General Question

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

The Mankind Project: Does it really help men become more authentic beings?

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11213 points ) August 4th, 2011

This question is prompted by another question I recently asked…and by experiences in my life (and that of my women friends). So many women have been hurt by men who are abusive, controlling, manipulative and many have also been betrayed by infidelity. Some men are just totally shut down…and this is especially true in Great Britain. You can just drive around on a Friday or Saturday night and see grown men drinking themselves into oblivion to “have a bit of fun” but it really is just another way of anesthetizing themselves so they can’t feel what is really happening. I think it is really sad.

I often shake my head and think (especially in cases of betrayal and abuse or the divorce that comes out of nowhere), “Why couldn’t something have been done early on to stop this avalanche when it was just a pebble skirting down a hill?” And what I keep hearing from men is: “Well, I didn’t know how to tell her that I was angry…” or “I didn’t know how to control myself so I hit her…” or “I was really grief-stricken by my dad’s death and I acted out inappropriately by sleeping with a barmaid…” or whatever.

I have heard of the “Mankind Project” and wonder if it is an answer to the “stuff your feelings and get on with it” mentality that has plagued so many men and driven them into antisocial behavior, hurting women and most of all lying to themselves. I am not saying this as a criticism. I am saying that men have also been in pain…there is no way that men would hurt others if they themselves were not in pain or disconnected totally from their true soul callings. (I am not saying in all cases, but for the normal guy…I think he really does want to do the right thing and sometimes doesn’t have the support or the tools so to speak to begin to uncover his authentic self…so he puts on masks just to get through…hope this is making some sense.)

I have often said that I would not date someone who had not been in some form of therapy or who hadn’t really look deeply into his own issues. But I look at what the Mankind Project has to offer…and feel that this looks really promising as a way for men to bond with each other and talk about what they “feel” as men rather than just sitting around with a beer and talking football stats all the time. (Not that you wouldn’t so that if you were a self-individuated man, okay?)

I may have it all wrong…if you have participated in this program…how did you feel about it? Did it help you? Do you think it is a viable program? Did you feel that you were finally able to open up a bit? (And no, I have no affiliation with this program…nor do I know whatever really goes on. I’ve just visited their website and it sounds really great. I don’t think it is connected with any religion, either.)

The truth is..I love men. I grew up with mostly men. I count three men as some of my closest friends on earth (and some of them are in a lot of emotional pain at times.)

I want men to be free…because when men are free…women will be free, too. And when all of us are free…then all of us can live peacefully. And that’s the only way we can move forward out of this painful paradigm into a better future.

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32 Answers

Hibernate's avatar

People [both men and women] will be more authentic when they can express their true feelings. If a man cries in front of others some will just say he’s weak while others will support him. And there are women who don’t want to share their problems.

I know a lot suffer these days but it’s wrong when after being hurt they go against others. You get hurt .. okay .. but don’t take on another one.

Blackberry's avatar

Don’t mean to be a cynic, but…......We’ve been on earth for awhile, and some program isn’t going to change anything (essentially). It may change a few people, but you won’t know them.

Although something that did help me with my “shut down” problems is being around someone that had the patience to even listen to my problems, but it has to be a person with a specific set of traits, not just someone you know that says “Yeah, you can tell me anything, go ahead”

I’d rather this person be someone I’m extremely comfortable with, but I don’t know anyone like that, so I’m not going to bother looking around like some lost puppy or child. There’s too much focus on working on our external lives (the one that matters more immediately) to focus on our internal lives.

zenvelo's avatar

Interesting, and the Mankind Project sounds good, but the New Warrior Training affiliated with it sounds as bad as the drumming circles of the 80s. I don’t think men and boys need to work on their inner warrior. My son gets that kind of stuff through Scouts and in an open and supportive environment.

Discovering your inner Man puts more distance between men and women. It sets up “I am being a whole integrated man and you have to accept me as I am.” Men in general need work on meeting women halfway rather than distancing themselves.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m sure many will regard this as just another consequence of ‘feminists taking over the world’ and will participate in the general backlash to making genders equal (in this case, allowing for men to have emotions is bringing them closer to women in that regard, which upsets people who are for the ‘good ‘ol days’, mostly men who don’t have an issue with battering women) but that’s okay, that kind of backlash is common and I try hard to ignore it. I think the Mankind project is good but so is raising your children in non-gendered ways, as humans. Of course, I’m biased since I parent in this fashion and many parents are comfortable in socializing their kids into expected gender norms but I hope they are then prepared to answer for the pitfalls that await their children when they turn into adults who are unable to embrace all their aspects.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Blackberry….When you have a strong internal life, and relationships with other men (like we women do) it makes life a heck of a lot easier, I think. (But I’m not a guy…so I throw this out there.)

I think (someone who has done the program, help me out here) that this program helps men to come together and act as mentors/brothers to each other in healthy ways. Ways that have probably been lost with the advent of the “nuclear family” and or men moving far away from their homes or origin and their own biological families.

@zenvelo…....I am not sure what the program does specifically….that’s why I am hoping someone who has done the work, will answer this. If it is as you say, then..no, it is just a bandaid on a festering wound. You are right.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir…I am all for what you are saying (raising kids now) but for the millions of men who are out there….who are clueless and shut down…this sounds promising. I think the new generations (my hope) is that they will not have to deal with all this. I applaud what you are doing. The world needs the sort of parenting you are providing. Alas, I think that the world has a long way to go. When I see women being stoned in the Middle East and so called “honor killings”...my gut is wrenched. It seems with all the “fighting for equal rights” nothing has changed. The insanity continues. It has to start somewhere. So, when I hear about programs like this…I keep hoping. Perhaps it is grasping at straws. I don’t know.

So, if you have gone through the Program….please address some of the concerns above? Is it just a lot of Robert Bly drum-beating? Do you learn how to integrate your feelings so that they don’t become self-destructive or destructive toward others? Do you learn to just be honest and find that person within you that has been squelched?

Blackberry's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus I don’t know how other guys feel, but I will never be close enough to a guy to talk about things this important. Only a woman.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus Oh yes, there is a lot of insanity. In places where honor killings are seen as normal, men would probably have a difficult time participating in this project, even if they wanted to because of fear or other ideas.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I think the problem with men today, at least in Western Cultures, is a clear demarcation between boy and man.

Other cultures have always instituted rights of passage, to let men know when they are men. These rights confer an expectation of some kind, that the man will now act like the elder man, and is no longer allowed to act like a boy.

It may be crude, but a young woman definitely has a physical, sudden sign, that she has grown up feminine responsibilities.

When is a man a man in America? When he loses his virginity? When he gets a decent job? When he has a child? There is no line, we never are assured that we are in fact, grown ups. In today’s economy, many men struggle to provide for themselves and their families well into legal adulthood.

It is a vacuum. In this vacuum we have a feminine model of talking about your feelings. A lot of men adopt this, but it feels, at least to me, inadequate. On the other hand, we have models of men from movies, treating women poorly and drinking. Bad boys getting the attractive women and nice guys finishing last.

Until we develop uniquely western ways of saying you are now a man, and in addition to that, expectations of how a man acts (Previous generations called this being a gentleman, which is now looked down upon by men as a way to finish last, and by women as emotionally crippled) we will continue to have generations of men not knowing how the hell to act.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir….The bane of my existence is that I am too much of an idealist. I kept thinking (after seeing the uprisings in the Middle East) that if a program like this was viable for men in countries that were open…that they could take it to the countries where the men were most shut off. That would be my hope.

Women everywhere are enslaved because men are still enslaved. They think they are free…but men who enslave others can hardly be called “free”. If in the USA, women are still being kept as prisoners in strange men’s backyards and raped for decades (as in the case of that little girl recently found as an adult) there is something intrinsically warped with this patriarchal, outdated and soul-destroying paradigm. But it works both ways, Pankhurst (suffragette leader) once said something like “women need to be free so men can be free..” and that’s true…but men need to let go and they won’t as long as they think that their very existence is threatened. If they knew that their power would not be lost by letting women go, and their power came from within, everything would change for all of us. Power inside…..is not “power over” and that is what needs to be understood in the very cells of the male collective….of the universal collective, really.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought I really disagree that getting one’s period ever makes much of a difference in Western society for women in terms of their adult responsibilities. In this society, boys are men and girls are women when they turn 18, supposedly which, clearly, doesn’t work for some people. However, we don’t need a clear line…well maybe some people do, since some people need instructions for everythign…but I’d like to think one is a man when one feels like a man (mind you I find gender unnecessary but let me pretend I don’t).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus Yes, patriarchy enslaves all, for sure but it hits women hardest. What can I tell you, without structural + cultural + personal uprooting against this madness, not much will change.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir There is a great deal of wisdom in what you say. But I think the question implies that there are many people (and a high proportion of men) clearly are not getting it.

I have told you I admire your approach very much. I also often think previous generations have a great deal of wisdom we would do well to heed.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir…As a woman who has experienced it firsthand…I cannot dispute what you say at all. It does hit women hardest…because we have men who are terrorized by the Great Mother (of us all). And until they let her in and fully integrate her as part of their own psyche alongside their male…they will fight her with every inch of their lives.

A child like yours….will probably have this all worked out. Which will be great.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus Yeah, I’m not into the whole goddess/great mother speak but hey, whatever way you come by equality is fine by me. I just don’t believe every person has this ying/yang, female/male aspect to them they have to integrate. I believe each person is a person and they can have a variety of selves, of transitions. Back when I was a witch, I was much more into the whole ‘womb is me’ bend of feminism but I have since rejected it.

wundayatta's avatar

I am instinctively mistrustful of mass produced emotional and spiritual workshops. It reminds me of EST and its successor The Landmark Forum, and Essential Experience, which sounds an awful like MKP, except it’s for both men and women. They are like some kind of spiritual summer camp, but not religiously affiliated, for adults. You get put through some kind of mind-blowing and team-building experience and suddenly you realize how much more there is out there.

Well, maybe there are a lot people who need it, and certainly it’s better to have something than nothing to bring you an awareness of deeper issues of life and to make you less afraid of your emotions, but frankly, I think they are bullshit. Here’s why: you can not learn this stuff in one workshop.

In fact, you won’t learn it in ten. It is something that must be lived every week. Now I don’t know how often those follow-up groups meet—they might meet weekly. But I’ve met a lot of men who have been in various men’s groups and I’m not really impressed. A new warrior—sounds like a sales slogan more than anything. We will battle with our emotions and win!! Win, by losing!!

By the way. They don’t want people with mental illnesses. They don’t want their little boat to get upset upon the stormy sea.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d do the workshop—if someone else paid for it. I’d enjoy it, too. Maybe I’d learn something… I always learn something. But I’d be more likely to teach things.

The thing is, @DarlingRhadamanthus, it isn’t what you hope it will be. Maybe it’s a start. I don’t know.

But I doubt if it will change much. [Begin sweeping generalizations] Women aren’t that hard to understand. But most men don’t care to understand them. They’d prefer women to be a mystery so they don’t have to think about it. Feelings aren’t a big deal, either. But our culture doesn’t like it when guys feel things. So we all hide them. Our culture is really big on shame. Acceptance is anathema. [/end sweeping generalizations].

@DarlingRhadamanthus The world you want is a good world. Freeing. And maybe if you go through the Orange Tree you’ll find a world like that. But I think we—the people of this world—choose to follow the courses we follow because we want to. Even if we know they suck and there’s a better way, people will still choose, mostly, the traditional way. We’re monkeys and monkeys always do the same thing. Mostly.

LostInParadise's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus, I am sympathetic to your point of view, but you have to realize that things are tough for guys. It was so much simpler way back in the past. The men hunted and fought in battles and the women gathered and raised children. Now we are told that anyone can do anything, and gender does not matter. What then distinguishes the roles of men? We have female athletes and soldiers and blue collar jobs are disappearing. I am all in favor of gender equality, but the adjustment for guys is difficult. I don’t know how things are going to turn out, but I do not see any simple solutions.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir….I’m not trying to be some sort of 1992 “goddess-loving”, incense burning thumper. That devalues what I am saying. I was talking about the “Great Mother” in the archetypal image more than anything.

@wundayatta…You can call yourself a “monkey” as you said….but I don’t buy into that at all. I never have had a “lemming” mentality and I am not starting now. I think shame for men (or anyone) is awful…and no one should have to live with it. I don’t think Mankind Project is “one workshop” as you said, but an ongoing community…of support. (But since no one who has done this has answered yet…I am not sure.)

@LostInParadise…I am not talking about “gender equality” in the political sense…which has not worked out. Gender equality starts with the idea that we all have the same essence which is non-dual. That’s what is not understood…that’s where we have lost the plot.

wundayatta's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus You’re a monkey, too. We are tribal creatures. It is important to most people to be part of the tribe and not to stand out. It may even be more important for women than it is for men, but it’s important for men, too. We are all constantly trying to achieve a consensus of acceptability. It’s very difficult to change what is acceptable. We should try, but is is a Sisyphusian task.

And you are right. MKP has ongoing support groups and further workshops, according to their website. But how many men will get involved with that, out of all those who take the initial workshop?

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@wundayatta….I am tired of you projecting your personal unhealed stuff onto me, okay? So, knock it off. And don’t call me names, it’s not nice.

I have stood up against oppression, I have stood up against abuse, I have taken opposing views and been ridiculed to high heaven (and later what I said would happen, did indeed occur as I predicted) I have been singled out all of my life. I had no where to hide because of my circumstances….so please don’t rope me into your blanket statement when you don’t know one damned thing about me. I understand that as a “tribe” on earth, we are all in it together. But when you say, “it is important for people…to not stand out”...that’s not true…and there are a lot of people in the Fluther who (thankfully) do not ascribe to being a “lemming”. Someone “has to stand out” and more than that, someone “has to make a stand” when no one else wants to do so. Why should women not stand out as you wrote? What century do you live in?!

MKP is about men learning compassion and learning to be real. I think that in itself can change the world. Hopefully it can change what is considered “acceptable” whatever the hell that means…in your world.

Thank God for the “different people” who don’t simply go along with the program. Where would the world be with everyone simply living quiet half-lived lives…not making waves…so they could be accepted…you can’t be more inauthentic than that, can you?

I’ve looked at what MKP has to offer….it wants to change the way men view the world and the way that the world views them. I think it’s noble.

And (because you think in the “old way” of numbers and statistics and need to know “how many men will stick with it”?) IF ONE MAN DOES IT…just one…then there is one less man who has to suffer silently with his own unhealed demons.

Thanks.

blueiiznh's avatar

@wundayatta @LostInParadise I really don’t think we are all monkeys or that we have to play the “it’s tough on guys” card.
Really. It is our life to lead and not to follow.
Be a bit more Avant-garde and disconnect yourself from the past.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus Well it only devalues it if I thought that philosophy is bs. I don’t, it’s just not for me. Sorry if it came off as critiquing your views, though. I know the archetype exists, but there is nothing inherent about it.

wundayatta's avatar

Ok. I think there is some serious misunderstanding going on here. I do not say monkey as an insult. We are all monkeys. We share a genetic heritage with monkeys. Think Scopes Monkey trial. I am not calling you out as if you are the only monkey. I’m a monkey, you’re a monkey everyone is a monkey in the sense of our genetic relationship.

What I am saying is that, like monkeys, it is in our nature to be tribal creatures. It is in our nature for us to be very concerned about what others think of us. That’s what keeps societies together. Similarity. Similar ways of thinking. Similar ways of looking. When I say it is important for people to not stand out, I am not advocating that people try not to stand out. I’m saying that is what is important to most people. It’s not important to me, and it isn’t important to you and I am grateful that it isn’t.

Yet there are those of us who buck the tide, and we pay for it. I’ll put my credentials on compassion and changing the world up against anyone’s. But we’re not in a competition. We’re on the same side here. I’ve considered myself a feminist since I graduated from college. For me, feminism is humanism and the oppression of women and oppression of men go hand in hand. One might be a sex object, but the other is a success object. Men are hurt by not being able to be themselves. By having to pretend to be strong and dominant and never weak. Women are also hurt when they have to pretend to be strong and dominant and never weak. Many do when they enter the world of business. They feel like they have to out-male men. But the funny thing is that the style of management associated with women actually is more productive.

Why shouldn’t women stand out? They should stand out if they want to. But what I’m saying is most women, as most men, don’t want to stand out because it is more important to them to go along and get along. And that is due to our tribal nature, which has evolved because it gives us a survival advantage.

I am totally thankful for people who don’t, as you say, “go along with the program.” I don’t go along with the program. Nor do I go along with your program. There are a lot of reasons for that.

However, many people do live what you call “half-lived” lives. It is very important to them to fit in, and I don’t think they are wrong to do so. I don’t think that means their lives are half-lived. But I also don’t expect them to be able to get much out of MKP. But, as you say, if one gets something, that’s more than none.

You say you think MKP is noble. For me, that’s a problem. It says they are doing it for the wrong reasons. The only way something like this works is if men realize this is what we need in order to save our own lives.

I don’t know what your unhealed stuff is. I don’t know why you feel it necessary to diss statistics. But I am not the enemy. I just don’t think the MKP accomplishes what it sounds like you think it does. I think it is more of a hustle than a real agent of change. It reminds me of a lot of other personal development workshops that are hustles. They act like they are special and that if you participate you are in the elite. Their website is not transparent about what they do. It’s all about secrets and initiations and mysteries. It’s dishonest. And unless you paid for me to do it, I wouldn’t do it. However, I suspect that if I did do it, they should pay me, because they would get a lot from me.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@wundayatta…You said: And unless you paid for me to do it, I wouldn’t do it. However, I suspect that if I did do it, they should pay me, because they would get a lot from me.

That’s exactly why you should go….because you have soooooo much to teach them about not standing out, not being authentic (because men will always be men anyway, right?) and about “unhealed stuff”.

Take care….it’s always good to spar with you….even though you want to make me a monkey…I am now going to go eat my banana…....in peace, thank you.

wundayatta's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus I hate bananas! Does that mean I’m not a monkey? Noooooo. So here I be, eating twigs and leaves while you feast away.

In fact, although you make fun of it, I do have a lot to teach men. I do it all the time, although I’m not sure much gets through. Women seem to appreciate it more. Whatever. I like women better. Although, I do have to say that the warm fuzzies are a bit of a challenge with you.

Sometimes I wonder if you even read what I write. It seems to me you are reading whatever is written on the inside of your eyelids instead of what’s on the screen.

I thought I was clear about saying I do not think it’s a great way to live—not standing out. I am saying that is our nature thought. As the Japanese are wont to say, the nail that sticks up is the one that gets its head pounded.

I have no idea what people mean when they say “authentic.” It seems like a new age psychological catch phrase. I assume we are talking about pretending to be someone you aren’t. Pretending to be perfectly comfortable fitting in. I used to try to do that. Never worked. I gave up.

Somehow, when you say “unhealed stuff,” it sounds like an insult. I try like the dickens not to tell someone else what their psychological state or what their issues are. For me, that’s up to them. However, right now, I feel that urge coming on… ohhhh…ohhhh… Nope. Beat it off.

I feel judged by you. It probably has something to do with the way you tell me what I should do. It doesn’t feel like you even try to understand. It’s as if you sit in a beautiful little snow globe… well, maybe not so beautiful… where everything changes to be as how you think you should see it.

I’m not sparring with you (well… maybe a little). We’re on the same side. I’ve been fighting on the side of women’s rights and men’s liberation for almost 35 years now, since I went door to door in 1979 to raise money to pass the ERA. I’ve been to the Robert Bly workshops. I’ve been to men’s groups (not impressed). I’ve been drumming for ages—not that that’s anything particularly liberating. I dance. I sing. I feel. I can identify my emotions. Fuck! I even know what women want! I should. I’ve asked often enough and, miracle of miracles. I listen. Whoop-de-doo!

But I did not get here by someone waving a wand full of pixilated fairy dust. I didn’t buy any snake oil along the way. Well, maybe once, when I walked into a Scientology office and couldn’t get out without purchasing a copy of Dianetics.

The problem for me (and hang on now, this is another metaphor) is that when the fairy dust clears, there’s nothing there. Not even the Wizard of Oz. This kind of change happens with hard work and life long dedication and, dare I say it, community support. It happens at the local level, not off swinging through trees like… well, you know. They like bananas (hey presto—it’s another metaphor). I feel like I need someone on the sidelines holding up a sign when necessary so you don’t get your indignation all tired and sweaty.

Well. Enough goring of oxes. Despite all appearances, this is not a bullfight. I’m Ferdinand if it is. Don’t want no bees biting my ass.

Be well.

blueiiznh's avatar

@wundayatta living authentic is the opposite of your assumption of “pretending to be someone you aren’t”.

On the OP, I have not heard of the Mankind Project, but based on this discussion suspect I will read a little on it.

While betrayal and abuse can come from either side of the X/Y chromosome, my belief is that difficulties come to play due to a lack of respect. A lack of respect for themselves and the others around them. It is found in the passive aggressive silence, the spike of anger, the lack of control, the inability to communicate properly. The fear of showing deep feelings. The approach that it is easier to blame someone else, than to accept that we create our own reality. That people make excuses and try to blame others for their own bad behavior. Is it instinctual to blame others before ourselves? People have difficulty taking responsibility for their own life. Your life rests with you and not what other people say or do.

You can’t control how others act toward you, but you can influence it. You can control how you react. You can respond with anger and hurt, or you can respond with compassion and understanding. You can have gratitude that you have an opportunity to choose how to live your own life. No, it is not easy. But in working together you foster a better understanding, quality of life and opportunity for the other person to do better next time.

We also need to trust. Trust in ourselves. Trust it is ok to do something outside our comfort zone. Trust that your feelings are yours and only yours. You own them. Nobody can take those away. It is again, what you do with them.

So it is not about fairy dust or standing on some soap box or talking to other men or women. It is about talking to yourself, your inner soul. The person you wish to be and no matter what the fear is, can be. It’s also not about making a choice so everyone else can feel your “warm fuzzies”.
Nobody can or should make that choice for you.
Suck it up and do it for what is in your heart.

Veritas Vincit Omnia

wundayatta's avatar

@blueiiznh Little misunderstanding about the authentic. I meant I assumed the target audience was those who were trying to fit in. Those were the ones that people want to teach to be authentic. Then I was saying a little about my journey. I tried to fit in at the beginning, but I couldn’t. Eventually I became accepting of my differences and no longer tried to hide them.

So it is not about fairy dust or standing on some soap box or talking to other men or women. It is about talking to yourself, your inner soul. The person you wish to be and no matter what the fear is, can be. It’s also not about making a choice so everyone else can feel your “warm fuzzies”.

I couldn’t agree more. But that is what I suspect MKP provides. I seriously doubt it helps guys Suck it up and do it for what is in your heart.

The work is difficult. It is a constant challenge. A constant making yourself be honest. Facing the fear that people won’t like you because of what you think.

I didn’t have to post on this question. I know how @DarlingRhadamanthus thinks and I knew she wouldn’t like what I had to say and I knew I would have to face a pretty harsh reaction from her. I didn’t think it would be this harsh, but that’s what happened. I knew there was a good chance she wouldn’t understand me. Maybe I shouldn’t have. Maybe I should have just let things roll. But I decided to talk about my experience with these things.

I have discovered that when I do show my passion about something, I often get a lot of support. But I also can get attacked. Thank god this is the internet. I probably wouldn’t speak up in the real world. No. I definitely wouldn’t speak up, except possibly in the most supportive groups.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@wundayatta….It’s amazing how you so deftly twisted everything around….you were the one who attacked me and my point of view and I was simply defending my position after you did that. You also called me a monkey which should have gotten you MODDED, but I didn’t report you (that’s how much I respected your position, though you said I didn’t) What you wanted was for me to roll over while you continued your myopic diatribe. And I wouldn’t have even said this, except you threw me under the bus again in the above. With your antiquated view of women (should be seen and not heard), I am not surprised.

You go on and on about “how people won’t like you because of what you think”...uh…do you mean how you didn’t like me for what I thought?? Because, guess what, you didn’t. So, I think that is a bit of irony in your argument.

“I knew there was a good chance that she wouldn’t understand me…” Honey, the problem is that _ I do understand you_ and I totally don’t agree with your view. You are allowed your point of view…...and I am allowed to totally disagree with you without being labeled a monkey. Stop the “poor me, Darling Rhad is a baddie, stuff” when you threw the gauntlet down, okay? It’s not becoming of you.

I think you should take whatever seminar @bluiiznh is giving….now that’s a real man’s man. And a gentleman to boot.

This whole thread was about “ending men’s inability to communicate effectively..” and “men’s need to bond with other men and learn respectful and healing ways to be with women, other men and to live in community so that they no longer had to be inauthentic…”

Thank you @wundayatta…..For inadvertently illustrating exactly why this sort of program is needed.

Now, that I am completely knackered…I am going to retire from this unending prattle.

Getbusylivin's avatar

Hi everyone. I have been seeing a therapist for years who has continually encouraged me to join an MKPLA weekend, and I continually brushed it off. I finally cracked last fall and decided what did I have to lose. I want in very skeptical. While I won’t take you through the weekend, everyone gets something different out of it. There were some exercises that we way too spiritual for me and did nit connect for me, while others really had me take a deep lok at my fears and what drives authentic makle relationships. I followed it up with a 10 week inattentive training with 6 of the 20 or so from the weekend. That interaction was wonderful and I have men in my life that I can be vulnerable with, which was never accepted growing up. They are fully accepting of all shame, guilt, and sadness that I bring and it has created such a safe environment.

I’ve since distanced myself and do feel that I have regressed some back to my old self, especially working in an organization with alpha males. I am missing those connections and there is probably some underlying fear that drives this.

Overall, I do not believe the weekend can change you so drastically unless you are someon who is so fragile and will fall prey to the somewhat cultish nature of the group. I took my own piece away and left the others behind, and looked at it as an experience that I will never forget nor regret. It’s scary to put yourself in a weekend with so many unknowns, yet that is very exciting as you go through it…the fear of the unknown. It really opens you up.

I would encourage it only to those that have an open mind going in…you need to be at a place where you are ready to be open for the unkmown and embrace it. Everyone will come out weigh something unique to them and – to those that are open enough – I do believe there is some value there. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Best,
Getusylivin

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Thank you, thank you, thank you…..at last…..a response from someone who actually has done the course….thank you!

I am glad you gave an answer that had pros and cons…and I also appreciate the time you took to write it. As is attested by some of the above responses, they were theoretical none of them were by someone who went through it. I had a feeling that is how the program worked and I am glad that it seems like a viable alternative for guys to go through.

Thank you x 1,000…...and I hope that if anyone has questions, they can address them to you. (Lurve coming to you.)

LostInParadise's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus , What would be the roles of men and women in your ideal world? Would there be any differences? What would we need men for? Women could get artificially inseminated, screening out Y chromosomes.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I think you have totally missed the point….please look into the project….before condemning me and going on the attack.

Where on earth did you come up with that from what I wrote?

Men and women need to co-exist peacefully. That is not happening in today’s world. This program helps that happen.

I’d say more…but frankly, I would probably be a bit too harsh. Can’t believe you wrote that…obviously you read nothing I wrote.

LostInParadise's avatar

I asked what I thought was a related question. If you do not understand the sense that men have of serving no purpose, then you have no insight into their attitude or behavior. All the kumbaya and drum beating is not going to make a difference.

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