Being The Man.
Ask anyone what they think men want and need and you might get a response like this… “Isn’t it obvious?” We/they just want sex, or should I say a blow job, sex is too much work. We want to drink beer, to smoke fat joints, to kill, cook and eat meat, to control, to fix everything, to never cry, to never show fear, to always be funny, to provide all the money, to protect all the women and children, to fight all the bad guys, to walk away from explosions without looking back, and to be able to watch sports and talk about sports all the time. Basically James Bond, David Chappelle, Wayne Gretzky, Clint Eastwood, and Jim Morrison all rolled into one.
Well it turns out that most of us (Men that is!) feel that there is a lot more to being a man and we also feel that these traditional ideas of masculinity have had a forceful effect on our lives. It started way back when we were boys and, just like anything, some of it has been positive and some of it has been negative. The problem is it has also pushed down others (violently in fact, just listen to the news every day) and in the end this misunderstanding hurts all of us, particularly our young men and women. So, some young guys and men are talking about masculinity (humanity for that matter) and the complexity of it in different ways.
“What seems very clear is that in today’s society the concept of masculinity is confused and confusing. Who we are? What are we supposed to do in this life? How we are supposed to do it? Why do we feel so tired?”
Add in all the stresses of daily life – work, finances, health, relationships, kids, finding a home – and you can end up getting stuck and feeling immobilized. For male youth, answers are not any closer at hand. Male youth are getting bombarded with conflicting versions of what it means to be a ‘real man’ both by what they see around them and what they encounter online. Some youth end up bewildered, unable to choose and getting stuck. Other youth align themselves with a certain narrow view of masculinity, because there is some peace of mind in deciding what you want to be like – but they may never open themselves up to the full range of possibilities that are out there for men.
Safe places to raise questions, seek support and brainstorm
The Golden Family Center is offering non-judgmental places for men or male youth to be together and to network. We also offer space to talk privately about the things that are important to you.
- Individual counselling. Individual counselling services for adult men with a male counsellor are available at the Golden Family Center on a limited basis.
- Manology. Discussion groups for adult men. These groups are not running at the moment. Let us know if you would like to see Manology start up again.
- Men Online. For those men who are looking for information or inspiration about men’s issues when they are at home, and for those men who are away from their home community of Golden because they are working elsewhere, in places like Calgary or Fort McMurray, we have a safe place to visit online, called Men Online. This is where you will find information and inspiration, in the form of videos, articles, website links, book titles, all about issues facing men today.
Let us know what you think
Let your voice be heard. We want to invite you to let us know what your thoughts are about being a man. All we ask for is that your feedback is honest and respectful. Contact us.
- What resources are there for men in Golden?
- What is Golden lacking that you, as a man, would like to see?
- What are the difficulties you face as a male youth or adult in a small community?
- What have you noticed about the complexity of masculinity within Golden?
- What other questions should we be asking?
The programs for men at the Golden Family Center and the Golden Youth Centre are funded by the East Kootenay Addictions Services Society and the Golden Family Center Society.