MEN HAVE A CRITICAL ROLE…in making a change
OK guys, today is Friday, and back on Monday of this week, just 5 days ago I announced the contest that we are having…the contest to win your very own Stump Town Kilt.
Stump Town Kilts are the sponsor of our Friday episodes, so I am going to talk about the contest again, today, before we head into the content.
The contest, as I said, will place in the hands of the lucky winner, their very own supremely Crafted, beautiful, durable, washable StumpTown Kilt. That is an amazing prize my friends. Some limitations do apply, you can basically get any of the kilts you find online at stumptownkilts.com, you just can’t get the higher end special kilts that they also have available.
I own three of these kilts and I plan on getting more of them, in different colors. Unfortunately…I am unable to join my own contest, but for you it is very possible.
There will be two ways to enter the contest:
1.) First, anyone who decides to be part of the launch team for the upcoming book will get their name in the drawing, you have to let me know that you also want to be in the contest though.
Now, I only want you on the launch team if you really want to be there, you can find out more about it at www.beingabettermanpodcast.com/TEAM.
If you are already on the launch team, and would like to be entered in the kilt contest, just write me an email and let me know.
2.) The second way to enter is super simple. Just go to iTunes, find this podcast, and subscribe to it, rate it, and write a review for it. Then take a screen shot of the review, and send it to me in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. When I receive your email you will be entered into the contest.
Also, don’t forget…there is only going to be one winner…but do not despair, because StumpTown Kilts are offering a 10% discount to Being A Better Man listeners…to get that discount all you do is go to stumptownkilts.com, do your shopping, and then enter the code: betterman at checkout, all one word, all lower case and you will receive 10% off your entire purchase.
Before I begin, I want to preface today’s episode by saying that the views and opinions expressed by the host, which is me, are exactly that; My opinions, based on my personal experience as a white male living in America. Some people listening may be activated by certain phrases or ideas, I just ask that you listen to the end to understand the entire message accurately.
Last Wednesday was international woman day. I made a post on my Facebook page in support of the day. I support he aims of this day, to create awareness that women around the world are still being subjugated, kept down, and objectified by the other half of the species…in varying degrees, depending on the country and culture they live in.
I will post a copy of what I wrote at the very bottom of this page if you want to read it. One of the things I talked about was celebrating the differences between men and women. To me it goes without saying, in my life it has become very obvious on countless occasions that men and women think a little differently. I Often make the mistake of assuming everyone else realizes that too.
There was one comment to my post that illustrated the fact that there are many people who are putting forth the idea that everyone thinks the same, regardless of gender. This commenter was referencing the binary society we live in, the fact that society is what influences gender roles, and that it is an individual choice to “discard notions that are no longer progressive or useful”.
I read her post. I mulled it over for a while. At the end of my mulling I came to the conclusion that this sort of thinking may be counter productive for those that are seeking equal status.
The reason I think this is because of the fact that people are not equal. Of course I think everyone is of equal value as a human being, and they should have equal rights and status…what I’m talking about is the fact that everyone is different. Nobody thinks exactly like another person. and trying to base equality on the false notion that everyone is the same…isn’t going to work, because it isn’t true.
Science has shown us that there is in fact a big difference between a brain that is swimming in testosterone, and one that isn’t. It is an obvious difference, even for a child. You can see this difference not only in the human species, but in all the animal species as well…it’s kind of a documented fact.
It’s true, if you took hormones out of the equation, then everyone would be pretty much the same, but that isn’t reality is it? That isn’t how humans work. Our lives are governed by the hormones coursing through our brains.
Even among women; a pregnant woman has different hormones that a non-pregnant woman. A woman who is menstruating has different hormones than one who is not. The advent of menopause is another big hormonal shift that affects behavior.
A boy’s brain changes dramatically when he enters puberty and becomes a man, and fluctuates the rest of his life, altering his moods and his thoughts.
This is why I think the answer to help women and other people who feel disenfranchised is not to pretend that we are all the same, but rather…to acknowledge, embrace, and celebrate the differences between us.
We as men have a critical role in this paradigm shift. Historically men have been guilty of using their physical dominance to enforce the idea that women are somehow of less value than us. It’s pretty crappy if you think about it. Because each one of us owe our lives to a woman for one thing. Also though, simply because they are the other half, sometimes I think the better half, of our humanity. They are us and we are them…we are all humans. Humans who are gloriously different in many, many ways…and that is part of what makes humanity so awesome…our differences.
We have all heard jokes about women. Jokes that highlight some of our differences in a way that paints women as inferior. The same is true of many racial jokes, or jokes about gay people or disabled people. These kinds of jokes are one of the things that perpetuate the underlying idea that some people are of less value than others.
These jokes are not always told with intentional malice. You may be just trying to make someone laugh, but the underlying message of the joke is harmful, and destructive.
I think everyone, every person, should have the same opportunity as any other person. That people should be judged solely on their merit as a human, and not their gender, orientation, religion, or race.
I may be an optimist, but I believe it is possible to attain that level of equality. However I only think it will be possible if people start acknowledging and accepting the differences between people. Rather than saying everyone is the same.
If someone is different than you in some way…there isn’t anything wrong with that, particularly if you are secure in how you are. I’ve spent most of my life being different from everyone I know, I like it that way, I don’t want to be like anyone else, nor do I expect than anyone should be like me.
So what can we men do? How can we be part of the solution rather than part of the problem? I think on a very basic, individual level, one thing we can all do is pay attention to the things we say. For example, don’t tell jokes that put down a group of people, and don’t laugh when you hear that joke.
If we see someone being oppressed just because they are part of a certain group of people…speak up for them, lend your voice on their behalf even if it will be unpopular with the over-culture.
If you are in a position of authority and decision, don’t make value judgments based on anything other than human merit. Acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of people around you.
If you feel threatened by someone because they are different than you…you may want to take a good close look at yourself, because that is a symptom of insecurity. A man who believes in and is secure in himself will not feel threatened by the differences of others.
So those are a few things you could do, and I challenge you to do them. I think its the right thing to do. I believe that men who learn how to embrace and celebrate the differences of others are on their way to being a better man today, than they were yesterday.
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This is the Facebook post I referenced above:
Regarding International Woman’s Day:
First, I believe that men and women are different, in general, I think its foolish to deny that. Generally speaking, Our logic is a bit different, we process situations differently, we react differently to different stimuli, and of course our physical bodies have differences. OK.
That being said, I think it’s time we celebrate these differences as a species, rather than deride them, or use them as an excuse to demean, diminish, or objectify women.
We are all part of the same species, we are all humans. These differences between men and women were critical to our species ability to thrive on the planet, to reproduce, to adapt and change and grow and become better. I believe it is the female power and influence that made civilization possible. In effect, without the influence of women, I think we would be less human.
They are our daughters, wives, sisters and mothers. How can we, as men, tolerate the ill treatment of our loved ones? Its crazy! Shouldn’t they get paid just as much as our sons, if they are doing the same job, just as well?
Don’t we as men, have hope that our granddaughters will be respected for their merit as a person? That they will have equal opportunity to carve their own way in the world? Instead of defining their success by the husband they have?
Women make good men, better. Because they challenge us, they inspire us to raise our own character to match theirs.
I submit that whenever a man, anywhere, does anything to put women down or to elevate himself at a females expense, he is motivated purely out of fear, and absolute insecurity in his own inability to be as good as them. It’s weak, and pathetic.
I charge men everywhere to acknowledge the great women in your life. Regard them as equals…if not more. Instead of making jokes about the differences between us…celebrate the fact that these differences exist. Because theses differences make our species great. Finally, look within yourself, and make it a priority, an objective in life, to find yourself being a man worthy of their amazing presence. Do that, and you will be a better man.