The Broken Picture of Masculinity
For a long time we’ve had a picture of masculinity.
A narrow and broken one, mind you.
In this picture you talk to women about certain things and men about others.
Or some rough version of this.
This picture has conditioned us to chase meaningless things and leads to conformity of an ideal that just isn’t us.
Sex, money and power seem great, but after speaking with thousands of men on this point I can say that blindly chasing these ideas doesn’t fulfill us.
If we don’t dig deeper we end up feeling hollow. Something is missing.
That something is connection.
But we sure as hell don’t mention anything emotionally difficult.
So we remain macho, tough, brooding, and emotionally controlled.
Many of us live our entire lives deep behind a mask of this macho type masculinity and it’s causing male depression and suicide in intolerable quantities.
Be a man.
Don’t be a girl.
Don’t be a pussy.
This thinking has led to mass confusion about what it really means to be a man. We are a frustrated and detached generation of men.
We keep our feelings to ourselves. We don’t let people in. We isolate ourselves and don’t ask for help unless things get dire. We ignore obvious problems within us and focus our energy outwards, solving others’ problems.
Sure, we get stuff done. We achieve security and some level of happiness but at what cost?
When we put on the mask of faux masculinity we easily lose ourselves. We lose who we actually are underneath that need to, ‘be a man’.
A new definition is needed.
Men are dying for change and a different model to measure ourselves against.
We’re dying for a new ‘north star’.
Enter the ‘New Age Masculine’
I think ‘New Age Masculinity’ can be useful to a lot of men, but it’s not accessible to the average man.
What do I mean by that?
New Age Masculinity can be daunting and too fluffy. It’s often too much of a stretch for many of us blokes to get our heads around let alone work on.
Let’s look at these opposite ends of the spectrum…
You’re down at the pub with the boys. It’s familiar and comfortable. The chat is light-hearted banter. You’re taking little digs at each other. The talks is about women, sports, tech, and other ‘man stuff.’
One of the guys says something about a nearby woman that you think is way out of line. You want to say something to him but your better nature is over-ruled by the pressure of being ‘one of the boys’.
And now this:
You’re sitting in a circle, barefoot, deep in conversation that feels like a rabbit hole of spirituality. You’re talking about masculine and feminine energies, of being in service to light and love, breathing into your balls, and various other terms and concepts that totally fit the stereotype.
Now think about these two scenarios from the perspective of the average man – this might very well be you.
The second one can be too much.
These two different ends of the spectrum leave us stuck, floating in a confused place, and slightly lost as to what it is to be a man.
Men are yearning for something that resonates, something that invites us to take on as our own. Something we can live with and use to set an example for the next generation.
Zeus Energy — The Accessible Middle Ground
We need a middle ground that allows us to step out of the broken macho and go gently down the rabbit hole of a new masculine — without being new age and fluffy. And we need to be able to individualize it.
The ancient Greeks nailed this long ago. They spoke about ‘Zeus Energy,’ which they defined as. “male authority accepted for the sake of the community” (as stated by Robert Bly in Iron John).
I don’t know about you but this is a ‘north star’ I can work towards and take ownership of.
I can gladly call this my own and pass it on to the boys that follow me into manhood.
But first we must agree that we NEED a new model. Only then can we work together through our conversations and actions to create one.
What about you? What do YOU think this accessible middle ground should be?
How would you define the modern day masculine? Share with us below.
Mike Campbell is a Man Coach who helps men find significance, worth and personal power. By challenging the broken model of manhood, he helps men to drop the ego and get out of our own way, and in doing so become their own perfect mix of James Bond, Nelson Mandela & Batman.
Plus he loves to cook, eat and talk to his food. He loves his fiancée, stone fruit, cold beer, red wine, whisky and to think of himself as a low level Batman. He also likes to lift heavy things and play Goldeneye on his vintage Nintendo 64.
You can connect with him at the following locations:
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