An Organisation About Guys’ Friendships. Sounds a Bit Awkward, Doesn’t It?

Brothers’ goal is to equip men across all generations to have strong and authentic friendships. We also seek to combat any damaging cultural mindsets that may hinder men from having worthwhile friendships in their lives. Though most people love our message, and support it and understand why we fight for it, I’ve heard some funny responds when telling people about Brothers…

  • What?? Friendships between guys? (Followed by an awkward laugther)
  • Wow, sounds a bit extreme to run an organisation about that.
  • Oh, that’s interesting… So is it a gay thing?
  • A movement about guys’ friendships.. Well, is that really necessary?

Little did I know that running Brothers would sometimes feel like walking on eggshells. People have so many perceptions of male friendships, love and masculinity. Post a photo of two guys (a friendship), and most people will think they’re gay. Encourage guys to comfort each other when needed, and people think we’re trying to turn men into a cuddle club. Write an article about the over-emphasis on romantic relationships, and how that has negative effects on guys’ friendships, and some think we’re against dating and romantic relationships. And the list goes on… Honestly, all the stigma and awkwardness about men’s friendships, is a clear sign that something has gone terribly wrong. And we need to do something about it.

Ask a 5-year-old boy about his best friend. He will most likely gladly elaborate about him and his friendship. He will have no problem expressing his love for his friend. Ask a grown up man, and his respond will be quite different.

Millions of men across the world are facing some pretty serious consequences — as a result of the lack of close friendships: Loneliness, addiction, suicide, depression, divorce, phsyical and mental illnesses - just to mention a few things… Should we really let our culture’s prejudice and messed up perceptions about men’s friendships destroy the lives of millions of men, their families and our societies?

With that in mind, I’ve got one last question to ask:

An organisation about guys’ friendships.
Does it sound awkward? 
- Or does it sound like a hell of an important thing to fight for?

Pick your choice.

Kim.

Founder of Brothers.