Male Leadership

The last few days I’ve attracted some major learning around masculine energy into my life.

The first was from Oprah’s LifeClass on Fatherless Sons. It’s pertinent for me because I know men who grew up without their dads.

Doesn’t everyone?

In the U.S. its an epidemic, with 24 million children raised in homes without their biological father according to the Census Bureau. That’s major! It transcends race, economics and language affecting not only those children, but their mothers, their teachers, their neighborhoods and communities etc., etc.

But as sad as it was, there was also some insight. I began to understand (and this is grossly generalizing as I understand completely that this is not the case for all men or even all fatherless men) why men are so easily stuck in anger.

fatherless sons

This relates to a post I just wrote on vulnerability and I flashed a ‘aha moment’ in recognizing that anger is a result of unexpressed vulnerability. And when so much of our culture is screaming at men to NOT show their vulnerable side, you end up with a society full of angry men!

So fast track not even 12 hours later, while doing some research on gender violence, I come across the work of Dr. Jackson Katz. Let me start off by saying, this is one healthy and brilliant MAN. He is responding to the issue of gender violence, not by focusing on the victim, or even the individual perpetrator, but calling on all grown men everywhere to shift from complacency to leadership.He says:

If we can get to the place where men who act out in violent or harassing ways will lose status with their peers, we will see a radical diminishment of this kind of culture. Not because it is illegal, but because it is unacceptable in peer culture.

These are leadership issues for men. Ultimately the responsibility for taking a stand on violence against women or children should not fall onto the shoulders of little boys, or teenage boys in high school, or college men. It should be on adult men with power. Adult men with power are the ones we need to hold accountable to be leaders on these issues.

Amen brotha!

You’ve gotta watch the entire video to get the full message. Would love to hear your reactions (the more vulnerable the better!) or a simple “right on!” suffices.

Violence & Silence: Jackson Katz, Ph.D


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