You know, it’s surprising, but I honestly don’t meet a lot of men in the women’s spirituality/herbal beauty field. And so often, in my work, I’ve run into this subtle undercurrent of warfare–as though men are the enemy and women can’t heal until men are trampled underfoot. The focus on women’s empowerment can leave men feeling very excluded and unappreciated.So I want to make this very clear: I adore men.
Men amaze and thrill me. I love the way they move, the way they laugh, their intense ability to focus. I love how men forge forward despite self-doubt, knowing they will learn as they go along. I love the way men fearlessly build, and build, and build, taking satisfaction in their workmanship. I love the multifaceted, exquisite way that men adore women, their appreciation of and devotion to the feminine. I love their fierce protectiveness. I love, even, their selfishness, their ability to exclude external distractions and buckle down to what they most want or need to do. I love their incisiveness, their ability to tell me the unadorned truth. I love the way they do what needs to be done, without waiting to be asked, simply putting their muscles and brains and hearts and spirits into the work there is to be done. I love their surprising moments of tender attentiveness, and I love their physical power. I love the way they hold nothing back, giving themselves fiercely and fully to the wave they are surfing, the mountain they are climbing, the farm they are tending, the music they are playing. I love the way they believe in and support the women who matter to them. I love their dedication, their solid and unwavering determination to provide, to succeed, to discover. Men have made my heart swell, my mind expand, my knees quiver.
I have my radical-leftist membership card right here in my pocket: I know that each man, like each woman, is unique and does not embody all, or even most, of these traits. I know that many women embody them too. And I have male friends whose exquisite sensitivity and compassion are far more valuable to me than their physical strength. Yet I feel keenly the need to state that my work for women, my devotion to women’s joy, is parallel and complementary to, NOT AT WAR WITH, devotion to the well being and joy of men. I know that the future I envision cannot happen until every one of us is nurtured and appreciated. I know that men are hurting and torn and heartbroken too.
How I would love to find a men’s group, one as fiercely devoted to the nurturing of the masculine as the Joy Circle is to the feminine, and how I would love to work together, planning ecstatic dances, answering each others’ questions, appreciating the interchange of masculine and feminine that is the core of human experience. For now, just know this: I love you for your strength, your devotion, your power. And I long for your healing just as keenly as I long for my own.
- 10 Things I Find Sexy in a Woman (That Have Nothing to Do with Looks). ~ Damien Bohler (elephantjournal.com)