Author Topic: Men and their Best Selves;A Ministry For the Status Of Men  (Read 65 times)

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Offline Ken Gigliotti

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Do Canadian men ,deserve or need their own federal Ministry? What would a Status of Men Ministry do for men and boys regarding male issues? It could exist to advance the simple practices of respect , civility, chivalry, conflict avoidance and resolution. It could help support the education and  prevention of male  specific disease and violence. It could also help maintain a small part of the boy within the man through their entire life span. It is just part of an evolutionary process. 

Men believe in certainty. Even if  they are certainly wrong.

It is said that boys grow up learning to fight or negotiate. These skills have been evolved along the way in the hyper activity of fast images and short cut media ,under cutting culture in general. The male group as a whole  has been fractured and weakened. The results of this weakening are on display in the way we carry ourselves. This weakness is also on display in our daily newspapers, media and especially in negative image advertising, bashing the big dumb male. The male, advertising's last disparagable human.

The consequences of not addressing these simple challenges are life altering. There are everyday skills seem not to be learned in society that  put boys and men in peril.

The new ministry could promoted the very best of manhood , athletics, art, cuisine , science, strength of head ,heart and soul. A degraded leadership puts everyone imperil. A man's best is sorely lacking in today's society and this lacking is evident from top to bottom of our culture.

If men learn to manage themselves better, the worst of  woman's problems goes away. The social costs of these problems of gender is now astronomical.

It starts with early childhood education placing respect at as a top priority ,even higher than education itself. I was once in a Jewish school and a  security person was moving some kids from a lounge area. The area was normally were kids could eat lunch but abuse of the area by not keeping it clean, suspended the practice. The security person was asking the kids to leave when a teacher intervened on behalf of the kids. The security person sternly reminded the teacher that this was and “accountability issue” and the teacher backed down instantly. Accountability must have been an education goal in that school.  I was actually surprised by what I saw. Somewhere along the line  the teaching of accountability and citizenship has been lost.

Another time in a Hutterite school I photographed a small child maybe  seven, with a broom sweeping up the classroom as other kids  reset the room after the days class ended. My reaction was amazement ,why don't all kids in public school learn these simple rules. It seemed also to be a relaxing winding down , closure, combining actual work with a mind that begins to  process  the day at the same time.

Now that I am retired I walk my dog near a high school and see this trial of paper , cans of energy drinks on the ground from the 7-11 to the school. The rush of preparation to speed learning. Simple respect , accountability and citizenship has taken leave on so many levels. The speed of life cannot be ignored.

 A hard look at over competitiveness at young ages is also an issue. People are pushing themselves to the limit to the point where they need to wear watches to record data so they can beat their own data from yesterday. The thing they say about field sports like pole vault ,long jump and triple jump is that all end in defeat for all participant, even the winner. I cannot help but think the same about this new product and mindset.

The male culture is more dependent on the fragile and intimidating status of, size, strength, speed than over intellectual ability. But when combined with intellectual ability the male dominance culture is complete. The rest are just are  transient facsimiles in time, like stages of insects. A grade school bully stage to an evolutionary high school athlete stage, then to a manager ,general or CEO or world leader. The ethos of all is not lost, but evolution without ethics is a losing proposition we see today in poor leadership.

Today grandeur illusions and mental illness have leaked into every age group and every stage of life pushed by intolerable and unattainable competitive nature of our lifestyles magnified by media. The desire to be famous in this environment  has pushed some to horrendous violence for the short cut of fame without accomplishment. (school shootings, lone wolf terror)

The word accountability keeps echoing in my head. No one seems accountable , our society has become unaccountable ,all the way up to the highest levels of  politics. Everybody wants someone else to take charge. Everyone wants to take and not give back. There are so many people working the angles of patronage.  Politics is on display all over media and the “optics” (journalism's favourite word) does not look good.

The rise of women is likely a factor of male violence against them. The Great Depression was another one of those times when men felt weak and uncertain  and that resulted women being the focus of male anger. The contracting economy for workers of the last 40 years has created a similar response by men in particular.

It is actually shocking how long things have been so bad. This may be the first generation of men growing up without a strong self image as a gender. This is the first generation of males not expected to be leaders. This generation may feel emasculated much like men during the Great Depression in the 1929-41. ( The novel The Naked and the Dead, has a disturbing fictional side story in the 1948 novel by Norman Mailer about men going to war after a demoralizing 10 year depression .The soldiers in the squad's relationships with women is pretty shocking. The book is considered one of the best novels of WW2 and written before Political Correctness, the attitudes expressed could be one of the early root causes of feminism.

The time is right ,men are ready to accept other men of different kinds and races. The mass coming out gay men has caused shock waves in the male world. But years of conversations and legislation  seem to have smoothed over for mainstream men. The power of men has always been very shallow and fragile. The quick default to violence and humiliation has been a characteristic of men  when under stress. It is  primal reaction.   More is needed to formalize programs to learn more about each other in a constructive way. We as men know damn little about such things.

Men have been so afraid of failure in the eyes of their fathers they could not accept the fundamental differences between  men. It was something they did not understand. Men are confident they know so much about everything ,and for sure ,they know a lot about little that matters. Getting to the moon and Mars is a snap compared to understanding the differences between men and women.

We compete against each other in all aspects of life so we try to cruelty minimized others. We also work together as team to do great things. Men either lead or are led by other men ,that is their shared history. Times are changing men adjust.

One reality is that boys were never properly introduced to girls. A boys knowledge of girls was often based on misinformation gained from often un-knowledgeable  boys and a destructive visual media of TV/internet, pornography and also music media.

The male culture has a big problem with physical pain, relationship break up, alcohol, illegal drugs , and legal prescription drug abuse. There is another drug problem with a class of drugs that  alter how the brain processes pain, sometimes they cause people to go of the rails when these drugs like anti-depressants and anti smoking prescriptions, are mixed with alcohol. The result is deep depression and violence.

Suicide and it's cousin homicide are in the cards of an abusive lifestyle and a violent primal default. Men and women are bent on abusive defaults when break ups occur. Abuse of serotonin in the human brain will bring it in spades.

There is nothing in the current education system to even address relationship and family break up. It hits with a sledge hammer effect. Murder suicide are getting more and more common. These are becoming male conditioned responses.

Men believe in certainty. Even if were are certainly wrong.
We are certain where we are going somewhere and even more certain when we are lost, we have no default , and we don't expect anyone to save or protect us.

It was a boy who slayed a giant because he was certain he could , and not certain he could not. Churchill was certain that his county would fight , and Hemingway's would fight the whale. John F. Kennedy would gamble with the USSR on the high seas. And a Rev. King was certain of his mountain top vision. The Man in Motion was certain , under his own power ,he could go around the world in a wheel chair. Terry Fox was certain he could run on one leg across Canada until he was not. And yet, it would matter less that he didn't but that he tried. John McCain USAAF was certain he should stay in a North Vietnam prison until another jailed before him went home. This is male toughness.

There is an above all toughness, and that  toughness  carries beyond comprehension when suspended in a lonely  and relentlessly ridiculed state and still maintaining dignity. A salute to the struggle of the gay community over the past century. Their time has come.

Sometimes males get bad advice from each other , Teddy Roosevelt once said , I'm paraphrasing , when in doubt do the right thing, if you can't do the right thing, then do the wrong thing, the worst thing is to do nothing at all.
This thinking got his troops up San Juan Hill when they wanted to stay in one place and die. The quote may not have too many good applications but men think it is a favourable and defiant train of though because men like to do things, over not doing anything at all. Men are better off together than split into many parts.

Donald Trump said he wanted transgender people out of the military. CNN had a transgender spokesperson who was in the military and served in the Marine Corps. He is now a she and presented herself and the defense of the issue in a respectful way seldom seen on news shows anymore. I tried looking back but I could not find her name because so many Trans Marines stood up to be interviewed. It was very impressive. There is a old saying that they “had a tough row to  hoe” being Tran-sexual in the Marines.  Her directness and subtle forcefulness seemed to fallow the principles of the Corps  in the best ways a disciplined lifestyle sets. I felt I leaned something new and important that I did not know before. And I do not pretend I understand much about the transgender ed. The reporting in a meaningful way beyond Pride Parades is  a rare occurrence.

Some men have disturbingly given up on the male gender , resorting to defection, declaring themselves feminists. It is time to give them a reason  to get them back into the brotherhood. Feminist men would be welcome back but would only get one vote in a federal election. ( little joke)

Men attack each other by race and ethnicity. Except when a person gets to know different  people they seem to find a way to get along. The workplace ,in daily commerce people just become familiar with each other. It is easy to just say good morning to people on your journey. In small towns people wave or nod to people on the street as they walk and even drive by. These practices are easy to do in ones neighborhood. Acknowledging a cashier in a store is a courtesy. These small gestures make a world of difference to people we consider strangers.

Do men need a ministry , absolutely. Many things have changed ,in the past decade, men could take it, and were thought to not to “give a S/t.” A survey of a  local paper has some revealing aspects from the random lives of men in the news. News reporting needs an enemy and men have to be sick of being everyone's enemy. Instead of looking for enemies we need to find solutions and men are good at problem solving. The depth of male anger is predictable and preventable.

The don't give a s/t attitude is cracking, the depths of loneliness and abuse have gone too far un-noticed with no help on the way.

The digital age has  empowered many types of men that were once considered a misunderstood fringe. The same digital age has caused many boys to become disinterested in leadership roles and are happy to drop out ,staying in their basements playing video games.

This next segment deals in a random selection of stories in a local paper's news section all about men.

Winnipeg Free Press July 29 2017 Saturday Edition

A collection of random ,news section story lines involving men's and boy's issues. There is some paraphrasing to explain headlines local readers would already know the back story.

First thing a P.1 ad announces Blue Bombers vs Edmonton Eskimos above the banner.

Premier Brian Pallister disagree over issues with the PM but expect to announce $50million  deal  Assiniboine Park improvement.

Story about three emergency workers sharing about there PTSD experiences.

Wpg. man found dead after months in his derelict house,police could not find next of kin. Family upset.

Donald Trump fires Reince Prebus. Troubled boys in the WH.

Manitoba First Nations regain control over Child and Family Services in their communities after 3 years suspension.

Pm meets with Wpg mayor ,PM pitched for $180 million for roads.

Pearson Airport workers on strike.

Brandon farm hit by high winds.

Wpg Chamber of Commerce organizes dinner for business people to meet city councilors. Hates the characterization of Speed Dating.

Arborg couple turn farm their old family farm house into  a heritage village.

Prison for terror attacks on synagogue in NJ.
Pakistan's PM  removed from office.
Man in Germany kills one person.
Venezuelan president trying to dissolve democracy in the country.
Baby boy Charlie  Gard dies in British hospital and right to treatment dispute.
Boys  help promote kids summer camp charity.
Court denies ex-hockey player appeal, blasts rape myth defense.
Police investigate fatal stabbing, a man and woman stabbed
Male cab Driver stabbed.
Male camp councilor drowned , recovered.
Male youth in Gimli charged for murder of boy.
Dauphin man killed in stolen SUV roll over.

Opinion by Ken Gigliotti.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 10:07 AM by Ken Gigliotti »