Table of contents:
- “You shouldn't be afraid of anything: 13 rules of life for a strong woman”, “10 things you shouldn't”, “Get away from a tyrant: detailed instructions on how to do it”. Headlines like this are common in the news feed, aren't they? Imagine these headlines: “Today the Foundation to Support Single Fathers Held Another Meeting” or “Psychological Assistance for Male Violence Survivors”. Sounds like a parallel universe, right?
- What does women's education lead to?
- In a world of false requirements and standards
- What masks do men wear?
- I can not take it anymore
Video: The Male Body - Strength And Vulnerability - Society
“You shouldn't be afraid of anything: 13 rules of life for a strong woman”, “10 things you shouldn't”, “Get away from a tyrant: detailed instructions on how to do it”. Headlines like this are common in the news feed, aren't they? Imagine these headlines: “Today the Foundation to Support Single Fathers Held Another Meeting” or “Psychological Assistance for Male Violence Survivors”. Sounds like a parallel universe, right?
But this does not mean that there are no men in need of help, including those suffering from various kinds of violence from women. These are the same absolutely real problems.
The struggle for women's rights has only been going on for the last 150-200 years, but the world has already undergone quite strong changes. Previously, a woman did not have access to a higher education, it was impossible to divorce, because she de facto belonged to her husband. The loss of a breadwinner meant death by starvation, because because of discrimination, the woman could not find a normal high-paying job. Much is different now. I think emancipation is wonderful. It is great that women can work, do business, get and give education, have a choice between career and family. I believe this is an achievement of humanity. Yes, not everything is perfect. But for such cases, there are organizations, foundations that support women in difficult situations. And there are quite a few of them.
With the support of men, everything is much more complicated: either these foundations and groups are in their infancy, or they are organized not to help men who find themselves in a difficult life situation, but to unite in hatred of women who have met in the life of this group of men.
The topic of my last workshop is “The male body - strength and vulnerability”. This is the second time I have chosen the topic of the male body for a professional international conference, and each time it attracts a huge number of positive responses and comments
Mostly colleagues - psychotherapists say that the topic is new, original, and few people mention it. Whether this is due to the fact that in the conference venues (in both cases they were European countries) this problem is not as painful as it is in our country, I don’t know for sure.
What does women's education lead to?
When a boy in Russia for any reason is left without a father, female influence quite often prevails in his life. At home, he is surrounded by his mother, grandmother (and possibly two). In kindergarten, with a 100% guarantee, a female teacher will supervise him. At school, 90% of teachers are women.
In recent years, from my 19-year practice, I have noticed the following tendency: that in group classes, that in individual therapy, gradually there are as many men as women. If not more. What is the reason for this? This is due to the fact that they have nowhere else to get help and support.
At least there are male psychotherapists, but again, there are far more female therapists than male psychotherapists. Professional gender bias is very pronounced in the field of education, in the field of medicine and in the field of psychology. In all these professions, the overwhelming majority (in psychology with a huge preponderance) are women. And of course, this cannot but lead to problems.
The absence of a father in the family, physical or psychological, and further female upbringing completely disorient a man in his future life.
The problem is that, despite all the emancipation of women, society still makes high demands on a man. This is not spelled out anywhere, but it is implied
There are women who earn a lot, hold big positions and have their own businesses, can provide for themselves and their families. For women, this is a matter of privilege: if a woman earns well, that's great, she's great. And if she earns little, then it's okay. She doesn't have to.
In a world of false requirements and standards
The situation for a man is completely different. If a man earns little and / or cannot support his family, then this is condemned. A man who earns little and cannot support his family is not a man.
In the vast majority of countries, the privilege of dying in war or being injured is the prerogative of men. Even in countries where women serve in the army, as a rule, their service is not associated with a risk to their lives. And for a man it is a duty and obligation.
If a woman drives a car, then that's cool, she's great. And if she doesn't, then okay, she doesn't have to. A man who does not drive a car is not a man. And there are still many such aspects.
A man must comply with not prescribed anywhere, but, nevertheless, existing standards. And as soon as there is a discrepancy somewhere, his gender identity is questioned
A woman is always a woman. Modern society provides many opportunities: she can make money, pursue a career or take care of her family. This is largely her choice.
A man has no such choice. In any case, it must comply with a certain set of standards. And in case of discrepancy, the man is criticized.
Already from childhood, the boy is presented with many false demands: "You must be strong, you must not cry, you must not be afraid."
What masks do men wear?
With a man entering society, the number of demands continues to grow. He owes everyone something. If in childhood he did not have the experience of receiving adequate support and support, then in adulthood it is difficult for him to find them.
They don't know how they should behave, how they can afford to feel.
This makes men very vulnerable. And as a result, many men, not knowing how to cope with this, choose this path for themselves: they put on a mask.
1. Mask "macho"
The most common mask behind which the modern man is used to hiding his real "I" is the "macho" mask
Macho is a male. He never cries and is not afraid of anyone. Did you want the die-hard? Get it
Macho can handle anything. He does not need support and help, he does not feel any emotions, and, worst of all, he treats a woman as a sexual object, and not as a person. This even affects the physiology, since the macho should have an erection "on demand." Behind this mask is a real living person who finds in it a pseudo way out of the current situation.
Since the problems do not go anywhere, the presence of such a mask only leads to sad results - alcoholism, drug use or psychosomatic diseases. Because it’s impossible to demonstrate false invulnerability all the time and be someone else.
At the same time, it is too scary to show yourself as real. Given the aforementioned lack of support and understanding, a man simply cannot afford it. He doesn't even know how.
Another sad consequence of this mask is the prevailing opinion among women that a man is a rock. He doesn’t care, he can handle everything. This, in turn, supports this behavior of men.
2. Mask "good boy"
Macho is the most common mask worn by men. But there is one more - a sad sight called "good boy"
This is a man who, due to all the high demands and lack of support, does not know how to grow up. He unconsciously chooses not to grow up, but to remain a good boy. He is executive, never rowdy, he will always do everything and will behave according to the rules. It is very comfortable. Most likely, he will stay with his mother. And if not, then they will call each other every day. And he will report to her where he is now and what he is doing.
If he enters into a relationship, then he can do it in only one way - he finds himself another "mother" who controls him and takes all responsibility for himself. Such boys are afraid of growing up because they do not understand how to do it: it is too risky for them. They just stay in this childish position. The good boy's mask is a manifestation of male infantilism.
But at the same time, society provides the carriers of this mask with great opportunities in terms of work. After all, in order to make decent money, you don't have to be an adult. Now there are a huge number of IT specialists who know the virtual world, earn money and actually live in it. After all, reality is much more terrible and not so clear.
I can not take it anymore
Often, men do not realize that they have become hostages of their masks. This is clarified in the process of working with a psychotherapist. Usually clients come with the words "I can't do this anymore!" They do not understand what exactly is happening to them
We have to gradually sort out the situation and find out what kind of mask it is, how and when it appeared.
In addition, wearing a mask is an energy-consuming business. To portray someone else 24 hours a day is like being a spy in a foreign country. And God forbid, someone will guess that in fact it is not you real! Can't be punctured anywhere. In the meantime, the mask gradually merges with its wearer and it becomes more and more difficult to get rid of it.
All this leads to the fact that it is extremely difficult to become a man in modern society and find your masculinity
I have a joke phrase that I quote to my male clients (but, as they say, there is some joke in every joke): "We men are absolutely artificial creatures, unlike women."
After all, what makes a woman a woman? Of course, motherhood. This is the highest manifestation of femininity, which only she is capable of. A man cannot become a mother, no matter how much he wants to.
Motherhood gives meaning and the highest meaning to a woman's life. Moreover, this higher meaning is natural and autonomous. And men have nothing of the kind.
Read the sequel: What Men Don't Talk About? and What is real masculinity?