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…

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

  1. Everything between the sexes gets so complicated when in the energy of separation because that’s what it’s designed to do. Separate. On the flip side I know I have contributed to fighting against men when in truth there’s no need to. I am growing tired of playing the “You drop your guard and I’ll drop mine”. It’s much easier to be the first person and just do it and be open.

    1. Leigh absolutely agree, this them and us, becomes complicated and there is no need. And when you see some of the TV shows portraying the bad guy or the bad woman, it really exacerbates and separates us. It seems, that a person has excess baggage and expects the other person to take the excess baggage off them, when vice versa is occurring too.

      We need to deal with our own issues first, instead of asking another to fix it.

  2. “And once my awareness was heightened, I felt deeply into how I had contributed to this crazy consciousness of separation between women and men.” Thank you for not holding back and sharing your experience with taking more responsibility to melt lovingly the separation between women and men.
    And yes Rod “The times they are a changing…” and your powerful blog is a great invitation for it.

  3. This is such a great blog Rod and you have laid out here the blueprint to dismantle the battle of the sexes once and for all – not with bandaid solutions, blame games or retaliations but actually with real genuine love and connection and collaboration.

  4. So beautiful to read this, thank you Rod. I feel so touched when i hear and read men who care about women in such a way, to encourage change and encourage men and women to look at the bigger picture and see what it is that we can do to change.

  5. When women toughen up to be like men instead of simply being themselves we fail to value that sense of femaleness and gentleness that supports the innate nurturing qualities of women, and for that matter men equally.

  6. I agree, that with open and honest communication there is so much that can be resolved. But the problem, or the dilemma is, perhaps, in the fact that many of us enjoy having conflict and so would avoid the honesty of open communication, because this would end the dramas as it would bring understanding.

  7. This article made me stop and consider how we as women have approached the whole aim for equality. It’s interesting to hear it from a man’s perspective, about having been an onlooker at the whole women’s liberation movement but not an active participant in it- and not feeling included within it. True gender equality, like any equality, can only happen when we all start taking responsibility to consider, respect and treat ourselves as absolutely equal to all others, in all situations, all of the time.

    1. Absolutely Bryony, it starts with self first, ‘True gender equality, like any equality, can only happen when we all start taking responsibility to consider, respect and treat ourselves as absolutely equal to all others, in all situations, all of the time.’

  8. Reaction heals naught only true love and understanding do. Imagine women responding with understanding and love in such a way that speaks to the hearts of men everywhere. Then there is true change for sure!

  9. Women have a feeling of having to justify their right to be equal and as such defend, blame and, yes, justify their rights. I have noticed this puts men on the defence as well because the way things are expressed feels threatening. No-one ‘wins’ there is no equality or equity, just a battle of wills. In order to see true change we have to bring some honesty to our personal parts contribution to the mess.

  10. The times will change when women start to embrace the beauty they innately are. Right now it seems more like they are in the build up to compete in some gladiator show than aiming for true equality. They seem to think that equality is becoming equal to men to where they are at but it’s not about becoming a man but claiming back what it’s like to truly be a woman, and it’s not about pumping iron or hanging upside-down in some new found exercise but re-find that preciousness that many will avoid like the plague, unfortunately so.

    1. Yes Matt, there are many women who avoid their preciousness, yet on the other hand there are many women who have embraced their inner beauty and fragility. And through reflection, other women notice and realise that true power comes from a foundation of fragility and love. Over the last couple of years I’ve noticed there is more mainstream reporting on the benefits of self love for women (and men). We also see that it has become more acceptable for men to open up and discuss what being a man really represents and there is no shame in being gentle and sensitive. Thus collectively, many men and women throughout the world are living examples of true equality. Consequently, I feel that the times are changing as we move along in this love-filled journey together. With love, Rod

      1. We are unity, we are harmony, we are brotherhood, we are the united consciousness of God and one day all men and all women will reflect the many faces of the One God.

  11. I love this blog Rod. It’s down to earth and a great account of how the ‘times are changing’, and how we can facilitate this change to become something that is evolutionary and that brings about true equality, rather than being a ‘drive’ to fight the opposite gender and blame various outlets for the state of society.

  12. I have a committed to the part of seeing women as sex objects. I realise now that if we honour women for the inner-stillness they naturally hold this will support men to be more caring and respectful towards them and themselves. I love to honour women by honouring how tender and delicate I am first.

  13. So true we need to step up and act on what we see of what is going on. Things will not change when we stay in silence, hence it is super important that we deal with what comes our way small or little.

  14. Reading this highlights how lost we are, not only men but women also. How can we ever get to a position of respect and understanding with all this nonsense going on?

  15. Indeed Rod we all respond to love but often have withdrawn ourselves from fully letting it in or sharing it with others due to our hurts and rejections.

  16. We all have or are still playing our part in the separation between the genders, between women and men and that is important to be aware of. It will not be governments that will make an end to this behaviour by enforcing equality laws or by action groups. Yes they can bring the awareness or the attention to the subject but is each and everyone of us that has to take their responsibility in it to make this separation by gender issue to be a thing of the past.

  17. The inequality between the sexes I would say is borne from the fact that we, to a greater or lesser extent, only focus on the physical, emotional and sexual attributes of each other. Whereas if we connected with each other on a deeper and truly loving level we would come to realise that in our essence we are all equal.

  18. It is harmful to paint men in pictures of aggression and force, so many fathers must have felt this pressure to be the boss, to play hard, to be the person that dishes out discipline. We are all equally sweet and sensitive and it is time that each gender considers this in all our relationships.

  19. When we try to bring equality through competing, we reject the other which actually adds to the ‘one is better than the other’. Never ever in history has this approach been truly successful in bringing people together, rather one side dominates followed by the other side and so on.

  20. I agree it is not just men making women less, or objectifying women’s body, women have bought into that too. True equality is not an ideal we strive for, it is an innateness we come to by accepting what is.

    1. 9 words that sum it all up. I feel this expression “In burying the woman, we bury ourselves beside her” is the denial of our inner essence and the feeling of loss and emptiness we carry within till we resurrect what we chose to bury.

  21. A brilliantly balanced piece of writing Rod, we’ve all been part of what’s occurring between men and women, whether we make ourselves small and give our power away, or look the other way, or compete to be best – so it makes sense that we all need to take our part in correcting it, no massive revolution needed but simply taking responsibility for not contributing to it anymore on a daily basis.

    1. We are to all contribute to healing this, as we all contributed to the situation, ‘ whether we make ourselves small and give our power away, or look the other way, or compete to be best’.

  22. Such a well written article Rod. I love how much respect your expressing for not just women, but your fellow brothers also. It’s not about saving women or protecting them, but standing equally beside them and respecting and appreciating everything they offer. Amazing!

  23. Having been in my 20’s during the time of the birth of the Women’s Lib movement I can honestly say this so-called liberation, although breaking down a lot of what needed to be deconstructed, also came at a price, and this price was the alienation of men and women. I didn’t want to hate men and I didn’t want to go out to work and leave my young children in the care of someone else, and I definitely didn’t burn my bra, but at the same time I had moments of feeling guilty that I didn’t go along with the cry of the revolution. And today I am still glad as I know that there is a true ‘revolution’ that is very slowly growing and this is as a result of “women expressing from a foundation of love while standing in their power”. Now this is the way to bring true change to the world.

    1. Well said Ingrid, sometimes we think we have to be radical and make a lot of noise for change to occur, but the biggest changes come from each person by claiming who they are and that nothing in the world will change, alter or sway that.

  24. The times are changing indeed Rod. Great and much needed article. The big problem here that society is putting out the ideal that women should be looked upon as pictures, only valued on their outsides. Women have become objects. Only when men really start feeling, not seeing, into how beautiful women are on the inside will things change.

  25. The objectification of women is something we (as a society) have allowed to run rampant for far too long. I can’t help but ask the questions, what is it about women in their glory that we don’t want to see and feel? Why must we pull women apart every chance we get?

  26. Yes when either gender goes about trying to obtain equality by rejecting the other gender it will never truly work, as history has so clearly shown us.

  27. “The times they are a changing…” when women learn to express from their tender divine power and sacredness this allows men to express their own innate tenderness and sensitivity, bringing loving equality to both sexes.

  28. ‘Women expressing from a foundation of love…’ – now there’s something worth putting on page 3…and 4…and 5…

  29. This is a beautiful and healing article for both men and women. Ironically, the state of play we have been left with today as a result of women reacting, getting angry about the status quo and wanting liberation and equality from a place that does not honour the femaleness within them – because it cannot when a woman goes into aggressive or bullish behaviour, for there is nothing female about that – is a huge reflection for the state of play in the world at a much vaster level. It is not by pushing, or getting angry and screaming for change that change takes place. It is only from and with Love that change can truly occur -without any pushing, coercing or inflicting pressure from a righteous vantage point, but from the unwavering understanding and knowing that all of us come from the one same source that is this Love. The healing occurs in the space we allow and in the zero judgement that is felt. And this is where a woman who naturally holds the seed of nurturing for all, can truly lead the way.

  30. Beautiful Rod, when we remove the blame we direct at the other gender for not being true, it’s like it clears the air for us both to share the real feelings that are there. From this place we can support each other in such powerful ways. The men vs women stuff is so very harmful and has occurred to hold us back from finding out that men are not from Mars and neither women from Venus but we are all from the stars with a Universal remit to work together to heal our hurts and return to the Love that we are. All sorts of idealogiies and obstacles will come in the way but they’re not the truth of our natural way.

  31. The more things change, the more they stay the same! The BBC listed its top salary earners over 100,000 and you don’t have to guess who was being paid less for doing the same jobs. The ripples carried on to those that earned less than 100,000 also. A lot of women received almost immediate pay rises, but why did it have to wait, till the corporation was publicly shamed?

  32. Gender inequality has been a battle within my own Indian family and community, men have their place – the providers, the toughies, whilst the women are the matriarchs and their place is in the kitchen or with the children.

    Then I come a long and rock it all and question why is it that women have to cook or clean why can’t the men do it too. It’s taken a while but my family are getting used to me and the choices I have made, I reflect to them there is another way and we are all equal. Small changes lead the way to the truth.

  33. Now that was a hard hitting blog with a touch of humor, calling to hand the ultimate weapon, ‘love’. The only weapon to bring about any true great change in our world.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. “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.

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

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. I love how you bring it back to all of us playing a part in the equality or inequality we have.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

Leave a Comment

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

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s