The End of Men?

So what will happen to men?

Clearly a major societal transition is taking place and many men are seeking to understand and redefine themselves. What will their new place be? Increasingly, men that I see in my practice, as well as friends and colleagues, are questioning their fathers’ models and are opting for less demanding jobs and careers that will allow them to lead fuller lives outside of work.

They want to bepresent in their children’s lives. After reading the article, my own 21-year-old son said, “If women really want to live that kind of pressured, anxiety-driven life…let them have it.” A client recently told me that hechose to leave the corporate world to stay home to raise his kids while his wife continues to work outside the home. He literallythanks her every day that she has given him this amazing opportunity to do what he believes is the most important thing he could be doing right now. But while there are a few men who seem to have found their path in the midst of this transitional time, many, if not most,continue to be lost.

Fortunately there are more and more resources to help men develop an integratedand healthy masculinity that is both emotionally and spiritually relevant to today’s challenges. Much of the men’s recent psychological literature seems to point to the fact that our culture has lost any meaningful rituals that initiated men into a relevant and healthy masculinity. Throughout history and across cultures, initiatory rites of passage have been an essential part of men’s emotional and spiritual development.

There are two groups in the Washington area that provide initiatory rites of passage for men. One is the ManKind Project and the other is M.A.L.Es: Men as Learners and Elders. While both seek to address men’s emotional and spiritual lives, the ManKind Project focuses more on men’s psychological and emotional development, while M.A.L.Es focuses more on spiritual development. I have experienced them both myself and they compliment to each other