Modeling a New Masculinity

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." --William James

For centuries, men have been told by society and other men how to act and behave. Today, there are more choices for men, if they choose. However, it may be difficult for many men to embrace these qualities; there are so many social pressures and ingrained "shoulds".

Sensitivity -- to how my behavior or the behavior of other males affects women.

Courage -- to be different, to challenge sexist comments, jokes, or images depicting women as body parts or objects, to be supportive of women or other men who behave beyond traditional roles, as long as they are not hurting others.

Accountability -- to women. for our behaviors with them individually, and towards women as a group.

Commitment -- to do what we say we will do, and while not perfect, to be consistent in our behaviors.

Honesty -- to live in the spirit of truth, first with ourselves, then with others.

Vigilance -- regarding all our actions & attitudes. oppression and prejudice permeate the atmosphere. Therefore, we must be willing at all times to challenge our own prejudices and assumptions.

Openness -- to others (particularly women) criticism of our behaviors or attitudes, to listen, listen some more, and only speak if the critic wants feedback. to learn more and more methods of non- violent conflict resolution so that our children will - see something other then the "might makes right" behavior promoted in all major media.

Willingness -- to reach out to other men from our own and different backgrounds; to express our feelings, acknowledging that to reach our full power we must have access to all parts of ourselves; to listen openly to other men who identify as part of a marginalized group.

Active, joyful, Assertiveness -- to demonstrate how we all can usually get the things we want from others if we treat them with respect and we actively work to communicate as clearly as possible, to show that we can accept disappointment or compromise and still be happy and loving of others.

Active non-violent Action -- to challenge institutional or personal injustices perpetrated against others and ourselves, to demonstrate that each of us has power and makes a difference.

Warmth -- towards others (particularly children) helping others to feel welcome in our space, that they will believe they are safe in our presence.


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