Note: First, I apologize for being radio silent on this blog for a while. I have been busy writing my first book that will be out on Kindle this fall. I hope to be back to the blog with more consistency soon!
I often hear men complain that women, or our world, want to “turn men into women.” Men who believe this to be so, complain that there’s a push to make men emotional, feminine, wimps or worse.
This sentiment is the most absurd spin I’ve ever heard. Women have no desire to turn men into women. The thought of this is so ridiculous, I can’t even believe I have to say it. Women do NOT want men to be women—they want men to be relational human beings.
Countless men come into my office with their marriages on the brink of divorce. These marriages are crumbling because the men have done everything our culture has told them to do to “be a man.” As a result, I’m constantly working with men to counteract the damage our culture has done to them. The messages they bought in to about what it means to be a “man” include:
• Don’t show or feel any kind of emotion other than anger.
• Don’t ever be “emotional” like women. “Man-up.”
• “Man up” in times of conflict—be bigger, stronger and more aggressive than your opponents. “Never let them see you sweat.”
• Don’t admit to any mistakes or take accountability for your actions—that would be being a wimp.
• Don’t share your struggles, upsets or challenges in any vulnerable way; instead, share these stresses through anger and rage.
• Don’t ever be “p*ssy-whipped.” Don’t ever fall for a woman too hard—always have the upper hand.
• Have sex with as many women as possible, but don’t get too attached to any.
• Don’t talk too much, share your “feelings” or be a wuss.
• Above ALL, don’t be a woman.
Our culture has sold men a bill of goods that is killing them, isolating them and leaving them utterly inept at having any meaningful connections. The women of our world do NOT want to turn men into women. What women want is for men to be connected, relational human beings. Women want to be able to have conversations with their husbands and sons. They want to be able to feel safe in their own homes and not be fearful that the men are going to rage, intimidate or thump their chests to show everyone they’re boss. Women want men who can have a real conversation, without acting like a deer in the headlights, getting defensive, dismissive, bullying, shutting the conversation down, talking over others, “solving” the issue, or refusing to speak. Daughters want fathers who show up emotionally for them, rather than barely speak to them and hide out at work all day and night. Wives want husbands who can connect with them via verbal conversation, not just through sex. They want men who are kind and loving, not stoic, cold and harsh. Women don’t want to turn men into women; they want men who are strong enough to be men who are capable of connection.
Men were not created to be robots, bullies or to be shut down human beings. Every male is born with a full range of emotions. Those emotions make up their humanity. Our world chose to stomp these emotions out of men. Until men dare to embrace all of their God-given emotions and show up as human beings capable of connection, they will continue to lose their marriages, struggle with addictions and fight depression. Men, women, children and our world deserve better.
Challenge: To all the men who have bought into our world’s crazy notion of what it means to be a “real man,” stop drinking the Kool-Aid that’s killing you. Dare to redefine what it means to be a man and step in with kindness, strength, support, vulnerability and courage. Don’t buy into toxic messages—you deserve better and so does your family.