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 strong, resilient, 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.