As I listened to various online recordings of presenters at The Ultimate Men’s Summit http://ultimatemenssummit.com during its first few days, one that I found particularly substantive was entitled “Five Myths of Masculinity,” delivered by Michael Taylor. Mr. Taylor is the President and CEO of Creation Publishing Group, as well as an author and TV host. Michael identified the five male myths or illusions as:
1) Overvaluing thinking or rationality
2) Status-consciousness: over-identifying with prestige, such as roles/positions and titles
3) Similarly, defining ourselves by “net worth” and material possessions or “toys”
4) Pride over sexual conquests: relying on physical connection as a prime means of validating one’s manhood
5) Competition: one-upmanship and winning at all costs
The overarching “men’s movement” by no means fully repudiates any of the above-noted characteristics, i.e. “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” The concern is essentially about imbalance. Particularly since the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800’s, men have become preoccupied with achievement and image. In turn, many of us have become “hollow-chocolate Easter bunnies:” exhibiting solid personas and sometimes external prowess, but often experiencing a notable internal emptiness. Over the course of many centuries, generally speaking, we have lost touch with our emotional (other than anger), intuitive, introspective, and mystical nature.
The good news is that a gradual awakening process has been occurring and garnering momentum since the latter part of the 20th century. An increasing number of men are seeking to feel and resolve their pain and grief; to express compassion and be nurturing; to collaborate and work toward mutual success (win-win); to transcend mere adherence to religious dogma and learn to become spiritually attuned; etc.
Although men’s groups and programs still don’t proliferate, an ever- growing number of guys are privileged to gain access to such consciousness-raising and supportive activities. The ten-day, global (126 nations are participating) Ultimate Men’s Summit, represents one major effort to evolve male development and to better prepare men to partner effectively with women to elevate humanity.