Four lessons I learned about the impact of traditional masculinity

We’ve all been impacted by #metoo and the Tsunami that followed.

Since then, I’ve been co-leading trainings in workplaces that are interested in creating more safety around this challenging topic.

But with this incredible challenge comes an incredible opportunity.

What #metoo is demanding of all of us is to search within ourselves and examine some fundamental, all-pervading dynamics in our society, so we can begin to transform them.   

I want to share with you four lessons that I personally learned about traditional masculinity and its impact.

Lesson 1: The price I pay

My first memory of my father is from the age of three. I am in our living room in Tel-Aviv. He is standing in front of me, wearing military uniform. I remember thinking he must be the strongest man in the world. My father has always been a powerful man, caring, never asked for help. So those were the first things I learned about being a man: Men are strongresilient, and self-sufficient.

As a result, I suck at asking for help. I’ll show up for anyone. I tell all my friends and clients that vulnerability is strength, Brene Brown style.  But I hardly ever practice it.

Because somewhere deep inside I believe that, as a man, I shouldn’t: I need to be strong. I need to have all the answers. Leaning back or having needs is weakness. It’s just not what “men” do.  

There’s a lot of pressure that comes with the constant need to “perform” this way.

I pay a price with the additional stress I put on myself, and the impact it has on my health. I pay by guarding my heart and denying myself of the deep intimacy that only comes with vulnerability.

But there are also lots of benefits to being a man.