I began to think that women were afraid to speak openly about men, afraid to explore deeply our connections to them… and afraid even to acknowledge our ignorance, how much we really do not know about men. All that we do not know intensifies our sense of fear and threat. And certainly to know men only in relation to male violence, to the violence inflicted upon women and children, is a partial, inadequate knowing…

bell hooks, The Will To Change

“This is a man’s world” has been said in diverse tongues for centuries. And many have understood it as a statement to the exclusion of and power over women and those who are weak, reinforcing the oldest club known to humanity. As a result, in modern society we have come to resent the topics of men, masculinity, and love in our public conversations because we associate it with our experience of separation from the men in our lives. But as I have been pondering this silence about men, I have found within the lyrics sung by James Brown, in the above clip, that he offers a different perspective of a man’s world, which describes his shared idea of what togetherness means. This is a perspective that I would love to think about further with you, over the coming months. He sings, “This is a man’s world but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl.” Yes, there is a man’s world and there is a woman’s world, both worlds encompassing topics that can be shared and learned by us all.

How can we re-teach ourselves to love, respect and see each other on our own terms, regardless of what history has taught us about the opposite gender?

As a woman, interested in the health of our families, I want to initiate conversation in the format of a mult-media series, where we can demonstrate the will to change our perception of men. bell hooks argues that women are unaccustom to talk about men and the many ways that we need them in our lives, rendering our worlds separate and uncomplimentary. Women are discouraged in the media and intellectual circles to stand in solidarity with men, as though we are to fear losing something, if we advocate alongside men for the issues that are important for male wholeness. This is not just the work of women. In addition, hooks explains that men are also not encouraged to speak about men because of the uncertainty about understanding what it is to be in a man’s world.

Thankfully, somehow there has been a turn of the tide, where men and women are beginning to notice the silence about men, masculinity, and love together in community. I think of women, like myself, who understand that their empowerment and ascent is inextricable from the empowerment and ascent of men in their lives. Yet today, we find that there is still a deep need to explore issues pertaining to men, especially those that broaden our ideas of who men are, their distinct ways of being in the world, and their capacity to give and receive love. We must create spaces, where men can lift their voices, in mixed company, without fear of rejection, for the truth they speak.

In an era of change, we must all work together, take courage, question, and be deeply interested in the well-being and growth of each other.

Join us, in a conversation on men, masculinity and love, this spring, as we learn together, a myriad of stories from well-rounded men. All are welcome, so tell a friend!!!

About The Author:

Alisha Lola Jones is a Highest and Best Life Strategist, who is the founder of the InSight Initiative, Inc, and the Co-Executive Producer of the Genius For Men Conference.

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