Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Men's Work Is Dead

"This past weekend 40 men’s leaders and 6 women answered the call to be a part of the Evolving Men’s Conference. The context? Some of us thought it was to “evolve masculinity.” For others, the hope was to plan a bigger conference next year. Others didn’t know what the context was."
So begins the article at the Evolving Men’s Conference blog/website. In it, the author of the article,Jayson Gaddis, declares "mens' work is dead," and goes on to say:
"The old way we have been doing and selling men’s work is toast and no longer sustainable. Some men will continue to “do men’s work” and even call it that. For me, the associations are too linked to the past of “wound worship” and drama. Men’s work has been synonymous with support, therapy, and other “wimpy” stuff most men simply don’t buy, nor are they interested in hearing about it.
Moving forward, most of the men there will be “selling” their product and services with a lot more awareness (see below). To me, this is a huge win because ultimately it will mean more men are drawn to inner work through channels and subjects that actually interest them.
Whether or not men’s work continues, remains to be seen."
I beg to differ with Jayson and am reposting my reply on the Evolving men's Conference website:
I’m sorry I missed what sounds like a great weekend and want to state my intentions to participate next year. I can’t believe I didn’t even hear about it!
About Men’s Work being dead: It’s a great attention-getting headline, but It seems to me that presumes that everyone is at the same place in their evolutionary development – an assumption that just isn’t true! Some men still need the “men’s work” that Robert Bly, John Lee, and others are doing. It feels like saying, “well, women are equal now, we can stop pushing.”
Just because men don’t want to hear about it doesn’t mean they don’t need it.
Plus, if we think we’re done with our shadow work and don’t need to go there anymore, we’d better think again. That sounds like “spiritual bypass.” It’s only by confronting, owning, and bringing (our shadows) to the light that we find our true masculine power, however that might be defined by each individual man.
Instead of shouting “men’s work” is dead, perhaps we need to put it into an evolutionary context and say “men’s work was the first step, and now we need to create the next one.”
And, I really support what Jayson and others are doing here. here's a video of Jayson inviting other men to the conference.
I can't believe I missed it!


Bob Wuest said...

Conceivably, Jayson may be a bit more evolved than the men who are still attracted to men's work. Can he really be so far advanced, though, that he forgot how he got there?
Theoretically, it should be possible to get wise without healing childhood stuff. I guess theoretically someone might escape childhood without being wounded.

For the rest of us, though, (like, all the men I know) we gotta get some remedial emotional maturity before we can qualify to attend an "Evolving Men's Conference". We gotta find how we were wounded so we can quit responding to our wives like they're our mothers. To our bosses like they're our fathers.

I hope to God that there are a lot more men in Jayson's generation who weren't told things like "Big boys don't cry". Or "Be a man!" (Translated: you're old enough not to be showing that you're scared or sad.) Because us baby boomers got a shitload of that crap, and it takes a lot of work to overcome the collateral effect.

I gotta say, though, that I admire the talent that went into creating such an attention-grabbing, controversial headline! Congrats Jayson! Now get back in that devolved men's group! Hang out with some elders - maybe some of their wisdom will rub off!

Gary Stamper said...

Bob, I absolutely LOVE your enthusiasm!