5 Ways Men Can Self-Reflect During #MeToo
#MeToo is an opportunity for men to show up more powerfully
Times are changing. More and more men are being held responsible for sexual assault and harassment.
I know you think sexual assault is wrong, and, yet, maybe you’re still feeling scared
Because maybe you’ve participated in it in some way in your life.
Maybe with a girl in college.
Maybe with a coworker.
Maybe with someone you know well.
Maybe on the streets catcalling.
Seeing leaders around you crumble might have you feeling terrified thinking
Will I be called out?
Have I done harm?
Am I a bad person?
What does this mean for me now as a man?
How should I respond? I’m afraid to say or do anything at all.
I’m here to help you navigate your fear and be the good person that you are and show up powerfully for others.
We need more male leaders owning their shit, listening and rising up to support.
You can absolutely be one of those leaders, and if you’re a parent, you have the opportunity to be more of a positive example to your child(ren) and teach them what consent really looks like.
An Opportunity to Grow
You have a real opportunity to change the game, to have better relationships, strengthen your resiliency and be more of who you really are underneath the societal muck. You have the opportunity to grow more into the person that you really are, the whole person that is YOU.
You’ve been told too many lies about who you “should” be, it’s time to stop believing the lies and come home to yourself.
Personal growth is the best investment you can make. This is your life. I know you want to do what’s right and be all you can be and feel fulfilled.
While it may not seem like it, the #metoo campaign is a huge opportunity for you to do just that because it’s calling you to look within and self-reflect, and this will allow you to be the best version of yourself and be a part of a growing, positive social change.
Expand Your Listening Skills
You’ve heard feminists telling men to listen more.
Listening is the most important skill you can master.
Listening makes up the foundation for a fulfilling life, relationships and being a part of a better future. Learning to listen to yourself, to your partner(s), your child(ren), your clients or employees, your intuition, your body, the environment,...., will greatly enhance your life and society.
Listening to women and nonbinary folx about their experiences, perspectives, and needs during this #metoo movement will help you self-reflect and show up more powerfully to support and be a leading example. See women and nonbinary folx as your teachers, mentors, and role models. See them as people you can and need to learn from, and learn from them.
Pay attention to any eagerness you have to respond and get your voice heard. Pay attention to whose voice gets heard more than others. What voices dominate the room, the media, higher education, politics, your work space, your household, etc….?
Listening also brings you greater intimacy, more pleasure, and hotter sex.
Listening is part of learning what consent really looks like. True consent requires listening, listening to what a No sounds like and what a Yes sounds like.
And, remember, if it’s not a yes, it’s a no, and listening to that more subtle no is everything.
Learning to only pursue yeses will give both parties the utmost pleasure and satisfaction.
Exercise: How can you listen more? Are the women in your life giving you feedback that you’re a good listener? Ask them, and listen to their response.
Recognize You’ve Been Socialized To Feel Entitlement
With messages like “boys will be boys”, you’ve been taught, from a young age, that you have a certain kind of entitlement.
Entitled to women, women’s bodies, romance and sex with women, attention from women, so on and so forth (no matter your sexual identity).
So much of this is unconscious because it’s deeply ingrained from socialization, so you may not even realize that you have some of this feeling of entitlement.
We can see it when boys/men kill girls/women because she rejected him. This socialized male entitlement can have deadly consequences for women when gone unchecked, when men are not self-reflecting.
A good place to start is to begin recognizing that rejection isn’t about you and it’s part of life. It blows, and we all experience rejection from someone at some point.
Rejection (from women or in any situation) is an opportunity to love yourself more, to know that someone else’s rejection of you isn’t about you, and you have the confidence to let it go and move on.
It’s okay to feel the hurt from being rejected, but don’t let this hurt guide your actions.
Feel what you feel (anger, resentment, etc), then act from a place of true self-confidence and love instead of anger or resentment.
Reflection: What messages have you received from society about what you are entitled to?
One of the most important things the #metoo campaign is shedding a light on is this outdated idea we have of what it means to be a “man” (or “woman”).
It’s no longer acceptable for men to prove their “manhood” by dominating and having power over women, which means that the ideas of what it means to be a “man” is being shaken up.
Ask yourself what it means to be a man in the first place. Bring awareness to what you’ve been taught as a man in society.
Write a list of all the ways society has expected you to be.
Do these ways fit who you really are? Do they serve you? How/how not?
What do you want to shed that isn’t who you really are?
You don’t have to perform “masculinity” anymore. You don’t have to perform “manhood”. You get to be YOU. All of you.
What are the parts of you that have been denied?
Start to embrace all of you. You are worth it.
Talk to Someone
You might be having a lot of feelings about everything you’ve been learning during the #metoo movement. It’s important to release your feelings in a healthy way.
Talk to someone. Whether it’s a friend, counselor, mentor or coach (I’m here for you, let’s talk). It’s not healthy to keep your feelings bottled up.
If you have the funds, talk to someone or find a really good friend who will listen. It’s worth your time. Because you are worth it.
Want to talk to someone and get some support for all of this reflection?
Are you ready to expand to the next level of who you are and creating positive change?