in their discomfort with masculinity. They often seemed to feel they did not measure up but when you stepped back it was essential to wonder why there had to be a universal code of masculinity.

But it seemed that fear was a core element and that also surfaces in discussions of patriarchy. It seems likely that progress in our various intersexual relationships may require clearly facing the issue of fear. And honestly I think this will be a monumental task. Men have financial interests in league with the matter of power which is an impediment to change. But at base I think the most important issue and the one which will relate to a turning point is the matter of fear.

What issues do you feel will be crucial? Please let me hear from you at: roger.burt@earthlink.net

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Self Examination Is Not Enough

 

Beyond Dealing With Subjugation

If we are to end the subjugation of women in all its forms each of us (men) must engage in self examination. Such an examination may be informative but at a personal level it is unlikely that the richest forms of discovery will be made.

Certainly there can be worthy endeavors in discussion with women about their experiences. And reading on the topic is worthwhile. But, since there are surely cultural elements as part of the setting, a group examination by men would be worthwhile if not essential.

A Collective Endeavor

Examination is a worthwhile but the problem between men and women is a rich field of endeavor which requires in depth and diverse study. Women have raised an issue to our awareness and now feel enough power themselves that it will not be totally hidden again. But it is also up to men to speak up and together examine themselves personally and their interactions. We men must compare “notes” and experiences if we are to go into depth. The abuse process has been visited upon men themselves as they failed to support potential of all kinds. And there can be cruelty and victimization as the will of someone may be imposed on their fellows. And, regardless of stereotypes it is not at all clear how “real men” really are. Just as with the beginning of the women’s liberation movement when women sat together and examined what had been happening and their belief in a future, men need to begin by sitting together and reflecting. We may be shocked at what we uncover.

Beyond the Issue of Power

Much of the discussion at this time focuses on the issue of men exercising power. But it is essential that we look at the very real possibility that men have been victims as well. There is a distinct element of pressure for focus on specific activities and viewpoints. And certainly the male culture contributes heavily to sexual assault and abuse. And included must also be the concern about self esteem and belief in what constitutes the self. What will surely be found is that the components of this process of male domination and abuse is complex. We must ask what it is that men do to each other. How are they subjugated as well in their own way. Surely there will be surprises and this endeavor will be interesting and surprising.

And then later, or in separate groups, we can sit together, men and women, to evaluate and to share. When the sharing occurs there is the real opportunity for real change.

Please let me hear your thoughts. roger.burt@earthlink.net

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Women and Our Future Pt. 5

Is That All It Is?

Confronting Possibilities

What key memories do You have?

Long ago I remember standing in front of a cathedral in France. I was ten years old and looking around at a new world with new people. At that age I had little perception about what Europe had just endured nor the reach of its history. I recall my mother placing a handkerchief on her head before entering. I asked her why and she said it was “customary”.

Being who I was then and am now I didn’t press it further but for me it opened questions and they remain unasked in so many ways. The true answer and the depth of meaning remains to be probed. Of course, there are answers many people accept, but I find them shallow and lacking of substance. Possibilities always present themselves.

The Polar Bear

There are many interesting documentaries on television and recently I saw one about polar bears. I’ll put aside the barren environment in which they live and how it is now endangered along with their future.

Almost the entire documentary focused on the males search for a mate and the conflict involved. It seemed fraught in so many ways including his initial contact with the female with whom he wanted to mate. I had to think “Is that all It is?“ I doubt many people view our struggles as just about continuity as a species.

Power and Submission

In later posts I’ll go more deeply into the issues of power and submission but for now let me raise the question. I’ll just call it “Is that all it is?” which means are we simply in a battle between men and women about dominance and submission related to reproduction? I failed to see the greater purpose involved in a woman covering her hair in church and I fail to see a greater purpose in subjugating women. To me a better question to focus is whether we as a species have a larger mission.

The world of animals is fascinating in its diversity and their struggle for survival shows tenacity. From the struggle comes increased complexity, a culling process and new futures. Looking back at human history we can see something of a similar process but we also see something else. We acquired language and mastered the development and balancing of culture.

What’s Next

I am always asking what i might call my life question. Is the struggle to survive and gain a mate all there is? But does the acquisition of language and culture suggest that there may be other fascinating possibilities in our future. And how might an end to the subjugation of women fit in? “Possibilities” attend my life and I have to raise them again in this context.

We have hopes and dreams which alone suggest there may be interesting ways forward. And fundamental for me is the question about what may happen when we empower women which I firmly believe is to happen. And some of that is what has fostered my efforts in writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

How would you define the essence of our future as beings?

 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt