Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it. Ged Smith 2013.
Men…………… • “By nature, men are intelligent, creative, tender, exuberant, savage, mild, pacific, full of life, marvellous, amusing, fully connected to all forms of life on this planet. From the outset, they are honest, just, full of dreams and visions, cunning, intuitive, spiritual, sexual, proud, wise, captivating, sturdy, warm ... [just as women are.]
The socialisation of men shapes and impairs them, and prevents them seeking help. • For every girl who is tired of acting weak when she is strong, there is a boy who is tired of pretending to be strong when he feels vulnerable. • Men who are afraid to feel must keep women around to do their feeling for them while dismissing women for the same supposedly “inferior” capacity to feel deeply. But in this way also, men deny themselves their own essential humanity, becoming trapped in dependency and fear.
Masculine socialisation is the process through which societal beliefs about masculinity are conveyed. Example: You injure yourself, experience pain, and cry……………..> You receive punitive responses from others for the tears………….. > Crying and feeling pain is feminine or gay and not masculine……………> Crying becomes an unacceptable indication of weakness and vulnerability associated with femininity and homosexuality……………> to be repressed.............> Repressing emotions becomes a sign of strength and invulnerability associated with masculinity.
Rules of Masculinity • No Sissy Stuff: Masculinity is based on the relentless repudiation of the feminine. • Be Big! : Masculinity is measured by the size of your pay cheque, and marked by wealth, power and status. • Be a Sturdy Oak: What makes a man a man is that he is reliable in a crisis. And what makes him reliable in a crisis is that he resembles an inanimate object. A rock, a pillar, a tree. • Give 'em Hell: Exude an aura of daring and aggression. Take risks; live life on the edge
The more I was treated as a woman, the more woman I became. I adapted willy-nilly. If I was assumed to be incompetent at reversing cars, or opening bottles, oddly incompetent I found myself becoming. If a case was thought too heavy for me, inexplicably I found it so myself.” Jan Morris, a male –to-female transsexual describing her post-transition experiences in her autobiography, Conundrum (1987)
Cross-Dressing One reason that men cross-dress is that it reduces stress. In women’s clothes it is "as if a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders and I feel more peaceful.” “It liberates me from the masculine role and I can express feelings, giggle and even cry freely”
Men reporting greater masculinity related conflicts are more psychologically distressed, experience more depression, have more problems with interpersonal intimacy and have poorer health behaviours. They are also more reluctant to use psychological services
Engaging Fathers • Male staff, share experiences, hands-on. Not experts, not formally structured, target fathers, personalise correspondence. • Providing services only during working hours is thought to be a barrier to fathers’ engagement with services • Men are not attracted to services they perceive as being for women • Men are discouraged by professional interaction that they perceive to be hierarchical or judgemental
Strategies • -introducing flexible hours of operation • -employing male facilitators • -developing father-specific services • -marketing services to men in male spaces • -using male-friendly language and advertisements • -creating service venues where men felt comfortable
Susan Golombok; “There's nothing magical about fathers. Fathers who are very involved with their children are good for children. But fathers who are not very involved are not as important, and can even have a negative effect. It's a very simplistic notion to think that fathers are important just because they're male.”
Masculinity Demands • Hiding private life • Maintaining control • Sexualizing intimacy • Showing strength • Expressing pride • Being invincible • Being self-reliant • Being stoic • Taking action
Avoiding Conflicts • Denying pain • Persisting indefinitely • Feigning omniscience
Counselling Demands • Self disclosure • Renouncing control • Nonsexual intimacy • Revealing weakness • Feeling shame • Being vulnerable • Seeking help • Expressing emotions • Being introspective
Addressing relationship conflicts • Confronting pain • Recognising failures • Admitting ignorance
Masculinity -v- Counselling • Hiding private life Self-disclosure • Maintaining control Renouncing control • Sexualizing intimacy Nonsexual intimacy • Showing strength Revealing weakness • Expressing pride Feeling shame • Being invincible Being vulnerable • Being self-reliant Seeking help • Being stoic Expressing emotions • Taking action Being introspective
Masculinity -v- Counselling • Avoiding Conflicts Addressing conflicts • Denying pain Confronting pain • Persisting indefinitely Recognising failures • Feigning omniscience Admitting ignorance
When men say No to counselling • I don’t have time • I don’t need it • I am not the problem • I don’t believe in this stuff • I can resolve my issues by myself • It’s not a big deal • Time will heal it • It’s too far away
Meaning............. • I don’t know how it works • I don’t think I know how to talk about my feelings • I’m afraid I’m going to be preached at, like my father did to me • I’m ashamed • I don’t like to feel like I’m not coping • It will be implied that it’s my fault • My sense of independence is crucial to me
Meaning............. • I lose my pride if I use others to solve my problems • I don’t trust my ability to open up • I don’t trust that I’ll benefit from talking • I don’t want to just talk about my problems – I want to solve them.
Issues; • Shame • Mistrust • Loss of power • Lack of language
Research Recommendations. • Seeking to make therapy male-friendly is important. • Many men welcome challenges to their gender roles, and find this liberating • The distinction between female over-responsibility and male irresponsibility is not as great as it once was.
Patriarchy is bad for men, as well as for women and men do not consciously seek its advantages. • Women will often defend or excuse their men, particularly with women therapists. • Masculinism among colleagues is not uncommon
While all therapists work hard at making their therapy male-friendly which may include working harder to engage men some female family therapists refer to being “softer” with men • Therapists often value the presence of colleagues of the other gender, but for different reasons. • Despite male power, men are often in vulnerable positions in therapy and this must be identified.
Stockholm Syndrome • The Stockholm incident compelled journalists and social scientists to research whether the emotional bonding between captors and captives was a "freak" incident or a common occurrence in oppressive situations. They discovered that it's such a common phenomenon that it deserves a name. Thus the label, Stockholm Syndrome, was born. It has happened to concentration camp prisoners, cult members, civilians in Chinese Communist prisons, pimp-procured prostitutes, incest victims, physically and/or emotionally abused children, battered women, prisoners of war, victims of hijackings, and of course, hostages. Virtually anyone can get Stockholm Syndrome it the following conditions are met:
Stockholm Syndrome 2 • Perceived threat to survival and the belief that one's captor is willing to act on that threat • The captive's perception of small kindnesses from the captor within a context of terror • Isolation from perspectives other than those of the captor • Perceived inability to escape.
WM Thackeray • I know few things more affecting than that timorous debasement and self-humiliation of a woman. How she owns that it is she and not the man who is guilty: how she takes all the faults on her side: how she courts in a manner punishment for the wrongs which she has not committed, and persists in shielding the real culprit! It is those who injure women who get the most kindness from them – they are born timid and tyrants, and maltreat those who are humblest before them. • 1847
Building Effective Therapeutic Relationships. Male socialisation towards stoicism, interpersonal dominance and self-reliance often leaves men ashamed of and resistant to being vulnerable and intimate in relationships. Men learn to hide their vulnerabilities and avoid their shame and ridicule. Many men are accustomed to revealing their vulnerabilities exclusively to or with their partner. The task is to overcome the incongruence between masculine –v- therapy expectations.
They may have been coerced or forced to come into therapy. They may feel a need to resist any further erosion of their masculinity by being vulnerable with a therapist – especially another man. Empathy with many of these men can be challenging. Therapists should be willing to examine their own assumptions about masculinity to prevent shaming men in ways that prevent them from opening up, being vulnerable, or examining their views on what it means to be a man.
Men will often enter therapy in a state of discomfort, ambivalence and shame and frequently lack the emotional awareness and skills associated with building intimate relationships. Men 3 times more likely to die of suicide. Men aged 15-19 x4. Men aged 20-24 x6. Masculinity is at the heart of this; conflicts between work and family relations, restrictive emotionality, and Gender Role Conflict. Men commit 95% of violent crimes, and men are the most common victims. Men have much higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse. All associated with men tending to externalise their distress.