We had a fun and thought-provoking conversation with Mischa Byruck, Marsha Olson, and Revaz Ardesher about the current, confused state of masculinity and where it can go from here. We talked about dating and sex, friendships and mental health, conflict and confrontation … and so much more. Some excerpts:
I kind of feel like we're at a bit of an inflection point. Women are now unwilling to settle for less than all of the things that we were forced to become in our own upbringings, which is being emotionally available, being able to name your feelings and communicate them.
I sent around an article to the group that was in psychology today about the rise of single, lonely men. And part of it is just about how women aren't gonna date down anymore.
And I think we really do a disservice in the way that we have raised men and now they're just starting to figure out that they have to do something a little bit differently because it's not gonna work the same and women don't have the same reasons to partner anymore. You know, we're, more able to be alone if that's easier, as I think it is in many cases.
I mean, I didn't see my dad cry until my grandmother's funeral, which was just like five years ago. I grew up in a household where you're waiting for your dad to come home and you don't know what kind of mood he's gonna be in and he’s just silently repressing all of his feelings: the anger, the sadness.
One of the biggest themes that I've seen is that we have intellectually gotten past sexism like, of course, women are equal, got it. But that will betray all kinds of really harmful things that we still do. We don't have a lot of men, certainly not in our political field, for instance, speaking about what it really is to be a man of integrity.
I do feel like there are these masculine traits and then there are these “toxic masculine” traits. And sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. I think being “strong” is a masculine trait and I think that it's a positive trait. When I think of “being strong,” I think about how I would've wanted the men in my life to be strong for me. And what that would've looked like is: more stepping up, more functioning. I have had to be highly functioning or over-functioning because, you know, the men in my life have not functioned at all.
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