Facing Complexity and Men’s Issues

 

Not As Special As They Claim

Now we tred into difficult territory. No doubt there are wide differences concerning how men view themselves. In general behaviors and attitudes suggest men are meant to demonstrate that they are superior to women and will lead them. The problem is that many men don’t feel that way. Deep inside many men don’t feel as special as they claim but accepting those feelings would give them opportunity if they can seize it.

Being direct with oneself would help men clarify who they think they are and how they should devote themselves. That requires them to accept that they can actually do that. It may mean turning away from a devotion to power. Sharing it and its different levels would benefit us all.

Then There is Sports Tyranny

The confinement of men is well illustrated by the role of sports in their lives at many levels. From a very early age it is expected that boys will devote themselves to sports. If they are not good or don’t care they may be ridiculed and treated badly.

There is the image of the small boy wearing a ball mitt standing adoringly before a sports star. It almost seems required. Is that boy good at sports or will he feel diminished if he does not measure up to his “idol”.

And what if he doesn’t care about sports. He may be ridiculed and told it is essential for his conditioning and physical wellbeing. In fact there are many other conditioning and self maintenance alternatives. They are more apparent now than when I was a child. Being able to choose alternatives will offer ways to enhance self esteem as well as skills and help open the bounty and diversity of the world.

Being Who We Are

As soon as we question men’s self esteem we have the chance to explore their world. That world includes not just a view into self esteem but also their ability to make choices about numerous alternatives for their lives. That in turn offers them a rich type of future with the woman of their choice. 

Not long ago it seemed we thought that our development ended with what we call the beginning of adulthood. In fact, our complex development continues throughout life. And it helps if we are not confined by a rigid identity and limited choices as often happens to men. When they open their world they let a woman in for greater rich experience together.

A Lesson From Women

Currently we are seeing something with women that is instructive. 

I don’t remember the exact time but it was a few decades ago when some women were looking for power and a new place in life. Some chose to dress down closer to what men wore. It seemed unreal and confining. It didn’t last long and it disappeared from the stage.

And now, with empowerment, It is truly lovely to see smart, assertive women appear on television and they may be dressed beautifully. They show their talents, commitments and intelligence. Yes, they can be pretty, smart and important.

The Bottom Line

Perhaps we might look at empowerment as a universal need. We are already seeing benefits in the empowerment of women. Now, if men can overcome common self esteem issues and self image issues it may be that they can be empowered in a new way. And with both men and women being empowered we will find a new form of partnership. 

This can be a wonderful new day. We can look forward to rich and enhancing self and social explorations.

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before 

them. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Available Now in Kindle and Paperback on Amazon

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Feelings of Inadequacy and Powerlessness

 

Personal Management

To fulfill our potential requires not just commitment and dedication for success. It also requires us to deal with our perceptions of ourselves and our belief or understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. Perspective is needed to balance such things as our talents or lack of interest. Our weaknesses need not drive down our self esteem. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It’s also a matter of orchestrating our motivation with self esteem. And it is often not so easy to understand our strengths and how they may benefit us. The bottom line is that management of the self involves management of an orchestra.

We cannot all be talented in the same way. Where we do not have talent we may have lack of interest or commitment or we may view something as inessential. Men have sports heroes and we are instructed to admire and follow in their footsteps. But some of us are not interested and where formerly this may be seen as an inadequacy or a weakness it can be transformed into a view of lack of interest because there are other talents which offer potential for growth and satisfaction. The confinement may be in what men do to each other. Part of the question relates to recognizing the extent and diversity of effects on each other. All too often there is an
enforced lack of introspection especially if the issue is not to be discussed.

And Then There is the Sexual Arena

Now before us we are seeing considerable evidence of the issue of male sexual abuse. Boys may ask each other, “Did you get any?” This is a depersonalization of women and helps lay groundwork for abusers. This question comes from the outside and, if the young man has values which indicate to him that he wants to not treat women as objects, self esteem may come to be at question.

Establishing a Useful Focus

As the sexual abuse scandals have become highlighted we see a central focus on males exercising power. We need to not overlook the other possibilities and it would need to be central to male group discussions. For many men it is not primarily a matter of power but one of THEIR self esteem. And when women step forward and talk about how they were abused they are too often punished and shouted down which makes matters worse.

We need to recognize that men may push and harass women sexually not because they are exercising power but because they feel powerless and inadequate. In short, it may be compensatory.They hope they may prevail and feel more powerful or worthwhile. Just as when Trump strikes out because his narcissism isn’t being fed. These behaviors can be more indicative of insecurity, fears, powerlessness and personal flaws rather than an exercise of power. They reveal weakness. These men may avoid despair by attempting to reassure themselves and their worth. Otherwise they can collide with a personal negativity.

Self As Trash

If a man believes he is trash then the subjugation of others may enhance, for the moment, their feeling of their own worth. But these kinds of self disregard can be assuaged only temporarily. Self concept and what we believe in ourselves is a virtual statue of self image we carry with us. And if it is dubious or negative then it must be supported and dealt with over and over because there is no event in day to day life which will thoroughly mitigate it unless there is a thoroughgoing search of the meaning and substance of ones self regard and belief. And men, when they are willing to search and admit can help each other with this problem. And so we return again to the meaning and need for men to self examine together. We share these flaws in self and in male culture. One of the leading indicators of this problem being underlying is seen in the man who must always receive praise and adulation. Enjoying recognition and celebration is one thing but the insistence and extent of need indicates a personal flaw.

The Bottom Line

If all the above seems complicated, it is because it is complicated. We need to examine these various themes and lay them out before us. If we focus only on power, we lose track of the variety of things which feed the dysfunction. We have our work cut out for us.

How often have you been able to perceive this process in men?

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