I came to the conclusion, yesterday, that I am hyper-masculine. There is this constructed sense of male bravado that governs my life. When love is extended to me by my wife or daughter, I tend to pull away with extreme countermeasures –a simple form of affection becomes a sacred place of tension. Where did this thinking come from? I am not sure…
As I read through some of the phenomenal womanist and feminist works, I am challenged by all the hyper-masculinity that is so easily spewed in American culture. America tends to isolate men in a space of invulnerability. One’s manhood is in question when that man starts to appreciate the humanity of another; violence has become a distinction of what manhood entails; money has become one of the primal characteristics of what being a man represents.
I tried to model myself after those false attributes of what a man should resemble. I overlooked the humanity of other people when it jeopardize my manhood; my reflection were always laden with metaphors of violence; I thought money was the answer to all problems. What I found was that the roads of such a journey are tainted with tragedy?
When life hands you a mirror and says take a look, the staggering blow of hypocrisy looms large. No longer can you deny the myth and façade that has become the norm in your life. You must now come to terms with the sexist, homophobic and prejudice person that you are. Being in community with women and the LGTBQ community gave me a sense of reality that had previously been detoured from my life. No longer was my hyper –masculine default viable.
There were questions that were asked that challenged me to be better: Do I always agree with my womanist and feminist sisters; no! Do I always agree with the LGBTQ community; no! Do I always agree with white men; no? But, I learned to grow in community in spite of our differences.
Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without. – William Sloane Coffin