Posted by: malechallengemedia | April 5, 2010

Pip Cornall on Ending misogyny – Stop the destruction of the feminine and all that is beautiful

Let me be quite clear. This is not a blame game—I’m as guilty as the next bloke. BUT it is time to name something that has been a bad smell for eons and put it on the table so it can be healed—once and for all.

I’m talking about misogyny—many males won’t recognise the word—I didn’t for a long time. In a TV interview one of the world’s greatest peace scholars, international mediator and a founder of peace studies, Johan Galtung, lists misogyny as a major global conflict arena with massive negative consequences.

Growing up in my culture, rural Australia, that was certainly the case. Women and girls were degraded and debased in disgusting male jokes and playground dialogues. The same blokes who drove the bulldozers—ripping the guts out of our forests so farmers could raise and kill more cattle, these same blokes in almost every group dialogue literally spat out their disgust, distrust and ‘lust’ for women. This was sick behaviour!

When we degrade women we degrade the very source of our lives—the womb. Indeed many of the crass male jokes are focused on these parts of a female’s anatomy. But underpinning the sickness is a deeper malaise—degrading the planet, another source of life.

Why would anyone in their ‘right’ mind harm women and destroy the planet? Well the answer is because they are not in their right mind. Their right minds have been pirated and a new program, a nasty virus in fact, has been firmly implanted on the male hard drive. It happened to me when I was a young boy and it is happening today—despite four or five decades of the women’s social equity movement.

Hatred of the feminine is the connection? Women and the planet are the sources of life and sustenance—they are extensions of ourselves. Many indigenous cultures call the planet mother earth. The mindset that causes rape of women or rape of the earth is one and the same.

Unfortunately, today, even though we have embraced democracy and many men have adapted to the idea of women’s equity, the old male mindset is still being programmed into many males; young and old. The narrow lens of that mindset is not broad enough to cope with the diverse problems besetting humanity in modern times.

The old dominator mindset lingers on in many males, showing up everywhere, in the media, law, government, commerce community and even in medicine. This is inevitable since men are still predominantly the leaders in those areas—real change cannot occur until the individuals who are the leaders, change themselves. This is not a quick process.

However you cannot legislate nor bludgeon or shame men into changing – that would be more of the old dominator model – the model that brought us to these huge problems.

Nor is this movement about blame; but rather it is about all of us examining our unhealthy programming so we can think with our hearts and feel with our minds.

The old male mindset is of the mind, not of the heart. It requires a schism in men. It is as fundamentalist and extreme as any religious fundamentalism – it has taken us to the brink of destruction. It is irrational and dangerous.

Under the old male mindset our young boys are programmed to believe that a ‘real man’ is a big drinker—can drink anyone under the table, he is a stud–he gets the women and can ‘go’ all night, he is tough and can fight, he never complains, he will go to war because the enemy is ‘evil’ but he won’t protect the environment—that is for sissies.

In fact protecting the environment means a man has to confront his own mistakes and issues – the old style real man does not do that. That is for sissies—or so the programming says

Our young boys are taught to hate and be angry because the real man hates. He hates because underneath his ‘tough guise’ he is unhappy! He hates pink (that is gay), he hates gay men, he says he loves women but his hatred uses them up, he destroys beauty. And under the macho he hates himself—so he is prone to self destruct—but not before he brings others down with him—and with nuclear weaponry that could be the whole planet.

Can it be changed? You bet, but with a new kind of muscle – heart muscle. With a new kind of fitness – emotional fitness.

How can change occur? With a new kind of mindset – partnership not dominator.

With a wider lens that sees others and the environment as an extension of self. With a return to the original or authentic self – the self that existed before all the negative ‘be a real man’ programming began.

How do I know?  I have seen thousands of boys and men change in the way I’m describing – some were killers, some rapists, some gang members – all were grateful to embrace a healthy and sustainable masculinity—that’s the male challenge.

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