117 – Pack Culture

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PACK CULTURE…

PACK CULTURE…

OK, what I want to talk about today is something that has never really been on my radar before…but since I’ve been doing this podcast more people are talking to me about stuff that I never really considered before.  One of those things has to do with the behavior of men in a group, and it has to do specifically with behavior directed at women.  I am calling this behavior “Pack Culture”, because I don’t know what else to call it.

It’s important to note that it isn’t just women who are the victims…it could be any gender or group of people that finds themselves in the minority, but for the ease of communicating this problem I will refer to women specifically.

Most of the cases I’m hearing about seem to happen in the workplace, in situations where there are a majority of males and a minority of women. 

What’s happening is that the women are being subjected to unwanted sexual advances, demeaning insulting comments, and they are frequently the target of off-color jokes and other forms of harassment. 

When the women in question reject advances made by their male colleagues, or stand up for themselves and demand a little respect, then the abuse intensifies to the point that many women ultimately quit their job in search of a less hostile workplace, or they pursue legal action…or, in some unfortunate cases, they succumb to it.

Apparently this behavior is extremely widespread based on the reports I’m getting.  If anyone listening has a story that corroborates  this, I invite you to send it to me, just write me an email. 

Some of you listening might be like, duh…this isn’t new information.  I apologize for my naivety on this matter…but it has never been on my radar, because this is the opposite of how I was raised.  I have never been in a group of men where this happened and if I was…I would be the first one to try and correct it…because…its wrong.  It’s just plain wrong and it sickens me to know that its happening.  It’s the exact opposite of being a better man.

I’m calling it Pack Culture because in the accounts I have heard of, it seems to fit the pack mentality…like for example, a pack of wild dogs.  There is usually a bad Alpha male leading the group.  Yes…I make a distinction between bad Alpha’s and Good Alpha’s.  Our prisons are full of Bad Alpha’s. 

Anyway, this bad Alpha leads by example and then the other guys in the group follow his example in an effort to find their own niche in the pack.  Every pack has a pecking order.  Guys who don’t follow suit, suffer their own form of abuse. Eventually the pack culture is in place and the ones who suffer the most are the women in or around the group.

Guys…what’s going on?  This is not the behavior of men, this is the behavior of wild dogs.  Where is the intellect?  Where is the responsibility and reason?  I suspect that some of you listening may have been swept up in this behavior before and become a part of one of these packs of ill-behaving men.  If you want to share your story with me I’m all ears…just write me an email about it.  Because its hard for me to understand what takes place inside your head that makes it seem OK to mistreat other people.

It seems that this pack culture is in every walk of life, in every type of work environment from the military to high powered office jobs, public servants and everything in between.

Earlier today I was talking to a woman who went through this.  I don’t want to give away too much information because she may be a guest on a future show and she is currently in litigation around it.  I was appalled by her story.  It made me sad.  And the whole time she was telling it I kept thinking…where was the good man?  Where was that guy who would stand up to the pack culture and make the other guys understand what they were doing was wrong?

From my perspective it’s hard to believe that in any group of men there isn’t at least one guy who will stand up and say:

“Wait a minute…these women are just as valuable as you, these women are someones daughter, sister, wife or mother and the way you are treating them is unacceptable”.

Where is that guy in these situations?  I don’t know where he has been…but I’ll tell you where he is going to be.  He is the guy listening to this podcast.  I’m charging all of you listening with the task of being that good man.  You guys, who are committed to being a better man today than you were yesterday are the guys that are going to be a man in the face of this pack culture.  If you need help or advice about how to do it get on the website and write me a letter and I’ll help you…but you have to do it, because it’s imperative for the forward movement of our species. 

Don’t wait for another guy to step up…you be that guy. 

The society we live in today is kind of insular;  a lot of people keep to themselves and mind their own business.  people live right next door to people they have never even talked to…so I get how the idea of standing up and speaking out for other people might seem radical, or foreign.  I guess what I’m suggesting, is that you get over it.  Be a man in spite of society, in spite of pack culture.

There will be a number of guys who will hesitate out of concern for their own personal safety, and that is a warranted concern.  In some of these situations it might be dangerous to speak out. To that I say…”So what!  How do you think the women and other people feel who are the targets of this abuse?”  In most cases calm, confident, precise language will get the job done. Not everyone in the pack is all the way in, and when they see your stance they will join you, because you are being a leader.

In my experience 98% of bullies are cowards at their core.  For that other 2%…well, I think there are worse things than getting beat up, one of those things is going to bed at night knowing you could have helped someone…and you didn’t.  That choice is up to you.

I’m going to wrap it up there for today, I suspect there will be more talks about this and I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences with regard to this matter.  It’s a serious thing though.  we are men, and we are better than this.

Now head out into the world armed with the knowledge that you are a man, Be responsible for the things you do…and the things you don’t do, but above all be true to your own version of truth and rightness, and you will be a better man today than you were yesterday.

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