The way I see it, the feminist movement has done a pretty good job over the years. We have come a long way in terms of equality and I am forever grateful for all of the amazing trailblazers who risked their reputations and lives for what they believed in. However, I have always wondered why there hasn’t been more of a concentrated effort to explain the value of gender equality to men in terms that they understand. After all, the feminine only exists in relation to the masculine.
My passion for gender issues started back in college with a simple question: “What’s the worst thing you can call a guy”? This question was provoked by my previous statement, “I honestly think men and women are seen as equals in society today”. The first answer that came to mind when asked about the worst insult you can give a guy was “Gay, or a Girl” (“you throw like a girl”, “that’s so gay[stupid]” etc..)
Once I said those words out loud I realized that such insults were really rooted in the fact that gay men are stereotypically portrayed as “acting like women”. This meant that homophobia was most likely rooted in men being seen as female and therefore “less than”. I then questioned if the same was true for women, and quickly realized it wasn’t. As a woman, being “one of the guys” is considered an honorary position and lesbians aren’t nearly as socially ostracized as gay men are. This one simple question had made it impossible to deny the reality of gender inequality any longer – my world had been rocked.
This realization came to me during my first ever women’s studies class, which I didn’t even realize I had signed up for. I needed a sociology credit and “Sex and Gender in Society” sounded more interesting than “Sociology 101”. I ended up minoring in women’s studies as a supplement to my major in psychology. I knew I was going to want to take a lot more of these classes, so I figured I would go ahead and minor in it.
How did I come to care so much about gender issues you ask? Well, I’m not 100% sure, but I think it may be linked to my longtime burning desire to know “why do people do what they do”? I think this yearning blossomed after my first visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC when I was 12 years old. As a young Jewish girl, I saw my last name on the top of Schindlers List, which had been blown up to appear like wall paper. The reality of the Holocaust hit home for me at that moment and I asked myself how Hitler possibly convinced an entire nation that killing human beings was the “final solution?” This is not a single “crazy person” we are talking about here- this is an entire army and country! To be honest, I believe he really thought what he was doing and saying was the “right thing”. Based on what he had learned and experienced in the world- the logic made sense to him, and apparently many others.
Psychology isn’t that complicated once you understand how us humans think. There is always a motivation behind every behavior- even if the motivation sequence doesn’t seem to make sense (one thinks A+B=D and you/society thinks A+B=C). We may also believe the motivation is for C, but if we look deep enough- we find that every behavior is motivated by the basic belief that a specific sequence will bring about happiness in some form (that C is related to a feeling we desire).
So, back to the original question: Why a woman on a “men's blog” and particularly- why me? Honestly, because you need me. You need me just as much as I need you. We all have masculine and feminine potential within us and we need the complementarity of each other to learn, grow, and love (which I believe is truly what motivates all behaviors at the very core- but that’s a topic for another day).
Over the past 7 years, I have studied, trained, given trainings, held events, been a speaker and created a publication around these issues. I am a certified coach who does spot coaching for men specializing in relationships. I grew up playing Super Nintendo, tennis, football, basketball, soccer and rugby while also taking dance classes, doing competitive cheerleading and coaching a cheer squad. My post college years have consisted of traveling, snowboarding, violence prevention education programs, and yoga (I am currently in training to be an instructor). Basically, I am- like all people- a mix of feminine and masculine.
It is my fascination with the dynamics of love, sex, and gender communication that has brought me to this point in my life and to this blog. I live and breathe relationships and I am continually on an ever-evolving personal journey to fully understand how to truly create healthy relationships with all people.
Now that you understand a little bit about who I am authentically, please know that I truly do love all you men out there and want nothing more than to support you in understanding how to create fulfilling and healthy relationships in your lives- with both women and men. So, any questions or topics you would like me to address and/or questions you would like me to respond to, please send them to: AMensProject (at)gmail.com. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and for proactively working to be the best men you can be!