THE S-FACTOR BLOG
I Need Help Bro.
As an undergraduate, I studied androgyny as a force for creativity and transformation. It wasn’t my idea. Truth be told, I was carrying a “big bag of nothing” for a thesis topic and time was running out. My mentor offered it up. She said the future would be owned by creators powered by an androgynous mindset. Was I ever confused.
But was she ever right.
Look no further than women.
A lot has changed since 1960. Women are the educated majority, enjoying high levels of employment in the highest growth sectors of our economy. 58% of college graduates are women. In 40% of households with kids, women make more than their husbands. There is still a ways to go but they are quickly closing the wage gap. They are owning the services and knowledge economy groundswell. And then, they are finding time for yoga, church, cooking, college tours and running a marathon.
Women are fucking crushing it.
Women have learned to fluently and simultaneously embrace her sexuality, beauty, human-ness and vulnerability as they activate their inner warrior. Look no further than Game of Thrones. Don’t be confused by her beauty. She pilots a fucking dragon and leads warriors into battle. She makes decisions, stands up to large, hairy and dirty men with clubs, plays politics, stands up in the courtroom, picks fight and scrambles free.
Is this terrain historically inhabited by women? For that matter, is running for President of the United States? Or leading Facebook? Or PepsiCo? Hell no.
Men are stumbling.
Nearly 6 million are unemployed in manufacturing alone. 26 million are entirely idle and alone most of the days. Men have the highest levels of addiction. We are divorced and absent. We have the highest levels of heart disease and obesity. We are less religious, less involved at home, less educated, less engaged in our work than women. Just google it. It’s real.
As if more masculinity will help, tattooed, bearded, strong men muscle ahead thinking more manliness will help. We tell each other bullshit like: “Dude you need to man up.” “Deal with it, man.” “Sucks for you man.” “Make it happen, bro. Get ‘er done.”
As if they can physically fight themselves from the situation, like Thor or some fucking MMA cage fighter.
Have we flipped enough burgers yet guys?
Men need to take notes from women, not each other and not from our past.
It’s not going to be an act of will, physical strength. It’s not going to be oppressing others that restores our sense of power and control over our daily domain. It’s the opposite. It’s letting go of that instinct to power through it, control it, or handle it. It’s giving up our reliance on physical effort. As women found their own beast mode, men need to search for who they are. They need to start saying to themselves and to others:
“Bro, I think I need some help. I’m in a tough spot. I have no money and there are no more jobs for guys like me any more. I feel lost. I don’t know what to do. I’m scared and I’m struggling to get through this. I don’t think I can do it without help.”
Takes some serious balls to say that, right? But if self-awareness is the first step to growth, transformation begins with four simple, but not easy, words. “I need help, bro.”
We are always in motion, in a state of becoming. Embracing our becoming means embracing our always present “betweenness,” a term coined from poet philosopher Jane Hirshfield.read more
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