In the age of Donald Trump, the question of strong positive masculinity has never been more relevant.
Donald Trump represents a form of masculinity from the past that is slowly dying. It values aggression, competition and humiliation of others to gain power and control (also known as bullying). Donald Trump is a “strong” man because he shouts, attacks those who disagree with him and seems to be incapable of compassion or self-criticism.
Boys need strong positive men in their lives who model what’s next in their development. Mothers can model many things, but they simply cannot model mature masculinity.
In the past 50 years, women have completely redefined what it means to be female. One of the main ways this happened was through the power of role models – women who had the courage to step outside their gender stereotypes. We need men who will do the same.
Women went through a collective discussion of what it means to be a woman. Men need to do the same among themselves. Many men have been left confused and sometimes angry in the wake of feminism. Donald Trump represents a nostalgia for what men once were. When he says “Make America Great Again” he means “Make America White and Male again.”
The Trump phenomenon represents a teachable moment. When we watch him on TV with our children, we could discuss openly what is wrong with his message and his tone. It is particularly important that fathers be involved in this discussion because boys need to hear from Dad what he thinks makes a good man.
20 Characteristics Of A Strong Man
- He has his own set of values and shares these with his children.
- He is seen acting according to these values.
- He reflects on his experience and is open to learning from his experience.
- He takes responsibility for his commitments (marriage, children, and job).
- He is socially engaged.
- He models respect for all women.
- He models respect for all people (including those of different races, cultures, and creeds).
- He puts relationships ahead of material possessions.
- He spends time with his wife.
- He spends time with his children.
- He pursues his own interests.
- He is connected to the natural world and leads his children there.
- He pays attention to his own elders and passes on what has value.
- He prepares to become an elder himself someday.
- He laughs and has fun.
- He takes care of his own health.
- He is affectionate.
- He is comfortable in his own body.
- He is comfortable with the bodies of his children.
- He enjoys nurturing touch.
From Raising Emotionally Healthy Boys by Michael Reist
This is the best website for the project of redefining masculinity!
Also check out…
Saturday, April 9 @ 5 p.m.
Al Green Theatre at the Miles Nadal JCC
750 Spadina Avenue
A panel discussion with