As a man here’s how I’m currently hearing things

There’s a lot of change happening at pace in social commentary and where we’re going with life. As I see and hear stuff, here’s stuff as I see them.

  • Men suffer from not being able to express their full emotional range and this impacts on their wellbeing and can negatively impact their mental health. I pay a lot of attention to this in myself. How do I express my emotions in ways that are healthy? How do my kids hear and see me deal with my emotions? How do friends know what emotional needs I have? What does my partner know about taking care of me emotionally? How does my manager pay attention to the emotional impact of work on me? I’m not paying attention to these messages because I’m scared of falling foul. I’m paying attention to these messages because I recognise we have developed a language and narrative of what it means to be a man which is unhealthy and harmful.
  • Some people are trans. I’m still learning so much about this space. It’s full of complexity and nuance. Gender dysphoria is a very real challenge and there needs to be much better research into how trans people are supported at whatever stage of transition they’re at.
  • Staying with the trans piece, there’s a lot of hate in this space too. Hatred at trans people and hatred at cis people. The narratives and the arguments being thrown around are damaging to having any kind of quality thinking. It’s hard to square if a lesbian natal woman chooses to only want to be with another lesbian natal woman that that means they’re transphobic for not wanting to be with a trans-woman. It’s hard to square that a trans-woman who has been a victim of domestic violence can not have access to a woman’s refuge if there’s no other safe space for them. There are hard discussions to be had. I want trans people to be able to be who they are. I believe this can be achieved without their rights and needs being diminished and I believe it can be done without diminishing other groups.
  • Women suffer a shitstorm of abuse every fucking day for no other reason than men think they are entitled to them. I just don’t understand that sense of entitlement. It is very possible to talk and have fun with women without that needing to be abusive or violent.
  • There’s a nonsensical set of narratives about not being able to compliment women without claims of harassing them. My dudes, if you don’t recognise when you’re harassing a woman then you are the problem. It is perfectly ok and acceptable to compliment a woman. That is not the same as making unwanted advancements or being sexually aggressive. If you’re doing either of those you’re being offensive and abusive. There’s a world of difference in saying something like “you’re wearing a nice dress today” to “that dress you’re wearing looks sexy”.
  • There’s a narrative about women making men feel uncomfortable with their success. I understand this. The norms on men are that we’re meant to be the bread winners. We’re meant to provide. We are the alpha. Except of course for all those men who willingly abandon their alleged responsibilities leaving it to the women to have to do these things for their families. I am more than comfortable with my partner earning more than me and being more successful than me. It doesn’t diminish my worth as a man and I don’t feel threatened by her. I’m good at what I do, earn a good wage for the work I do and pay for as full a range of things as I can. I’m not competing with my wife, because marriage isn’t a competition. I’m not competing with my women friends because that’s not what friendships are based on. I’m not competing with my male friends. I actually have very open conversations about money and earnings with them so there’s no chance of being competitive because we’re having open and healthy conversations about money.
  • Men’s physical health has always been fraught with keeping a certain muscly type body. I’ve known for a long time that’s not me. I need to be physically healthy and that’s what I pay attention to. I don’t know what medical ailments may come my way and what I don’t to compound my health is a lack of physical activity and health.
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Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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