What is happening to our men?
If you believe what you read in the papers, things are not good. The men who who are placed in the position of role models appear to be falling apart. Prominent football players and other sportsmen being found on an almost weekly basis accused of excessive drinking and violent crimes. ADF personnel in the second scandal in the same number of weeks, even actors come to attention at times. The stories seem to be gathering in number and severity every day. What we see is a group of men who are in pain, a group of men who do not know how to effectively deal with negative situations and emotions and a group of men who don’t know where they fit in in society.
The question is, what can we do about it?
1. Create a focus on positive male role models. There is a focus in the media on men who exhibit destructive behaviour because this is what sells papers. The average man out there is just going about his business without causing harm. Even if we have to seek out more positive stories or examples it is worth the effort to remind ourselves there are many good men doing good work.
2. Acceptance that there are many and varied manifestations of masculinity. Sure, some men deal with their negative emotions with anger and violence, others retreat into their shells. Others collect cactus plants or go to the shed and build things. Men are not predictable one-dimensional creatures who have to be ‘managed’ by those around them. They are valuable members of every family and community and have much to contribute.
3. Fostering a positive concept of the role a man plays in his family and community. A man who is willing to risk his liberty on violent and criminal behaviour is a man who does not grasp the importance of his role within his community. Men are more than just community’s earners and heavy lifters. They have important roles, that of care, guidance, stabilising influence and lighthearted entertainment amongst many, many other important roles.
What do you think is a Man’s role in the family; his role in the community?