I call for a #MenToo movement. Yes, you read that right.
After posting about my own #MeToo sexual harassment and abuse experience months ago, I started receiving an outpouring of private messages from men sharing stories of their own sexual abuse.
Let me reiterate. PRIVATE messages. While it is hard for women to share their stories of abuse, it is even more challenging for a man to share.
We all know that from a young age, men are given the message to “man up”, don’t be a "pussy", and to disconnect from emotion. Most have no choice but to start building a calloused mask to hide their emotional, vulnerable, and oh-so-human hearts. This emotional, vulnerable side is what we would identify as the “feminine”.
You see, we all have masculine and feminine energy within us. This is not gender or biology. This is energy. The masculine is logical, structured, and directive. The feminine is flowing, emotional, and receptive. Think of it as the masculine being a river bed that contains the flow of feminine water. Both are necessary and powerful ingredients to make a river exactly that, a river.
Learning to accept, honor, and integrate both energies within ourselves is key, although we naturally gravitate toward one energy or the other. Not only is it important for us to integrate and accept these energies in ourselves, but it is equally important to accept and integrate them in our society.
We live in a culture dominated by the wounded masculine. When men are taught that the feminine is weak and unacceptable in our society, they learn to deny it on an emotional level within themselves, and also within our society. The denial of the feminine may look like a man who is disconnected or threatened by deeper emotions. It may look like a “puffing up” and overcompensation for that which secretly feels weak within. It is overpowering, violent, and destructive. It can also become the ultimate denial of the feminine, as seen in a culture such as ours where discrimination, the sexualization of women, rape, incest, and sexual assault are rampant.
When we live in a culture where the feminine is denied and the masculine is wounded, there is no safety in sharing our pain. This is especially true for a man who is abused. The shame is magnified by feeling weak in not only being abused, but in reporting it to someone else. This is why I received so many private messages. This is why I see so many men holding back decades of tears on my therapy couch. This is why they walking around with puffed up chests that are filled with unexpressed pain.
While I don’t want to divert our attention to the power of #MeToo, I want to shine a light on the wounding of the masculine. For it is the root from which #MeToo was born. The masculine needs healing as much as the feminine. More than anything, we need this world to be safe for men AND women, and safe for the masculine and feminine to be expressed in their true forms. We are out of balance and it is destroying us and our planet.
#MenToo is an invitation for men to disown this fear of the feminine. It is an invitation to heal the wounded masculine. It means that its time to get comfortable with emotion. Honor it. Help us make a space for the feminine to safely flourish in our world. Help the masculine heal and come back into balance. We need you, men. And you need us. It is time to heal.