| By Rachel Monique Maskell
For the Love of Men
When I set out to do Jan Story Circle with the theme Beauty of Him, I had no idea so many more things would be put in motion with #timesup and the Golden Globes. I had no idea some women would be so visceral and angry. But it happened. And I learned. I was exposed to the depth of pain so great that even discussing what we like about men was seen as an attack to the solidarity of sisterhood.
So why would I do it? What was the point other than to stir up the pot?
To begin with, I have a husband who I love and admire. Things aren’t always rainbows and sunshine and that’s not his fault. Often it’s the challenges of having my shadow, my mirror, reflected back on me. And vice versa.
What I have learned in my 12 years of being with him is that if I want more love, appreciation, respect, recognition from him I have to positively reinforce those behaviors. I have to celebrate them and celebrate him. Like most people, and dogs, we respond better when praised for what we do well than being yelled at for all the shit we do that’s “wrong.”
In understanding this about my own relationship and extrapolating out I think we can all do better (men and women) to applaud and celebrate each other for all the amazing things we do so we will do more of them.
I certainly don’t condone the poor behavior and the patriarchal paradigm we’ve been held under for way too many centuries. But I also hear that men are lost. Some are afraid to speak to women now. They’re not sure what to say or how to engage. And yes, they’re afraid of the backlash.
“So what,” you may ask?
For all the male bashing and anger towards this sex I know equally, if not more, women are looking for a partner in their life that they can connect with. That will support them, love them, protect them...characteristics mostly attributed towards men. How are we going to get more of what we want if we keep focusing on what we hate?
If you’re reading this and are still fuming at my audacity to share the value of loving on the positive attributes of men, then consider the perspective of the masculine and feminine balance within us all.
We are each born of a mother and a father (egg and sperm). Although the woman carries much of the genetic code there is still input from the male. From a Jungian perspective they talk about the anima and the animus, the female and male archetypes respectively.
We each carry a component of the anima and animus. Women less of the animus than men but it is there. The animus is also considered the yang which is said to have characteristics of directness, movement, action, etc. I like to think of how the sperm moves to reach the egg - focused, swimming against the odds, but determined.
And we need this energy. We need this energy to create change. We need this energy to work in harmony with the Divine Feminine.
To me it is less about the people and more about the frequency. How are we choosing to show up day to day, moment to moment to embody our truth and engage in the energy that is needed, right now.
Full disclosure, celebrating men and the Divine Masculine is not the full solution to the problem. It’s a start. There are many things within the constructs and paradigms of our society that need to be broken down and recreated. Starting in the home. We have to rethink the individual family each fighting for the time and space to work and fulfill our dreams and passions as individuals. The system is broken.
But what if by taking a step to acknowledge what is ‘right’ what is ‘good’ we can take a step closer to solving the chasm between the sexes?
Women, there is much healing that still needs to be done. But expecting the men to take the lead on this we will lose out. It is time now to embrace our differences so we can learn to be equals.
To help me move through the BS in my own life I am taking a stand on what I love about men so I can invest in it. For myself, for my family, and for my future.
You can join me if you’re in LA or NYC at Feminine Weapon Day on Jan 30th. Or simply join the conversation here. Share your thoughts, your outrage, or your tools for making the shift happen.