I decided to try on the 'Nice Guy' costume to win women over. Little did I know, it would lead me on a journey of self-discovery and shattered stereotypes.
Interesting coming from one of the men who expressed the most kindness and support toward me when I launched my publication. It looks like you have done the inner work. Bravo. The world most definitely needs healthy masculinity (my perspective as the mother of two sons).
First post of yours that I’m reading, and wanted to thank you for writing this. The path for men (especially young men growing up in this digital age) is perilous and confusing. As someone who didn’t really have active male parental figures, I’m trying my damndest to show up for my sons and help them get to adulthood with a healthy sense of self, empathy, kindness, respect. Bit ironic that in one’s 40s we often go through the same kind of tumult as teenagers do 😂 Blind leading the blind haha.
That was an amazing piece! A vulnerable state of mind, your transparency is highly appreciated here. Keep sharing and putting in that work. Have you thought about mentoring young lads?
Guys, thanks so much for all of your comments. I really appreciate it!
Great article, and timely. I’ve recently gone through a separation which has made me consider much of things you’ve talked about. I’ve thought a lot about desire, how men are taught that being able to “attain” many women is a virtue and how, funnily enough, it is completely antithetical to the experience of women who are often inundated with a number of suitors but have to be selective — for the good of their literal physical wellbeing and health.
I’ve been considering what that understanding of desire has done to my own sense of self — whereby in the advent of my relationship’s demise there is a weariness to get up and “put myself out there”, to present myself and look for love again when I find myself falling short of my own systems of value whilst having the wherewithal to recognise those values are stifling, monuments of a masculinity I don’t subscribe to but also built into the scaffolding of this world. This crossroad in self-awareness is fascinating at times but mostly difficult, like existing in a permanent state of diagnosis, knowing that this isn’t a fulfilling or viable way to exist but not knowing or seeing other paths. And I think it’s a path that is often very lonely, because finding other men who are willing to move away from masculinity in these ways, building community in such a vain, is hard.
Thank you for this. As someone who has similarly taken a lot of time to get past the toxic little shit I used to be, I now find it really galling when people talk about a "masculinity crisis" and decry a want of good role models. There are plenty of good role models - you yourself are setting an example here on Substack - but it's easier to have your sense of dispossession (occasioned by the erosion of massive privilege) vindicated by Andrew Tate, Jordan Peterson et al. The various demographics who have serially been victim to masculinities (most prominently, women) have constantly had to adjust, evolve, and fight against it - and they have found the means in the face of it all. Meanwhile we men can't seem to face up to the fallacies and damaging paradigms of our own construct, but instead try and reshape the narratives to make ourselves the biggest, most hapless victims. You're completely right - we ARE victims of masculinities and patriarchy, but you're also right that it's for us to change. More men need your courage and self-awareness to redress it.
Did you not think women can sense when someone is not genuinely nice? Do you now think clearly disingenuous behavior is a turn-off?