I was recently watching a video that a friend posted to Facebook – It had little girls in princess dresses, talking about the offensiveness of gender inequality. Overall an interesting watch….but at some point in the video, one of the little girl’s started yelling something derogatory about men…I can’t even remember what it was…but immediately afterward, in a different thread, on a different page, about an entirely different topic, I noticed another post about how “men should stop XYZ”. And on yet another post, on another page, someone is typing about how boys only have one thing on their mind, blah blah blah.
YOU GUYS….I am ALL about female empowerment – I love that we are embracing our girls, teaching them about self-worth, inviting girls and women to make a stand for equality, and overall touting how beautiful and wonderful feminism is, and how we should be proud to be and raise strong women. Believe me – Look at my website – My branding is all wonder-woman-ish, for crying out loud!
Can we please stop tearing our boys and men down, while we empower the girls and women?
If we are working so hard to build girls and women up, then tearing boys and men down is counter-productive. Let’s stop with all of the “Men need to…X”, and “boys just think…Y”. Until we expect great things from the boys and men in our lives, I don’t think that we’ll receive great things…
Don’t get me wrong….I am passionate about empowering and supporting girls and women…I have a mom and mother-in-law, 2 sisters-in-law, 3 nieces, 1 daughter, and countless cousins and friends. In fact – when I started my coaching practice, I thought “well…only women will want to work with a Life Coach….I’ll just target working with women. Men don’t want to talk about their feelings and they don’t need the kind of support I’m going to offer.”
Boy…was I wrong. I’m totally willing to admit it.
I find myself, now, equally as passionate about supporting boys and men (not Boyz II Men, though I do still love their jams)….I have a dad, a father-in-law, a husband, a son, 2 brothers, a brother-in-law….and countless cousins and friends. And I find myself in the unique situation of having nearly ½ of my client roster be filled with men.
These guys come to our sessions – and they are raw, and open, and vulnerable. They tell me their fears, and their hopes, and the frustrations. Sometimes they cry. Often we laugh. Occasionally there is anger. But really, mostly, there is simply gratitude and relief. I look at these amazing, intelligent, successful men that sit across from me, or listen to them on the other end of the phone line, and I pray that they walk away from each session feeling more capable, supported, and confident in who they are, and what they feel, and what they want. And I am so grateful to be able to offer space to them – as equally and unabashedly as I do for my female clients.
Because I believe that that serves the women that they go home to, as much as it serves the men themselves!
And then I go home – and I look at this face:
Photo Credit: Cameron Hill Photography
And I think to myself – I do not want to let this kid down! YES….Let’s teach our girls, and our young women, and our adult women, how to own their worth, and how to ask for what they want and need, and what it means to be truly and fully accepted and loved. Let’s do that!! I LOVE THAT!
AND….let’s do it for our boys, and our young men, and our adult men, too!! Let’s also empower them to own their worth, and share their stories, and their fears, and their feelings, and let’s teach them what it means to truly and fully show up and be accepted as they are, too! Let’s show up for our sons, and our husbands, and fully as we show up for our daughters, and our girlfriends.
Because really, we’re all in this together.