Category Archives: Feminism

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Maybe You Don’t Have A Man Because You Don’t Need One

“I don’t need a man.”

I have always found this statement rather disheartening. It’s a phrase that is often expelled from the lips of a spiteful woman.

Its roots are in the wake of a feminist movement that saw many women left abandoned. Wives and mothers who dedicated their lives to family, only to be left without a career, their own money, and their husbands often withholding child support in order to control and manipulate.

I get it, the “breadwinner” marriages of the mid-twentieth century had few winners. Patriarchal relationship structures communicated the role of women to be one of servitude. “Dedicate your life to your man and your family, and he’ll take care of you, meanwhile you’ll compromise everything, including your own identity.” Sounds like a crap deal to me.

So, here we are, in the wake of a necessary feminist movement, with messages that swung the pendulum in a totally different direction. Men and women, who experienced and/or observed the devastation from relationships of the past, communicate to their daughters messages of strength:

“Never depend on a man.”

“Be independent.”

“Never need a man.”

“Take care of yo’self”

It’s important to honour that these messages are absolutely necessary and important. However, when these messages are not clarified, they are left to be interpreted by the receiver… unfortunately that receiver is often a child who lacks the intellectual maturity to ask questions and look for more direction.

Left unexplained, what we often hear are messages like:

“Never open up to a man.”

“Never depend on anyone.”

“If you ever feel like you ‘need’ someone, you’re giving too much.”

And of course, with these messages comes the conundrum:

We are all human, so, inevitably, we fall in love.

And, in turn, we want to give ourselves to the relationship, but there is just something holding us back and we begin to feel the devastating consequence of a message of strength gone wrong.

We live our relationships from the place of:

“Never let your man feel like you need him.”

And that’s where we are today, in a space where often (not always) women are taught to not need a man and when they’re in relationships, they are incredibly scared to do or say anything that could communicate they are vulnerable and want to depend on their partner.

Although that fierce independence is brilliant and inspiring, taken to the extreme it has negative effects on an essential component for relationships:

If our partners don’t feel like we need them, why would they stay? Why would they want to feel vulnerable and give themselves to the relationship?

Men are creatures of purpose. We want to provide and have a role in a woman’s life. We want to be able to love our woman. And when that woman communicates either directly or indirectly that she doesn’t need us, it hurts.

What we hear is that we don’t fit. We have no purpose in her life.

In addition to that, a large percentage of women are out-earning their partners. The role of man’s purpose as a provider in the relationship has shifted. A man’s success and identity have been evolutionarily rooted in being the provider, and when that role is no longer available, men seek to find another role in the relationship and/or in other areas of life.

Let’s be clear, it does not rest on the shoulders of a woman to create purpose for a man. However, it is important that each person create the space for their partner to find and experience purpose, even if that is within the relationship. The challenge is that we need to develop the awareness to step past all of the messages and identities we’ve been taught of what it means to be a “man” and an “independent woman”. 

When we adopt these identities we often have an incredibly hard time gaining deep and connected long term relationships… because most men are still driven and rewarded based on archaic ideals, and most women have moved past old roles and into the role of the masculine… leaving no space for a man to love and appreciate his partner, because she’s now the provider, the parent, and she doesn’t need no man to take care of her.

There’s no space for a man, because women are being that man. 

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So what do we do? Women are the new men, and men have no clue what the hell to do. Where does that leave relationships?

This isn’t about just women. This is about what messages, identities and roles we’re creating and subscribing to as humans. It is our responsibility to take control of our own hearts, and together, regardless of the combination of gender, we need to create relationships that work for us.

We need to step outside of what society, culture and religion have taught us, and create relationships and identities that align with who we are as individuals, and how we want show up to the relationship.

We need to stop trying to be so tough and actually let people in. Men and women need to create space in their lives for each other. And although it is so empowering and beautiful to observe women so rooted in their purpose and taking over the world, women can do that and still be loving and maternal. Falling and being in love doesn’t give a woman’s power away, it actually makes women more powerful. 

We need to see our relationships in the same way we see businesses. Much like a corporate culture, we design our relationship environment, including how we want to feel and who we want to be within that partnership. Relationships today are partnerships, and partnerships require shared agreements and intentions. By discussing and coming up with these agreements and intentions together, we allow ourselves to create the relationship we want. We become the creators of our reality. 

And at the end of the day, if we want great love and great relationships, we have to let people love us. Again, we have to let people in. Till we do that we’ll always be loving with half our hearts. And I don’t know about you, but I’m too full of life and love to waste it settling for “safe” and “comfortable”. I want to be able to depend on my partner, and her feel needed as well.

Let’s get better, together. 

sex, religion, culture, dating advice, relationship advice, positive psychology, human connection

Are We All Just Meant To Be Sluts?

Slut is an extremely powerful word, isn’t it? In four letters we have managed to encapsulate all of the shaming we, as humans, connect with female sexuality.

Of course the shaming of sexuality and sexual freedom is not reserved for just women. Society and culture have tried to control and dictate how we wish to love and our ability as men and women to choose what sort of sex we want.

Think of one of the main questions that guides our selection of partner and is a source of much conflict and insecurity. It has ended, and will continue to end relationships before they have even begun:

”How many people have you been with?”

As men and women, we can both feel the cringe if we’ve had a few “too many” sexual partners when this question pops up. It usually comes out of nowhere over a casual drink or during the post-coital cuddle… right when we thought everything was going soooooo great. Boom.

And we freeze. Why? Because this number carries a lot of weight and judgment.

The answer to this question is enough to say “No” to a wonderful and viable partner. A system taught someone – and those people taught us – that sexuality and our sexual freedom are reflective of our value systems and strength of character.

Amidst all this drama, do we ever really take the time to appreciate that falling for a beautiful heart is rare?!? And that no matter how that heart got in front of us, we should be appreciative?!? If there were a couple of questionable bangs on the way, is that enough to put the brakes on? We should acknowledge that just ONE tiny shift in their history and that person would not be sharing our gaze. 

Wow. Deep. Shit.

“Oh wait, you’ve slept with more than seven people?! OMG. You’re basically a parking lot. I can’t date you. I can’t love you.”

If sexuality and sexual freedom brings our character into question, then what do we think about the many wise and amazing human beings who found themselves and learned their lessons through sexual exploration and being open-minded about making mistakes? Do these folks lack character? Does experience really make us wiser? Or is wisdom only reserved for wholesome choices that are approved by religion and the culture police?

This fear of sexuality has very much framed how we look at relationships and the stories we’ve been told about what is “right” and “wrong”.

The very nature of everything, I, and everyone else on this planet, are taught about relationships and love is a stretched and manipulated version of truths.

A little white lie won’t hurt anyone… right?! How about a lot of white lies?

Let me give you some examples:

• Monogamy is the only way

• You need to be married by 30

• You must have kids by 35 (women especially)

• Female sexual freedom is a HUGE NO-NO

• Gay marriage is bad

• Polyamory is shameful

• Every relationship needs to last forever, if they don’t, we are failures

• Divorce is bad

• Being in a relationship is more important than being happy and single

• Sexuality is bad. Discovering your sexuality is worse. And sharing your body with more than one person is immoral. Especially if you’re a woman.

And fear of sexual freedom underpins each and everyone of these beliefs. From the moment of conception, these beliefs are indoctrinated into us through media, religion and culture – all the source of much guilt and shame.

Isn’t it crazy that sex, the very thing that brought us into this world, is the thing we deny most?

And on top of that, we are so afraid of female sexual freedom that we have built systems around controlling it.

But what is the fear of embracing sex? 

What is the fear of gay people falling in love and entering the union of marriage? 

Is marriage really that sacred? 

The divine heterosexuals who rule the institution of marriage are divorcing at a rate of 50% and even those who remain married are often addicted to pornography and are busy perusing the profiles of other married people on Ashley Maddison.

Now don’t get me wrong, marriage is a beautiful thing. There are plenty of people who are happily married, build amazing families, and have wonderful lives. Their lives and way of living are not the issue. I think a conscious partnership is amazing and I can’t wait to build a family with someone special. 

The real problem stems from the Ivory Tower of the heterosexual marriage union that seems to be threatened by sexual freedom. 

There’s a fear that families, religion, and society, will all come crumbling down around us should we embrace the sexuality born unto us as an innate human right.

It’s inevitable that systems will come crashing down which are built on the foundation of false truths.  

The craziest part of the obsession to preserve this pretend world is that we have all been cheating the system and going behind its back anyways. 

But it’s ok to cheat the system, isn’t it?! As long as no one is found out, right?

We’re told to hide our unmarried pregnant daughters from our so called “friends” and co-religionists because it will bring shame to the family. 

We can’t tell our parents or family about the woman or man we’ve fallen in love with because she/he’s from a different culture or religion. 

We reject our children because of their sexual orientation and we scoff at interracial marriage. 

We would rather see two people who do not love each other get married to satisfy a system that does not allow them to love on their own terms. 

We mutilate female genitalia and shame the feminine desire to explore THEIR bodies. THEIR BODIES! How ridiculous is that?!

All because of what?! To preserve a way of living that does not even embrace the very innate desire for sexual freedom and exploration? One that is not even built on love, kindness and acceptance.

This system seems doomed to fail, does it not?

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Our innate sexual desire is evident in our engagement of movies and media. The fanfare of “Fifty Shades of Grey” is not because we just like horrible writing and bad acting. It is because it represents our very deepest truth: EACH and EVERY ONE of us has a freak flag. And almost none of us let it fly. 

So we become addicted to the porn movies where the (bad) actors are doing everything we wish we were doing.

Is there not a potential danger to ignoring our needs and hiding from our desires?

Absolutely. And the proof is all around us.

What do we think sexual repression manifests as? I don’t need to be a scientist to come to the conclusion that rape, aggression, molestation of children, and fetishes that are hidden in the corridors of Craigslist, are in some way related to the inability for us to just be ourselves.

We are all so afraid to just be who we are. We have bought into a system that is held together by the threat of shame.

Imagine if we all lived by the ACTUAL truth:

There is no one way to do anything. And anyone who claims to have it all figured out is the very person to run from.

Imagine if it was ok for everyone to not know and to search for knowledge through experience. Imagine if we just did the best we could, each and every day.

Imagine if we were told to just play, see, and feel. 

To find out what works for US

Imagine if our mistakes were embraced, and better yet, encouraged!

Imagine if we were taught that by finding out what we do not want it will just further reinforce what we DO want.

Imagine a world where we got to choose and that our choices did not have to be the same as everyone else’s.

That all of our decisions just need to be guided by our human capacity and desire to be kind. If every decision we made were based on the answer to the question:

“What would love do?” 

I don’t know everything but I do know this:

You are the expert of you. You know you better than anyone. You know how you love. You know what feels good, and you know what your heart beats for. 

You know what you want to try and what you are curious about. 

You know what you seek. And the most beautiful thing of all, is that you are not committed to a life sentence because you made a decision when you did not know what you know today.

There is no “right way”. There is only your way. And no one knows your life better than you. 

Live YOUR truth.

Good man, evolved man, evolved, relationship advice, dating advice, emotional intelligence, communication skills

Are There Enough Good Men For Good Women?

The other day I was speaking to my friend about the realities of dating and relationships today. It only takes a glimpse into the interactions on any relationship article or Instagram love quote, to see there are far more women reading and striving to improve their relationships than men.

This isn’t just true in the realm of social media. Women are the consumers of far more articles and books regarding bettering themselves in love. Whereas, we as men, are more open and willing to read a book on how to be a better leader, how to pick up women or manipulate our way through life. Many of these books, I’m reluctant to admit, have had a comfortable life on my shelf.

The line between work and home and how we behave is vague at best. As men, do we not see that the way we behave in romantic relationships and family systems is a form of leadership and teamwork too? That the way we are at home can translate to how we show up at work, and vice versa?

In addition, women are often a much more accurate barometer of the emotional state of relationships. Just think about the percentage of times a man says, “I want to talk about us” or “Things just seem off, I was hoping we could have a chat about how we’re doing.”

Male-initiated emotional conversations are few and far between. And this is even further supported by the mere fact that about two thirds of divorces are set in motion by women.

If we were to survey most established romantic relationships, it wouldn’t take long before we would see that men can exist in a relationship that is not necessarily amazing, but not bad either. Kind of like a “good enough to stay and not bad enough to leave” situation. I don’t mean all men, but most men. And when a woman finally leaves that’s when he says, “Wait!? I didn’t even realize things were bad! You never even tried!”

Oh yes. She did. And we were not listening, and maybe she was not saying it the right way. Or maybe no one taught us how to maintain a great relationship.

In order for men to thrive in relationships, good men need to teach good men.

However, with women there is a belief that they have an inherent ability to thrive in relationships and there is a pervasive arrogance to the messages regarding their emotional intelligence and capacity for love. One needs to only survey a couple of women before you’ll hear the commonly uttered phrase, “There are no good men out there.”

It’s a provocative thought isn’t it? Are there enough good men for good women? 

To move forward there is a need to define the idea of what makes a “good man” and what makes a “good woman”?

We could argue that a good man is one who shows integrity, honesty, the qualities of good fatherhood, supportiveness, empathy, and is kind in his words and offers fidelity. This is going to be defined a little differently by each person, but for sake of argument we can/will assume this is what makes men inherently “good”.

What defines a good woman? It’s likely very similar to what makes for a good man, except for the ever important caveat of women having different genitalia.

What makes a good women seems controversial to even discuss, doesn’t it? Because we usually just assume that on average women are the “good ones”, don’t we?

It sounds insulting to state “There are no good women out there” as it indicates that women on average are not good.

Then why is it ok to suggest that men are not good?

From what I have observed and read in the relationship world, I see that men are under the microscope when it comes to love and relationships, and women are told they are perfect at love, and that men need to step it up.

Have we truly invited men to be emotional?

Brené Brown’s research supports the idea that when a man breaks down and shares emotions with a woman, he loses her trust. His vulnerability reduces the safety his lady feels. This in turn, causes her to become angry and in some ways resent him for displaying a softer side of masculinity.

I thought we wanted emotional men? Is emotional equilibrium what we truly seek?

Based on the vast majority of literature and conversations I indulge in, the mass consensus appears to be that men should be to be able to talk about how they feel.

So what do women really want?

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It’s no wonder men feel confused about what role they need to play in relationships. There is a disconnect between what is asked of them and what they are empowered and rewarded for being.

Now, truth be told, it’s not like men everywhere are shedding tears, opening their hearts, and losing their woman because of emotional transparency. Men do not tend to share their emotions, they do not tell the women in their lives that they are upset or don’t feel loved.

Men are lost, because no one taught them what being a man means, or what they are taught is patriarchal and “old fashioned”.

Brene’s research demonstrates men being their vulnerable selves may actually result in disconnection with their partner, which is the opposite result of the intention of sharing. So on each man goes, pretending that men don’t have emotions and are not good at talking about feelings.

Because if he is sensitive he is a “pussy”, certainly not emotionally intelligent and aware of his emotional state.

We can safely say that all those things which traditionally defined the masculine model for the last couple of centuries have been displaced, and women often find themselves making the money and decisions.

We are quick to point out where men can step it up, but we do not think or discuss the idea of where women can step up their game, do we?

Women do so many things well. They show up emotionally and they create community. Women, are inherently good. They are beautifully kind, empathetic, nurturing and supportive. They build amazing social programs and have rallied to create a female empowerment movement that is unbelievably inspiring, and unbelievably needed.

There is still much oppression of the feminine, and every country and culture has a lot of work to do to have women treated with equality, and empowered and supported by all men.

That’s why I think this conversation is important, because in order for women to thrive, men need to as well.

I think that we are all here for connection and to share our hearts, but we cannot do it alone.

It begs me to ask: Are we forgetting about men, in the effort to save women? Have we forgotten about all the good men out there through our desire not to disturb the feminine?

Celebration of men and the male model is uncommon. We tend not to talk about all the amazing fathers, and unbelievably stand up men who we can call at any hour and would do anything for all the people in their lives.

Because there are a lot of them. 

I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up with, and really have only enjoyed the company of great men. Men of integrity and consistency in how they show up for the women and men in their lives. But, I do not think that it is rare, and it is not only my friends and athletic teammates who are like this.

Everywhere I travel I meet incredible men.

I can see and find good men, because they are who I look for. Just like all the women I know are incredible, intelligent, kind and have some of the brightest souls on the planet.

The truth is, we get what we focus on.

There are a lot of women who focus on their inability to find good men.

I hear “There are no good men out there” from women who have emotional wounds. Women who have chosen men and ignored red flags. Women who cheat and lie to themselves and others. Women who have their own work to do.

I’m not saying men don’t have work to do. We do. And women have work to do too. It’s a human problem, not a gender problem. We, as men, need to build from within first and create conscious communities where men can learn to support and develop together.

We need to teach each other, and even more importantly, we need to teach our sons how to become a good men and what that means. We need to be GREAT fathers.

We need to embrace and embody the emotional skills required of us to be amazing leaders in every facet of our lives. 

We need to show up for the women(and men) in our lives and demonstrate kindness and empathy. 

 We need to remember and celebrate all of the men who are changing the world. 

We need to create a space for men to thrive, and instead of trying to destroy each other, we need to build each other up. 

I commend all the good men who push for change and equality. Who don’t see gender, and instead see hearts; hearts that crave connection and love.

I am so proud to be a man and to share this planet with such amazing and wonderful men. 

To answer the question, “Are There Enough Good Men For Good Women?”: YES, I believe that there are more than enough good men out there.  And if this is true, it begs the next question:

Are there enough good women who can hold the space for good men? 

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They’re Not Gender Issues, They’re Human Issues. #HeForShe

I fell in love with Emma Watson today. Well, let’s be honest, I loved her when she was in Harry Potter but she was too young to say that then. So I’ll say it now.

Her UN address for the #HeForShe movement was beautiful.

But my love is not just reserved for Emma. I love all women. Always have. Some would probably say I’m girl crazy. Others say it’s the Scorpio in me. I would argue that it’s both evolutionary programming as well as a general appreciation for women’s beauty.

I grew up in a home where we were free to be who we are. There were no gender requirements, and I’m lucky to have a mother who commanded respect and adoration simply through the way she freely loved. She has always been involved in supporting women and their rights. We used to joke and poke fun at it and yet she never got angry or persecuted the men in her life. She only lovingly attempted to include us in the conversation so that we could understand.

I didn’t really want to understand though. In my teens and twenties I didn’t believe I was ready to. I rallied for women’s rights with the not-so-secret intention of enjoying topless women roaming the streets. Although I do support that movement now my intention is less perverse and I see that the path to equality is through all humans.

As I’ve begun my journey working with men and women on communication I see the glaringly obvious divide that exists in the invitation for men to participate. We want men to show up in relationships and support the feminist movement yet men who display feminine qualities are scoffed at for not fitting the traditional archetype of what it means to be a man: an archetype which is outdated and to the detriment of the lives of young men. An archetype vastly promoted by men too. I see that.

So, for this reason, I have long had a problem with feminism. My understanding of feminism has always been the “Us vs. Them” mentality and so I couldn’t get on board. The most outspoken feminists tell men that they don’t need them: that a divide is necessary to move forward.

I believe the opposite is true.

And that is why a feminist movement involving just women can never be successful. Like it or not, we need each other. And the way to combat inequality and exclusion is not to have more of it. Exclusion serves no one and there are many men who are on the side of equality and women’s rights. Including me.

We need to choose love, acceptance and to coexist in a world where we support one another as humans.

That’s why #HeForShe has me ecstatic beyond belief.

The struggle that Emma speaks to is so important for all humans. We love to fit things into gender. This is what “men” do. This is how “women” do things. It’s so much more complex than that.

We love to separate and create divides.

But you know what?! Between each gender is a MASSIVE variation. We miss all of the grey when we commit to putting people into boxes, and we fail to see the bigger picture:

They’re not gender issues, they’re human issues.

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We often equate sensitivity with women. We attribute aggression and a lack of ability to communicate emotions with men. Sure, those attributes can be true, and more often than not you’d be right if you said men are ‘this way’ and women are ‘that way’.

Here’s the real risk in those assumptions. Not only do you make decisions and actions based on perceived archetypes of what men and women are, but you also negate the opportunity to understand the specific human you’re dealing with, and allow a man or woman to exist in the constructs of what makes them unique.

We are SO complex.

How arrogant of us to assign generalizations.

Men and women are different. Easy statement. Each human is different. Gender is a very small piece of the pie. We try to hack our understanding of what the person in front of us is like. There are no shortcuts, the key is to choose love. Love of all humans. Love of equality. Let’s stop ignoring one gender to save another and instead embrace all that it means to be human.

We live in a world where choice and abundance are a pleasure shared by too few.

When Emma Watson so eloquently asked,

“If not me, who? If not now, when?”

I reach out to all of you deliciously amazing human beings to say “YES” to #HeForShe and do it “NOW”.

If #HeForShe is the new Feminism then I say let’s all become Feminists.

Share this message so all of our fathers, sons, brothers, mothers, daughters and sisters might experience this same amazingly beautiful  life and all its opportunities.