For Men Only (unless you’re a woman)

by Rod Harvey, Gold Coast, Australia

Back in the 60’s, when Bob Dylan was singing ‘The Times They Are A Changing’, the Women’s Liberation Movement was born and rapidly grew in the 70’s and 80’s throughout the western world.

Men watched on as women feminists fought for equality, with some feminists choosing to burn their bras to signify their independence. And what affect did that have on men? We loved it! Nothing like a bra-less woman to stretch the eyeballs.

The revolution brought gradual changes as women fought against oppression and became more independent. We saw gradual increases in women’s wages and sexual freedom, more women in corporate and political positions and sex discrimination became a hot topic.

There was an edge to it, a drive and, dare I say it, many women ‘toughened up’ to compete against men. But there was a fundamental flaw because the revolution alienated men, which is why there hasn’t been a significant change in men’s attitudes. And to this day, the subtle (and at times not so subtle) denigration of women continues.

All around us the signals are obvious: advertising agencies still continue to portray women as sluts to sell products; the major religions are still patriarchal and treat women as second class citizens; the ‘old boys’ clubs still exist in the majority of boardrooms; we see sly inferences and biased reporting about women in media articles (as well as the more obvious page 3 girls to perve on) and we hear snide remarks about women from politicians, workmates and talk-back jocks.

We don’t have to dig deep to sense the tone of what is going on. Observe how men speak to women; the behaviour of many young men when they are with their girlfriends in a group of people; and the accepted norm of how boys treat girls at primary and secondary schools. For many, if not most, respect has flown out the window.

Yet many women are inadvertently not helping the situation.

After all, have you ever heard a woman make comments similar to these?

“Wait ‘til your father comes home.”

“Shhh… your father is sleeping in.”

“Oh he gets angry, but he’s under so much stress.”

“My husband’s a solicitor.”

“A boob job will give me more self-confidence.”

“I look hot in this dress.”

“Every relationship has its problems.”

“It’s not worth the hassle to bring it up – who needs the aggro.”

“I’m too old to find someone else.”

“The magic has gone.”

“Whenever he does jobs around the house he wants sex later.”

“I just wish he would hug me without wanting sex.”

Many women have given their power away and men take advantage. Then, when the woman says ‘enough is enough’, men receive mixed messages and get confused. We need open and honest communication.

So why has it taken so long for me to really feel what is going on?

Recently a group of female Universal Medicine students began to write about the belittlement of women in the media and society. Yet they did so in a different energy to that which we have previously witnessed. This time it was done by women expressing from a foundation of love while standing in their power and there is something beautiful and compelling about that.

Love is what men will respond to, as was expressed so eloquently in Lee Green’s recent post ‘Men: what mess are we truly in?’ 

Love will open up men to consider their responsibilities in all of this mess and this has made a huge difference for me.

And once my awareness was heightened, I felt deeply into how I had contributed to this crazy consciousness of separation between women and men. Don’t kid yourself that it’s not there – I suggest that all men have played their part.

I then began to pay more attention to what was happening around me, and the signals that I hadn’t really acknowledged before were as obvious as XXXL scrotums on a Great Dane.

Just yesterday I noticed…

  • An online ad on a website that appeared to be for a high-class brothel with introductory photos of women, then as the ad progressed, it turned out to be for the new QT Hotel in Sydney.
  • Headlines on women’s magazines focusing on diets and women’s body images. ‘New Idea’ and ‘The Women’s Weekly’ used to contain reasonable articles – now it’s about looks and celebrity.
  • The Gold Coast Bulletin had a half page article about two women who have started a business to provide tours for ladies who want to have cosmetic surgery in Thailand. Another article had a photo of a female body builder in a micro-bikini ‘pumping iron’.
  • And last week, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said Opposition Member Jackie Trad needs to “harden up” and failed to censure fellow Member of Parliament, Ray Stevens, for referring to Ms Trad as “Jihad Jackie”.

So I wrote to the Queensland Premier. A day later I also signed and commented on an online petition to ‘encourage’ the UK’s Sun newspaper to drop their topless page 3 girls. And in future I won’t hold back in discussing these issues with other men and my sons.

I’m not here to be an activist, or to defend women (they can do a good job of that for themselves). But I am now convinced that if we are to accelerate serious change, then men’s support is crucial. Let’s be in it together.

Men, we have much to account for. This is not about paying lip service to women. It’s about reflecting and deeply feeling how each of us has contributed to this pervading consciousness. And with that awareness we will naturally know what to do and say.

By truly engaging with women we’ll discover their essence and how feminine, sexy, playful, loving and amazing they are. How could we possibly belittle that?

The times they are a changing…

403 thoughts on “For Men Only (unless you’re a woman)

  1. Eloquent summary of the battle for women to be equal to men. The challenge is we are all already equal in our essence, and so no battle is required, but instead a return to living as the person we are.

  2. In order for a man to truly be a man, he must be loved by a true woman, be they daughter, sister, wife, partner or friend. It is the same requirement for women from the men. And so while we play ball with the ‘battle of the sexes’ that has run rampant for countless centuries we are in-truth delaying our evolution and reneging our responsibility to live all that we are, right here and now. Thank you Rod for a gorgeous call to lay down our weapons and truly seek to rebalance what we have let get so out of control.

    1. Yes when one gender seeks to gain equality but does so by rejecting the other it will never work, and the game will continue (battle of the sexes)…

  3. It’s a great start Rod and one of our biggest problems. The more awareness we each bring as men and women to ourselves by living our truth as the sensitive beings we are, acknowledging what is love and what is not, will rebirth the power within. Change will come from honestly expressing our truth.

  4. Rod that was really a clear message to all of us – “It’s about reflecting and deeply feeling how each of us has contributed to this pervading consciousness.” If more are willing to take their own responsibility then a change is something what has to happen very naturally.

  5. Equality to me does not mean we are all exactly the same, but rather a respectful equation that together adds up, makes sense and takes us to the correct answer in the full appreciation of our own unique contributions.

  6. As a woman I have noticed that when I have full respect and care for myself this is how I am treated by others however when I drop this, go into doubt or let self loathing run then how I am treated by others also changes.

  7. Open and honest conversation is certainly key in a society that often encourages both genders to be fake, to toe the line, to just ‘put up with it’, to dominate, to control, to be submissive etc…

  8. For men to truly change women will also have to change the way they feel about themselves so that we can restore the equallness of all.

  9. THIS ARTICLE MADE MY LAUGH! I love the way you write, it creates a picture of a time and the essence of what true equality is, is all captured so well in the way that you talk about women.

  10. Rod, you are a supremely gorgeous man for writing such an article. And I really liked the way you have taken yourself out and started to take part in what is going on in the wider world and not just contained your insights to your own life or family. Everyone deserves to hear your voice, it is very powerful.

    1. Isn’t it lovely how we can appreciate someone else for speaking up and it inspires us to do the same! Everyone deserves a voice – quite right, so if you have one, then use it with responsibility and step into the accountability that goes hand in hand with freedom of speech.

  11. There is a very seriously established narrative of female achieving /striving for independence, freedom and equality that is simply not true in the deeper sense of the word. The issue is not just that it is not true but also that it is deeply harming women.

  12. In the changing of times it’s interesting to look back and reflect if truly anything has changed with this topic. I mean if you scratch the surface of somethings you still see the underlying tone is one that doesn’t truly support women or people. I mean it’s true and I appreciate we are seeing more and more of a balance in numbers to certain things but there is so so much still out of balance that it needs to go further. I not sure we are going about this the right or true way when as a collective group we are becoming more and more unwell. It’s possible there is a way women and men are needing to be that doesn’t look the same but has an equal ness feeling to it. There is a way for us both to live that respect ourselves and everything there after.

  13. “The times they are a changing…” . . . They certainly are Rod with men like you writing articles like this

  14. “It’s about reflecting and deeply feeling how each of us has contributed to this pervading consciousness” This brings the responsibility right to our doorstep Rod. We can all do something about it, not by hardening up or by belittling another but by calling for love, decency and respect.

  15. Great article Rod – no one can blame anyone else… both sides; men and women, have been responsible for the dynamic that now plays out, and its going to take both to tear down those walls and break the paradigm that has been built through the ages.

  16. You highlight some great points here Rod about the inequality we still experience between the sexes. I can feel the responsibility we each hold, as a man or woman, to call out any behaviour that is less than loving and begin to re-imprint all our relationships with a deep respect and appreciation for the qualities that both men and women equally bring to this world.

  17. Rod, this is a fantastic blog… your honesty is compelling and your honouring of women is a breath of fresh air. There is much men and women come together when we come together in truth. May this be the beginning of true equality whist appreciating our differences.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s