Created By: Paul Whyte on 06/24/1997 at 11:40 AM
| Friendship Vs Culture|
As men we get blamed for having any tension, as though being wounded in any way makes us less of a man. A key part of working with men is the lifting of the blame, shame, guilt, criticism, rejection, isolation and scapegoating that surrounds much of men's history. It is essential to men's working through emotions to have a generous attitude to men and men's lives while holding out to him that he can get everything right around him. My goal is to have a support group for every man on the planet and have it function well.
From what I have seen in my own support groups, I am proud of men. There is not a man that I can think of that I am not proud of as a man and as a person. This is not the general attitude that is presented to men. We are supposed to be the gender that has all the power and privilege in this society. In some material ways we get some privilege. However the roles men are expected to play make it more difficult to be in good contact with our under lying humanness. If we are lucky, we may have some friends that think about us with pride and caring. Many men would give everything that they had to have just one person truly like them.
Men's emotional work is based on the person by person winning of warm close safe relationships. The last warm close safety most of us had before we started doing men's work was before we were weaned. Most of us have accepted working or fighting as who we are and what we do. The lives we lead, what we think and feel are the product of not only our choices and our real natures as men but of the attitudes about and expectations of men that society presents to us. I suspect there is an underlying innate masculinity that is warm, powerful, co-operative and caring that is hidden by the tensions of our socialisation till the painful emotions stored up get discharged. The personal journey of finding ones self and really knowing who you are as a man is the work of making safe relationships, discharging the stored up painful emitions that makes up our socialisation, making things right around yourself and really living well in the present.