MASCULINITY AS A TRANSMISSION
ON GILLETTE AND MASCULINE RESPONSIBILITY
The Gillette ad is fine...
It is an attempt by corporate America to bring into the mainstream something that has not been said enough. Granted, profit is the true motivating force, not justice. But it is a start at entering the conversation.
Okay, let's just get one thing straight--to those I have seen insulted by this ad.
If you are butt hurt by someone insulting your masculinity, then chances are, your masculinity is pretty fragile to begin with.
Not to mention the denial you are living by thinking we, as men alive at this point in history, as leaders in the world, have not been complicit, lazy and numb in what the feminine and the world is experiencing now--as a result of our leadership over the last 100,000 years.
So as people are grappling to redefine what MASCULINITY is, let me offer my definition on what I believe, having lived in men's work for over 20 years.
At its purest essence, MASCULINITY is a transmission of depth, grounded consciousness, integrity and love--channeled outward through the human body. Normally, this is a male body, but it doesn't have to be.
It really is that simple.
The quintessential masculine spiritual practice has been throughout the years, to ground in, rest as, and open as the deepest, most unchanging place within our awareness.
Our capacity to share this inner realization through an embodied transmission IS MASCULINITY. Everything else is a largely male dominated social construct, intended to feed men’s insatiable desire for more--more wealth, more sex, more power. Many have called this the toxic masculine. And it has been toxic.
True masculinity however, is the transmission of the deepest human experience, through our eyes, through our breath, and through our entire body. Consciousness expressed as fierce love; consciousness expressed as meticulous integrity; consciousness expressed as justice; consciousness expressed as ravishment.
True masculinity doesn’t need anything. Its nature is freedom, not conquest. It occurs as love, not dominance. Its transmission is a gift, not a show of strength.
We have been culturally bludgeoned, primarily by advertising (i.e. The Marlborough Man), over the last century, with mistaken concepts of what makes a human being masculine.
The aeons of war and dominance have created in our social psyche a stream of brutally heroic images meant to convey what a man is. Or does.
These images have been about winning whatever he is doing.
He is chopping wood, parenting a child, waging war; he is scoring a touchdown, climbing a mountain, or seducing a woman. Rarely have we stopped to tease apart the difference between being masculine, and doing so-called masculine activities. We just assume the capacities of strength, insight and seduction he uses to do these things must be his masculinity.
Actually, there is quite a difference.
Masculinity is the result of being rested in a state of tethered, embodied consciousness--and then transmitting that sacred and timeless connection into our environment as a gift to others.
Masculine leadership then should be defined as the actions and decisions we make from that place that will serve the greatest love, art, openness, growth and peace. Winning is re-defined as what David Deida would call ‘openness.’
It will require feeling deeper than our more base, habitual desires to survive, or win at all costs. Making our decisions from the embodied masculine will require a level of depth, awareness, meticulousness and courage few men have wanted to cultivate--save for monks and devout practitioners of martial arts and meditation.
And yet, that is exactly what this ad is calling for—Make the decision to bring your awareness to what other men are doing to women, to children, to the planet. And then act from the deepest place within you. That is the new paradigm of masculine leadership. And that is what I am dedicating my life to try to teach in the best way I understand.