This generation is witness to a collision between traditional masculinity and a new wave, one that values intimacy, caregiving, and nurturing. But many of us have spent our lives under immense pressure to stifle emotional expression of any kind. And we’re learning there’s a cost: Men are suffering higher rates of life-threatening disease, depression, and death. Simply put, the suppression of emotional expression in men is damaging their health and well-being.
If you’ve grown up in the United States, then you’re familiar with the Man Box, the longstanding rules of how to walk, talk, and sound like a man in America:
1. Real men don’t express a wide range of emotions. They limit themselves to expressing anger or excitement.
2. Real men are breadwinners, not caregivers.
3. Real men are “alphas” and natural leaders.
4. Real men are authoritative and make all final decisions.
5. Real men are physically tough and sexually dominant.These rules take hold early in our lives. Boys 4 and 5 years old are told to shake it off, man up, don’t be a crybaby, and, worst of all, don’t be a girl. This is because the Man Box devalues any form of emotional expression traditionally deemed to be feminine. A devastating result of this anti-feminine bias is that women, gays, and trans people face epidemic levels of bullying, rape, misogyny, homophobia, and violence.
The Man Box robs our sons of a lifetime of opportunities to develop their emotional capacities. Instead, they grow into emotionally isolated men who wall themselves off from the social connectivity central to healing and creating community."
-----Mark Greene, from Why manning up is the worse thing to do Yes! magazine, December 2015
Mr. Greene's words could not be more true, and he expressed this idea much better than me. To read the rest of the article follow the link above. Social Media Sites and Politicians trying to run for office by showing "they are not scared of anyone" (and proving quite the opposite) through spewing hate, fear, and bigotry have been hard to avoid lately. Considering hate talk to be normal, does not help American society head in the correct direction, most of the trash talk I've heard and seen comes from men, so I was pleased to find this article today as it addresses that. Men's roles are changing in American society, so this is an important issue. This old, all about rough and tough men way of being has no place in this modern, 21st century. At least its less prevalent in communities of Goddess honoring traditions, that is one of the things I appreciate about modern neo-paganism and its place in the world.
Asatru, the Norse Pagan faith. I appreciated the "Nine Charges" of the Odinic Rite:
The Nine Charges were codified by the Odinic Rite in the 1970s.
- To maintain candour and fidelity in love and devotion to the tried friend: though he strike me I will do him no scathe.
- Never to make wrongsome oath: for great and grim is the reward for the breaking of plighted troth.
- To deal not hardly with the humble and the lowly.
- To remember the respect that is due to great age.
- To suffer no evil to go unremedied and to fight against the enemies of Faith, Folk and Family: my foes I will fight in the field, nor will I stay to be burnt in my house.
- To succour the friendless but to put no faith in the pledged word of a stranger people.
- If I hear the fool's word of a drunken man I will strive not: for many a grief and the very death groweth from out such things.
- To give kind heed to dead people: straw dead, sea dead or sword dead.
- To abide by the enactments of lawful authority and to bear with courage the decrees of the Norns.
The picture to the left is called "Odin" by Jeff Stokely this link should lead you to his gallery on DeviantArt