Saturday, June 11, 2011

Owen Marcus - Men, stop sucking up to women; that’s not what they want

Like many other conscious men, Owen Marcus was not terribly impressed with the “Manifesto for Conscious Men,” written and promoted by Arjuna Ardagh and Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. In my own critique, I was a little harsh, maybe, but I stand by my perspective. Here is a little from the end of my "rant":

their intention is in the right place, but their statement comes from the wrong stage, the wrong perspective - idealizing men as gods/kings/warriors/magicians and women as goddesses/queens/priestesses, or whatever else, no longer serves either sex - we both more human than that, and greater than those out-dated roles allow

we do not need a new era of goddess worship - we need a new era of human compassion, a wise compassion that does not confuse biological sex with cultural gender roles, that does not limit male or female capacities based on outdated stereotypes, that does not permit any form of prejudice against any other human being, even those prejudices that are good intentioned as in the Manifesto

we need a new era of compassionate discernment, the ability to examine our perspectives as objects of awareness and discard those that put limits of on our ability to be whole and authentic people

Owen offered a comment at the time I posted that, and he has since expanded those thoughts into a full post critiquing the Manifesto.

Here is the beginning of his post:

Men – Let’s Stop Being So Politically Correct!

Stop apologizing

Why as men do we need to apologize for what we didn’t do?

Madonna portraiting a masculine persona in the...

Image via Wikipedia

In this video below more than a dozen men reading the “Manifesto for Conscious Men,” they drone on for more than 8 minutes, apologizing for what our ancestors did. Don’t get me wrong—I realize that over the last 2,000 years, the “white man culture” has perpetrated countless atrocities against women, children and other men.

Until recently, women haven’t had a voice to speak up against these injustices. Through their courage and persistence, they have a voice now. In fact, their voice woke men up and encouraged us to speak out against the same culture that imprisoned us—grant you, in a less extreme way.

Go read the whole post - he showed the video to his men's group and shares some of their responses. It's a good piece, and there is one quote I want to share for those of you who won't go read the article [emphasis added]:

I want to acknowledge the pain women have suffered, and continue to suffer, because of our masculine-dominated culture. But to keep apologizing for what we, as men today, didn’t do makes me sick. I wanted to shout, “Men, where are your balls?! Stop giving away your power! Stand up and say who YOU are, and what YOU are doing to help create a world that honors all of us.”

Perfect . . . .

That is exactly right - we didn't enslave women, we did not deny them equal rights, we did not deem them less than fully human. It sucks that women in the past experienced those things - it equally sucks that men in the past experienced different but equally terrible lives (and still do, just as women still are oppressed in some parts of the world).

We are in the unique position now to make the world as we want it - at least in our immediate sphere of influence. If each man shows up in his life, honors his own experience, aligns with integrity toward all beings with whom he interacts, and then helps other men to do the same, the world will be a much better place.

But we need women to share in this responsibility.

We are co-creators of this reality, from the intersubjective silence of two lovers staring into each other's eyes, to the bio-psycho-social creation of a new life, we are all humans being in relationship with each other.

The Manifesto for Conscious Men obviously works for some people, so Ardagh and Hendricks certainly nailed their marketing angle. However, it's time we stop seeking the 1% increase in awareness and make the bigger leaps into wider perspectives.

We don't need more New Age "hyperbole," as Owen points out. We need integrated and integral models to help men and women relate in new ways, healthier ways, more compassionate ways.

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