The Song

It’s no secret. Some of you were not as lucky as I. Some did not grow up in the shadow of a man dedicated to you for no other reason than love.

For this I am sorry, but not because I caused ill, or owe some form of existential debt, but instead I am sorry in the way Canadians say it. I feel for you.

There is a song. It’s in us. It is the song that hummed on the first night of humanity. Deep and long ago, where time stood the way we think of gods as big. Maybe, maybe we stood on the shores of a great lake, our fellows around, and gazed up by firelight at infinity.

Let us return there now. Let us now young men, come among the dark. Maybe you did not have a father or mother, or guiding light. let us become a village to raise the children inside our ourselves.

If you did not have someone around. If you are young. If you are old. If you simply want to be here, I invite you all to come, come to the fire and seek out the wisdom. Let us become the parents some of us never had.

I cannot save you, but I can guide your rage. I cannot heal you, but I can listen to your pain. I cannot live for you, but I can make the living a little more bearable.

We men, are victims of the same system that ate up our sisters. We are all drowning in it, we are simply drowning slower.

Let us instead reach up and heal ourselves. Create a world which we would have had for ourselves, and gift it to those of the next. Let us teach the past so that we can avoid this struggle.

Come now, hear the hum of the universe, it is you and me, and her and him and them.

Toxic Masculinity is Toxic to All Parties

It is a curious phenomena that despite being overwhelmingly privileged in many areas Men are poisoned by toxic masculinity as much as anyone else.

For instance, as a white hetro-normative male, I will rarely, if ever find myself under the boot of police discrimination. (unless of course I am poor, the western world’s new serf class).

However, I may find myself looked at strangely if I express even a passing interest in say the education or entertainment of children.

When I was a substitute teacher for k-6 children, a job I adored, Teachers and parents alike eyed me with keen suspicion. By all accounts, the culture dictated that if I chose to work with children there must be something wrong with me, as that was not a Man’s place.

Now not all saw me this way. Many teachers were absolutely thrilled about the prospect of a male teacher joining the fray, but the attitudes of the other teachers made me think twice about becoming an Elementary school teacher. (that and the atrocious work load dumped on the most passionate people.)

Men are overwhelmingly jailed, under/unemployed, and depressed. This is not to say our ancestors did not construct a world where they did these things to the less able. It is the legacy of hundreds or thousands of years of sexism.

But there comes a time I wonder if the efforts of our culture to eradicate sexism have become more about punishing past wrongs.

To show emotions is to err. To be well spoken is to be a snob. To stand up for ones self is seen as aggression. To kowtow to the mob is weakness. It seems that for many less educated men, they cannot seem to find the correct footing that will grant them access to the culture.

It is in this isolation I fear. In isolation and shame grows hate, and as the hate grows, the frustration, I see a rising tide of men who see themselves with nothing to lose. That is a scary thing, a man who thinks he has nothing to lose, and with no other outlet often will seek violence. They cannot see of course this violence will do nothing but further fragment and isolate, but in that moment of social pain they cannot do anything but double down on their own toxicity.

I am not trying to evoke pity. I am not attempting to justify the horrors that ancestors past, and some men currently perpetuate, I am simply questioning the rhetoric, and the end goal.

What is the cultural end goal for the modern man? Where are we to go? What are we to do? We are human, and many of us don’t believe in the zero-sum, rule or be ruled ideas of the past.

What is a modern man to do? I wish I knew.