Tony Porter’s Call to Men

9 02 2011

I’m linking to this TED presentation by Tony Porter titled, “A Call to Men” because it really resonated with me on a couple levels.

It resonates with me because I have a daughter who is the light of my life, just like Porter’s daughter is for him. If and when she ends up in a relationship with a dude (hopefully a very, very long time from now), I want him to be a dude that sees her for the great person that she is and will be and treats her with respect and equality.

It resonates with me because I realize all the time the pitfalls there are in raising an enlightened son and making him into a good man. I’ve screwed it up so many times already, I know this, but I think on the grand scale I do okay.

The thing missing from Porter’s speech is how we, as men, do this in our homes and with our children. There are lots of things, of course, and I don’t mean to oversimplify, but I believe we do this by being the example. We show them in how we act with their mother. That’s the dominant example and they’ll learn most of what they need to know from that.

I highly recommend viewing the video on the TED website and reading down in the comments. There are a lot of men who are threatened and react pretty strongly against any pro-feminist masculinity. I think, however, it’s important not to demonize the misguided. If you watch the video, you see some of the vulnerability for men and the whole point is about some of the damage caused by the gross socialization of men in our society. It’s kind of hard to blame them and it’s ultimately better not to be an attacker, but an educator. Misogyny is curable.

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