In the Mix

April 2, 2019


I absolutely despise the term MAN UP. Don’t know from where it came but would like to see it go back there.

It’s sexist… its insensitive, it perpetuates misogyny. It’s basically saying you’re not being man enough. But what is man enough?

Beating your wife? Getting into drunken bar brawls? Sexual conquests?

I think it’s the equivalent of the term, SUCK IT UP. And the term, SUCK IT UP doesn’t refer to one gender or another. If you don’t do something you should be doing, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman… you need to get it done.

SUCK IT UP doesn’t perpetuate male stereotypes. MAN UP does…

I recently saw the author of the book, “How to Raise A Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men,” be interviewed on CBS This Morning. The conversation began with the term, MAN UP to describe the conditioning a boy goes through to become what we currently think of as a MAN.

The author – Michael Reichert, PhD – suggested that the term is the definition of creating an expectation of male apathy and repressed emotions.

There was also some conversation about the term, MAMA’S BOY. We know that term as a boy who is what we think of as unnaturally close to his mother. The author suggested the stigma we attach to that terminology should actually be the opposite.

A MAMA’S BOY as colloquially defined is actually a better version of a man because men who have mothers who are actively involved in their lives tend to be more sensitive to women, tend to be more emotionally available and spend less time adhering to societal miscue’s for what a man should be.

We also witnessed history at Augusta National Golf Club recently. The club was founded in 1933 and until 2012, admitted no women. Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore were the first women admitted to the club.

Now, the club has created The Augusta National Women’s Amateur tournament. This is progress. This is nurturing. Is this contrary to what a man should be?

The conversation also turned to the #MeToo movement. The suggestion was made that the movement has created an environment where men are being held accountable for their behavior. But, it’s only a first step in raising boys who become men who are well adjusted, emotionally available and treat women – all people – with respect and dignity.

This is a real conversation. Much like the conversation we should be having about race and ethnicity. Gender, like race and ethnicity, is a topic most people fear and therefore avoid.

But if we are truly committed to being a healthier society, moments like the one I had today watching the interview with Michael Reichert and forwarding the conversation to you is the only way we’ll get there…

Pass it along…