When we first endeavored to create an organization focused on creating a world where women and girls could thrive, we explored many avenues and ideas. One of these ideas was to create forums for boys and men to explore how they could help to make that vision a reality. We had been reading so many articles about the mental health of boys and men who are pushed to live a life defined by an antiquated and narrow view of what “masculinity”means and often find themselves stuck in a narrative that doesn’t feel right nor is fulfilling.
The question we kept asking ourselves was “why would they come to us?” And to be honest…we couldn’t figure out a good enough reason. And then we stumbled upon Jason Baldoni’s 2017 TED talk Why I’m done trying to be “Man Enough”.
First, he opened our eyes a bit more to the messaging and in essence hazing that happens to boys and ultimately continues into and throughout manhood. But more so, we were so excited to see a man out there saying what he was saying. And while we both occasionally caught ourselves saying “welcome to the party, glad you could join us” regarding his journey to learn more about how women experience the world; we were both loving that he was being vulnerable, on a journey of growth, and taking on the brave path of unlearning and relearning a new path to what it means to be a man, and ally, and just a good human.
Since then, he has launched a website, podcast, and book under the title of “Man Enough”. And yes, we’ll admit to a few eye rolls and a couple more “welcome to the party” comments when reading the book. But, what he’s tackling and trying to do is full of goodness tobe an ally to women and people of color while making it okay for men to challenge the unhealthy definitions of manhood that marginalize women, disabled, and anyone who doesn’t fit the narrative.
Check out what Justin’sdoing through his website www.manenough.com and his podcast “Man Enough”. Then join us @The Corner to share what you think about what you see and hear.
Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash