Masculinity: Looking for the Best in People & Why We Need to Change the Conversation About Men

September 16, 2019

I have lots of reasons to dislike men.

A father who left when I was a teenager, with whom I subsequently severed our relationship entirely for various reasons (for more on small portions of that story I’m willing to discuss publicly, see #RoomToGrowPodcast episodes 24 and 93), got screwed around by males I was dating in my late teens and early 20s, and then, the ultimate betrayal by my long-term partner of 9 years with his infidelity throughout the course of our entire relationship.

It would be very easy for me to decide to write all men off as assholes who are out to get me.

And yet….I genuinely like men far more now than I ever have at any other point in my entire life.

No one was more surprised by this realization than I was initially.

But here’s the thing: we cannot hate on men and simultaneously wonder where all the good ones are. If we paint everyone with broad brush strokes, it’s very difficult to see the good in people.

We see what we want to see. We get what we look for. And like anything else, if you’re always looking for the negative, the flaws, the bad, then that’s exactly what you’ll see.

Instead, what about a different type of conversation around types of behaviour you’ll tolerate from others, male or otherwise? The boundaries you’re going to put into place and enforce? The love & compassion you will have for yourself first, before you decide to be open to inviting anyone along with you on your journey?

The game changed when I started looking around and paying attention to the good in people.

The amazing men in my own life that have always been there for me, the men who are leading the way to change with conversations around re-defining masculinity and its’ relationship to feminism & cheering women on, the incredible fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, partners and friends who show up for the women (and other men) in their lives every.single.day in BIG ways.

There’s more brewing in my head around this topic that I will be discussing further. For now, I’m challenging you to re-focus your energy on looking for the good in all things, especially some of the amazing men in your life or who you see modeled for you.

**this post is somewhat more heteronormative than is my preference solely due to my own personal experiences, as I always try to approach things as inclusively as possible, but looking for the good in people applies to any gender regardless of sexuality**

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