7 Efficient Ways to
Emasculate Yourself &
Destroy Your Relationship at the Same Time.
by Martin Brossman
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Spending a lot of my life seeking to move beyond the "gender issue" - being all things to all people - left me feeling empty inside. It also left me with many women who loved me for what a "sensitive guy" I was, but I lacked a deeper sense of being grounded. What I can say is, something profoundly changed in my life when I set aside my commitment to being some kind of "purely androgynous balanced being" and got more involved in "men's work" (being in a men's group, supporting the local men's center, etc, seeking close mail friends).
Eventually I realized that I could not move to a place of real balance until I first became grounded in my own gender, as well as centered and clear for myself in what it means for me to be a man. I know that I do not have all the answers, for I think this is a life long path, but I am truly in a different space now. Since I have spent several years doing "men's work,” I go for what is really important to me vs. just wishing or hoping for something to happen. Now I have more of a sense of what "being in my body" means and I am more comfortable with very feminine women. I now have more compassion for what it means to be a man as well as a woman. I think many of us have emasculated ourselves to such a depth we don't even have any conscious awareness of it. A great definition of self-emasculating, provided by a man in the Triangle Men’s Inquiry meeting, is taking action that makes us emotionally, spiritually, or physically impotent.
The following seven behaviors are, I believe, the most evident signs of how men (including myself) emasculate themselves:
1) Being the leader in cutting down “Men” in general: I was the first to jump on the bandwagon any discussion of how worthless men were - instead of seeing both sides. I was a machine collecting evidence of how worthless we men are.
2) Putting your “relationship” or “being successful” before your core values. I had no sense of what my own core values or principles were. If I was aware of my core values I would compromise them in a heartbeat if it would "help a relationship" that I was in - or prove that I was not one of "those macho men". This also can be done by putting “being somebody” in a job over a greater purpose in life.
3) Being ashamed of your sex drive. I was ashamed of my own sexual needs and desires - always making sure I did everything politically correct to honor women in every POSSIBLE way. I now see how some women interested in sex or intimacy with me would just give up on me because it was just too much work to communicate she may be interested sex or intimacy. Most women feel more like a woman when they are making love to a man who can embrace his own masculine energy. (Don't just believe me, really ask women!)
4) Allowing no room for aggression, anywhere. I killed off so much aggression in myself I did not even have the fight to stand up for anything I truly believed in - still talked and thought about it a lot, just no real action. Yes, I really now believe there is even a place for aggression.
5) Getting all your emotional, social, and entertainment needs met with your partner. This can be done by cutting ourselves off or never having had any close male friends or space for ourselves. Another way we emasculate ourselves is, when we get in longer term relationships, we cut out our close male friends, give up hobbies that we loved, give up space in the house (other than the garage) just for us.
6) Ignoring our own emotional, spiritual, or physical well being. By not taking care of ourselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally, not seeking things that give us a sense of inner strength. This includes living on junk food and creating a stomach that covers our belt. Focusing more on making money or taking care of her “perceived” wants rather than taking care of your own mental and physical health. Another effective way to do this is by over spending or overdoing in the relationship without discrimination, throwing our own lives out of balance. Thinking if we make enough money that will please her. (That’s true if all she wants is our money.)
7) Dumping or stuffing your feelings. Non-discriminating sharing of all of your feelings or not at all. Some times I meet men who have started “getting in touch” with their feelings who move from the extreme of have no feeling but anger, fear, or ecstasy to being “just their feelings.”
When we don't take time to embrace what is beautiful about being a man, I believe we emasculate our sons and ourselves. When we truly embrace the beauty of the masculine, we don’t have a desire to invalidate the feminine but rather appreciate its uniqueness.
In my case, when I felt I had become overly feminine, I started building a composite model of what type of man I wanted to be from fragments of models in my environment. When I tried them on I really did feel different. Here, for fun, I will attempt to put into words the characteristics of the composite model I devised. This is just my selection and in no way implies the only way.
Let’s call this model the Initiated Man:
- Distinguishes between Aggression and Conviction. Expresses himself with conviction, as energy surging forward with full commitment without anger or malice. BUT he is willing to use aggression as a tool if needed at the level required.
- Completes former love relationships so he does not carry past ones into the next relationship. I knew I was complete with my former wife when I saw her at the park with another guy and it did not have any negative effect, and I felt that I cared about her but had no interest in being with her.
- Has the energy or fight it takes to take on conflict when it is required and gets things done.
- Has put himself through some “ritual space of initiation”, where a community of older men have worked with him in a process that helped him acknowledge himself as an adult man.
- Has learned how to move through feelings vs. stuffing them or just being them.
- Makes decisions based more or his heart and values than emotions or social rules.
- Speaks, thinks, and moves with intention using his whole body or being.
- Has a sense of what his core values are.
For example, some of mine are:
I will not hate another person for another person.
I will operate out of the highest level of integrity possible at the time.
I will choose compassion over following the rules.
I will do my best to come from the greatest compassion in all my actions.
I will do my best to speak, and act authentically and from my heart.
If I truly take care of myself, my loved ones will be taken care of.
The other day, when a woman wanted me to meet her partner because he was "such a sensitive man", I remembered that at one point that was the highest compliment someone could give me. I still value it, but I would not take that as the highest compliment anymore. Now, to me, a compliment that recognizes my core values and the difference I’m making in the world is infinitely more important.
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