The Mankind Project Is Probably Women’s Best Friend
There definitely are some scummy men out there. But things are not as cut and dry as that. There are also some pretty vicious women in the real world. I can vouch for that, having been on the receiving end of both. Thankfully we have groups that help men and women become adults.
Women Had Their Revolution, When Will Ours Come?
Don’t laugh, or get angry. Whenever I say this, I say it tongue in cheek and certainly don’t want to agitate our excitable states these days. But it seems women had their revolution and although there is still a long way to go, many of us “normal” men feel a little left out.
I was born in a world of women, virtually. The day my mother gave birth, the doctor went on holiday. Got to love France for that! Instead of a man slapping my bottom at birth, a nurse did, as well as delivered me. I’m still not sure what she delivered me from. I was happy there and even more before. The harsh reality of the air sucked in my lungs and a slap on the bottom certainly made for a traumatic start. But all things considered, it was me, my mother and nurses. And I never complained about that.
I grew up with women. My mother and grandmother raised my brother and me. I was taught the basics of life. We are all equal, women and men. Treat everyone fairly. Yadiyadda. From this idyllic point of view, I set out into the world woefully unprepared to meet others who weren’t so lucky in their upbringing. I’m certainly no saint. I’ve wronged a girlfriend or two, but overall I‘ve always felt closer and more understood by women than men. That is until now.
Raising Men With No Role Models
When it comes to role models for men in the West, we’re out of luck. Hollywood insists on showing us shaved chested men with attitudes and guns. Well I have a hairy chest and don’t own a gun. Are you nuts? I certainly won’t shave my chest. TV is no better, if not worse. Magazines? GQ once wrote men shouldn’t wear Converse after the age of 40. I never read that magazine since. It sucks growing up in that world. But nowhere I turn to do I see these stereotypes amongst my friends. Overall I’m a man who grew up on feminine polarity, which has it pluses and minuses.
On the positive side, I’ve always had female friends and lots of girlfriends. On the minus side, I had no idea who these other hairy humanoids were who looked like me. I could see we were biologically similar, but the conversations ran dried after the initial female parts and car talk lasted more than five minutes. It was far more interesting listening to a woman’s point of view on life, dating and sex, then it was hearing a man brag about his sexual prowess. If Gandhi was a role model, it’s a tough one at best to emulate in our western societies.
My wife suggested I check out the Mankind Project. Gasp, shock, horror being in a room full of men I didn’t understand, nor associated with. But I’ve got gutso and let it not be said Nicolas is scared of taking on the big work. Little did I know.
My First Contact With The Mankind Project
I saw a man cry and talk honestly about problems all men have, but never openly share. I was aghast. Other men felt the same way I did? Hurt the same way I do? Wondered and tried to understand why we were raised the way we were? Well, that was news to me.
Although my mother and grandmother made sure I saw women and men as equal, society and particularly school teaches a very different scenario. It was conflicting at best. Bullies taught me men had to be tough. School teachers taught me to get back up on my feet, not cry, swallow the tears back and pretend all’s well. You can only go on so far with that kind of philosophy in life. In some ways, women are luckier, not luckiest. In general, and a big, huge generalization coming here, little girls are allowed to express their feelings much more and go deeper within. In fact that’s what attracts me to women so much in general is how they generally allow each other to vent, let things come out and talk about their feelings. More to come of Men are from Mars, Women from Venus. I have a great take on it.
After getting over the initial shock that men hurt and cry, I decided on the spot to do the initiatory weekend up the mountain. I was scared, petrified, but I know how to do one thing very well, pretend, dance around and be teflon-like until I can privately lick my wounds.
The Mankind Project Mountain Work
I won’t reveal any secrets, nor what happens at the top of the mountain, or the desert where the Mankind Project takes you. In a nutshell, the philosophy hinges on the fact that hundreds of years ago, elders took young men and young women into the woods to face their deepest fears. Only after that would they be allowed into the mature circles and to take up communal life. Imagine if we had that today?
So I found myself uncomfortably surrounded by men. What I didn’t know is that they were about as freaked out and scared as I was. Things always seem worse in your head.
The work presented itself. But I’m shy for an extrovert. Painfully shy! I like to see things from afar, intellectualize them before I set out on uncharted emotional territories. I wasn’t trained to feel where feelings lay in my body. I was taught to compartmentalize, badly mastering that I admit. I tried to look inside as much as I could, but the beast wasn’t revealing itself.
Thankfully, you are surrounded with elders and wonderful stable men who have worked out their inner crud. You turn to them for guidance. They won’t do the work for you. They can’t. And it would rob you form one of the most amazing experience in life, that of discovering yourself.
Coming Down From the Mankind Project Mountain
I went to the mountain with men as a child, I came back shell shocked and feeling closer to a man than I ever had. I even saw tough wannabes quit after the second day.
As I mentioned previously, I was resistant to insights on that weekend. But my coaches handled me well. They put me in representative situations I subconsciously put myself in. They mimicked, mirrored, and let me see what I was doing. Gasp, is this how others see me? Something needs to be done. Nicolas, you have to jump that jump. How hard can it be anyway?
Well, it turns out it is hard, and in the end, it really isn’t hard to discover yourself and simply be. The hardest part is what our minds create around the unknown. It likes to compartmentalize things. Our brain likes to have ready to hand out templates. We don’t just analyze each and every door we physically open. That would paralyze us. Instead our brains hand us templates of what a door should look like and how we previously worked its wonders. And the same thing applies with everything we encounter in our lives. That is until we become conscious of it and do the inside work we need to in order to grow and take our rightful place in society.
Once back home, I hugged my wife in a way I never did. I could see from the tears in her eyes I had change… hopefully for the best. And yes, it was for the best.
Why Is The Mankind Project Women’s Best Friend?
Do I have to spell that one out? Obviously many women get frustrated at some man’s incapacity to express genuine feelings. And this goes beyond the male-female sexuality relationships. This is rampant everywhere. It is mostly obvious at work between co-workers of different sexes. Yes, sexes with an S. The situation is so convoluted that the only recourse many women have is to join the good old boys club and act like men are supposed to be. This is obviously not only ridiculous, but it robs us men from some of the most precious gifts women have to offer men, and vice-versa.
What I’ve started to see with a new generation of young girls is equally frightening. These young girls are raised through social media and early age porn, most of the time before puberty. Some of them are much too quick to please men the way they have been taught to think of sex. You know where I’m going with that one, hopefully. This became obvious when I was riding my bike in an alley trying to avoid traffic and saw a Middle School teenage girl on her knees pleasing a stupidly smiling teenage boy. I felt like telling him he was in a world of future pain thinking women were like that. I wanted to tell her she would have to do a lot of self searching to rekindle with her beautiful self she left on that sidewalk that day.
I often hear women complaining about men. I tell them to check out the Mankind Project and read their New Macho Manifesto. Go and have a look at it. It’s well worth while reading. And for you men who are equally frustrated with some women, there are great women groups that much like the Mankind Project, help ease women into womanhood. Woman Within is an excellent group of women that does exactly that. And the best part of it all of this is that there are cross ventures where women who graduated from Woman Within and men from the Mankind Project get together on weekends to further their adulthoods. That’ll be next for my wife and I. It’s open to all, specific to all, gay, straight, transgender, etc.
As usual, there are more solutions than obstacles in anything we encounter. Don’t just complain, although complaining is good and important. Do something about it. And if you’re still confused, ask me.