Solutions for the Challenges Facing Men: Left, Right, or Within?

Lately, some high-profile folks have been discussing the issues around men, masculinity, and what to do about it. This Washington Post article is one example, and so is Richard Reeves’ book, Of Boys and Men. In my book, Unmasking, I share lessons from my research and talking with men about this for almost 20 years, and of course, I’ve been a man my whole life. I’m glad for the attention to these important conversations, and we may be looking in the wrong place for the answers.

I am glad folks are recognizing and sharing the very real challenges and issues facing men (and the rest of us) due to the external expectations of men. Despite (and in many ways because) men as a group objectively having power and benefiting from how society is organized, individual men often feel powerless.

Much of the dialogue on this issue in mainstream publications has looked to political parties and movements on the left and the right for answers and found both significantly lacking for different reasons. The conversation often laments what the right offers and criticizes the left for not offering anything. Why are we looking to political parties for the solution? Rather than look to the left or the right, what if we looked within?

Looking within can help men break free from external expectations, help them discover their authentic selves, and work to live in alignment. This authentic masculinity can help us address harms affecting us all and create new possibilities benefitting us all.

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