The more I think about men's friendships, the more fired up I get. If I could paint an analogy for you, men’s friendships feel like a big ball of yarn with thousands of strings that we have to untangle.
There are a lot of narrowly defined stories about how a man should “be” in today’s society - they should be powerful, they should provide and be self-sufficient, and they should be in control. But just because society was built for men, by men, does not mean these systems are working for the modern man.
Studies show that men have nearly the same amount of friends as women, but their fear of vulnerability and authenticity prevents them from creating genuine, meaningful connections.
So let’s dig in and talk about the three systems of power that are keeping men in these very narrow boxes. And stay tuned as Part 2 comes out next week to explore more ideas around this topic.
In this episode you’ll hear about:
Being a man can be lonely. Between suicide rates, mental health, drops in admission and graduation for higher education, and higher earnings, what does all this mean to “be a man”?Why we’re in a weird, limbo place with redefining the definition of masculinity. Men are “allowed” to be more vulnerable, but the boundaries are so unclear.A breakdown of the 3 systems of power that are keeping men in a box, including capitalism and white supremacy.The many issues that are affecting men’s friendships with women - women can be so much more than just romantic and sexual partners.Why men struggle to make meaningful connections in their community, especially with the loss of “third spaces” and circumstantial situations, like going through a divorce or navigating a new life as a widower.Resources & Links
Books mentioned include All About Love, The Will to Change, How We Show Up, The Road Less Traveled, Bowling Alone, and Fair Play.
I also recommend the works of Alok Vaid-Menon. Tune in to his episode on the Man Enough podcast.
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