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I guess growing up, most men in my environment would have said that mutual respect between the sexes exists and should be practiced, but underneath, the old paradigm of inequality was apparent. It could be felt in the small details of life, like the way it was made clear that it’s important to study and forge a career as a man, and it’s ‘nice’ if a woman pursues the same, but not essential.
Or the sexual bigotry that declared that it’s normal for men to objectify women and even to be praised for getting ‘laid,’ but the same attitude applied to women would be inappropriate to say the least. It’s clear that disrespect and power struggles are (un) consciously repeated throughout generations.
The challenge for men today is to include and integrate soft and intangible qualities alongside the core ones of determination, focus, and goal orientation. The discovery, though, goes beyond inner reflection and includes giving up spaces dominated by men.
Men will need to allow intuition, feelings, and sensitivity to be integrated into their creative and social lives. This inclusion requires the old conditioning around male self-expression to be dropped, and that is a huge step.