Patriarchy affects men so deeply, most times without them knowing, that the average man does not understand the term or its proper use. Yet, as hooks also points out in ‘The Will to Change‘, it is “the single most life-threatening social disease assaulting the male body and spirit in our nation.”
Let’s pause. How can this be?
How can a socio-political construct that provides men with so much privilege also threaten their health and livelihoods?
Well there are volumes of books written to explore this ideal, but what sits at the center of it all is this: men, when they subscribe to traditional gender roles, are left without the ability to realize their full humanity.
Traditionally, men are raised to believe that God (who is male) created the world specifically for their use. They are born to conquer (with force) and are supposed to be as callous as stone. Men are never to be questioned, or better still to have questions. Boys don’t cry or show any emotion really — I mean not if they want to be considered a “real” boy and not some “sissy” or “faggot” (I deliberately use these belittling and offensive terms after thumbing through James Baldwin’s discussion of his encounters with sexism in his essay “Freaks and the American Ideal of Manhood”).
When I speak of men not being able to realize their full human potential, it begins precisely with this concept of masculinity. It is impossible for any human being to always be strong and courageous and fearless. Men though, are not allowed moments of fear, of indecision, of sadness — or even moments of extreme happiness or passion for that matter. The result of this lack of human feeling and emotion is a life of suppression, depression, and abuse towards those who are allowed to express those emotions and feelings.
We all lose when the ‘mental disease of patriarchy’ inhibits us from reaching our full potential. But brother and sisters remain hopeful, it is possible to rid ourselves of this crippling sickness. You don’t have to be attending feminist rallies or creating mass movements to help break down the system. The real change starts within:
Don’t just strive for external perfection of your body, peel through your emotional layers.
Don’t just strive to be dominant over society but connect with your heart space through community.
Don’t just strive for analytical intelligence but seek humbled wisdom from the spirit.
Don’t blind-fully move through your primal attraction but become aware of how you desire to be satisfied.
Become a true and constant explorer of your own mind, body and spirit.
You will be surprised how you can be met so fully in all areas of life.
You will then be able to truly satisfy the needs of a conscious woman by:
Not simply staring at her beauty but seeing every layer of her being.
By not just flirting with her mind but connecting with her heart.
By not just lusting for her body but craving and achieving satisfying intimacy with her soul.
By not only taking her to bed but creating a unique space so trusting and passionate that you both feel safe to explore the depth of both your desires.
When we look within we gain everything that is with out.