Monday, January 29, 2018

Do You Admit to It?

Jean connected my up with a short video.
It says a lot about how we are raised in this country - perhaps others. But, here in the States it's pervasive.

Males are raised to be less than human - without emotions. We're taught that men don't express their emotions - other than anger. I even remember when my own father began my "training." I was around 7, my mother had gone to visit a brother in California and I missed her. I cried. That's when my father began to call me names: Pansy and crybaby; telling me boys don't cry.

Needless to say, my relationship with him only worsened; it never did recover. But, boy! did the lesson stick. Sadly, even today, I can't allow myself to cry even in front of my wife. I have to be in serious pain to do that.
 We truly need to get men on track. Instead of clamming up, we should be able to talk to one another, discuss serious things, to have intimate relationships with our male friends. That doesn't mean anything sexual - just supportive of each other.

 Shedding shame that we feel hurt, disappointment, and love, that we can have a deep, caring relationship with a friend, is a tough thing for men - but, if we expect to become whole human beings, it must be done.




What's your experience with this?
Do you have deep, caring relationships with members of your own gender?
Do you admit to it?


SickoRicko said...

I think gay men are better able to have caring relationships with other men, so yes, I do.

Patrick said...

I never really got to know my father as he had a stroke when I was five and died when I was eleven. However, I do remember him as very gentle and kind. Great post again. 80% humidity here at present.

mistress maddie said...

I have no problem expressing emotion, but most of the time I come across very Karen Walker from Will and Grace. Always a laugh or wise crack for everything. But there are the few who do see me in the light occasionally.

A French Patrick said...

Under the video, they say "Toxic masculinity in boys is fueling an epidemic of loneliness" How we could cure an epidemic when we are ourself the virus. As humans, we ruin everything we touch. Including each other. Including ourselves.
It is with these words of optimism that I leave you, my darlings Jean and Pat, by wishing you a wondrous day with lots of bisous.

Tex said...

Thanks for sharing the video. I enjoyed it. I also had a dad who told me boys don't cry. We didn't hug or share intimate thoughts or feelings either. Much later, my mom confessed to me that dad hardly shared thoughts or feelings with her either.

Now to your question. Yes, I have two male friends that I can and do talk to about anything and everything. We hug or put our arms on each others shoulders and say "love you, buddy" when saying good-bye. I hasten to add that neither of these relationships are sexual.

I made a conscious effort to find guys like these two. Many other guys I really liked but they weren't comfortable talking about anything other than work or sports.

In these two relationships I feel like I'm getting what I needed from my dad but he couldn't give.

Thanks again for your Blog. You're doing a lot of good.

Xersex said...

I didn't have any education like yours! I didn't have any education in relations at all. I learnt living! so, for me, no problems!

Jean WM said...

Of course women do. Think of Oprah and her best friend Gayle. Often the press tries to paint them as having a different relationship than just friends. The same goes for Michelle Obama and her best friend Valerie Jarrett. Lots of innuendo. Why is that? It seems to put people off especially men to have those close relationships. Hugs and bisous.

T said...

From a young age and not a positive experience at all. From abuse as a child and going through the Cinderella Effect at such a young age I saw adult males as the enemy. Before hitting the teenage years emotionally and mentally I had switched off. It created a lot of issues throughout the teenage years and ended up being ostracized at school with other males. They didnt know what to do with me (they thought I was gay) and I wanted nothing to do with them. Could easily interact with the girls but the guys where a no go zone. I had one male friend in high school and that did not last. To this day if I ever see him again I would slam his face into a brick wall for what he ended up doing to not just me but to others too.

It took a very long time to ever trust another male let alone communicate to one. I didnt start properly communicating to another male until I was 19. Its almost normal now but its always there in the back; are you a threat to me.

R Rad said...

Well, I have one deep, caring relationship with a member of my own gender, and that is with my husband.

But I do have deep, caring relationships with members of both genders. Interesting... in my 20's and 30's, I was the life if the party. I had SO MANY friends, male and female... but as I grew older... I realized a lot of those relationships were one-sided; if I did all the work, then I had friends.

Today, in my mid-50's, I can count on one hand the number of truly caring relationships I have; some men, some women. Those relationships where, you may not see each other for several years, but when you do, you, like, pick up in mid-sentence where you left off the last time - like there was never a gap.

And that is a not a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

My brother is four years older than I am. The only time I have seen him show emotion was one tear at our mother's funeral. Our father repeatedly told us how men don't cry. Evidently my brother followed the lesson while for me it didn't seem to have any effect. I am not afraid to show my emotions and if I need to cry, then so be it. No, Dad didn't like it but I did it anyway. - Richard

Xersex said...

I'm an only child! Whatever I learnt, I learnt on myself!

that one guy said...

Allow me to quote a recent post I wrote on my own blog, about why I like working with male patients in a hospital. I won't quote the part about how hospital gowns are less embarrassing when patient & therapist are both the same sex. Male patients appreciate that, I think, but here's what I think is even more important:

But the main thing, for me at least, is the opportunity to provide gentle, caring physical contact to another man. I feel like as a society, men are not "allowed" gentle contact: we're raised to be back-slappers, shoulder-clappers, arm-punchers. To put your arm behind someone's shoulders to help him sit up, and your other arm under his knees to help him turn to the edge of the bed, is something different. Sometimes a patient is too unsteady to use a walker to stand up --- his legs are wobbly and his arms aren't strong enough to support him if his knees buckle --- and you have to hold him around the waist while he holds your arms, and when you help him stand you are basically hugging each other. Sometimes you use this method to step over to a chair (it's called a stand-pivot transfer if the chair is right up against the side of the bed, or a stand-step transfer if they have to take a couple of steps, but I call it "slow dancing" to keep things light). You have to be strong, and gentle, and attentive, and caring --- or rather, I should say you GET to be strong, gentle, attentive, and caring. And your patient gets the experience of being taken care of, if I can say this, in a masculine way. I don't think my patients think about it a whole lot, but at the end of the day I feel like I've gotten some kind of nourishment from this kind of contact. As I said, it's not sexual; but it is intimate.

In fact I just had a guy yesterday: early 40's, progressive weakness from some as-yet unknown cause. Just about able to sit up at the edge of the bed without tipping over. Wanted to try standing up. Didn't have the hand/arm strength to push up on a walker, so I had to crouch, grab him around the waist, and stand up with him. We were pressed up against each other pretty much as close as it's possible to be with clothes on --- my knees even had to be pressing his so he couldn't buckle, and my hands practically on his butt so his hips wouldn't collapse. He was a big dude, too --- 240+ pounds --- so we were both working hard to keep him upright even for 30 seconds. As soon as we sat him back down, he wanted to do it again. We did it 3 times, then I helped him get his legs back up on the bed (and also got him cleaned up since he'd had an "accident" from the effort of standing up). And when I was leaving, he wanted to know when I was coming back.

txtigerpup said...

Take a jump back in history. Prior to Freud, Jung, and whatever happened in the 50s and 60s, men expressed emotions and weren't persecuted if they showed affection to other males. This held true especially if they'd shared highly stressful situations together.
Religion and politics have done more to destroy our identity and society than any other enemy.
I'll be damned if I call a gent (especially a friend) a wuss or worse yet a homo, if he needs a male shoulder to vent, cry, rant or rage, or totally fall apart.
I'll extend the same shoulder to a gal as to a gent.