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I worked on an article for Forbes and then read a post from a friend on Facebook that used the term, “bromance” to describe a deep and quality relationship between two men. It was not a compliment. That’s the trigger for today’s podcast.
Today’s show, frankly, stems from some articles . . . An article I wrote recently that will appear in Forbes and, then, something that I caught that a friend of mine wrote on Facebook that prompted me to do today’s show. And I’m calling it “Bromance” because I think it’s reflective of a cultural norm that has taken place where it’s okay to insult men. It’s okay to be demeaning to man as a form of retribution to all the insults that have been heaped upon women over the course of many years. “
The fact of the matter is for the longest time . . . Well, let me backtrack for a second. I’ve spent about 25 years helping man who try to figure out what it means to be a man in modern times. Yet, you know, there’s a lot of confusion for many of them as women’s voices become louder, boys get worse grades than girls, suicide is the biggest killer of men under 35. Did you know that one, by the way?
Men also reports significantly lower life satisfaction than women. According to statistics, men make up 76 percent of all suicides, 95% of the prison population and 73 percent of adults who go missing. It’s not easy being a guy and the models that are available are changing as well.
So, after all, for the longest time, the typical model for men was to be the good man. He was to go out there, particularly in the heterosexual world, was to go out there, do his job and do it well and sacrifice his own life and be the head of the household. Obviously, there were a lot of men who didn’t fall into this category and were abusive. We’re not going there for today. That’s for another show.
But a lot of men, basically, gave up their lives for their family, went out to do work. Some of them enjoyed it. I think, most, really didn’t. And the rules were crystal clear at that point. It’s evolved at this point where, for a lot of men, they don’t know what it really means to be a man in this century.
So, when I read back to Robert Moore and the mythopoetic model that he shared of king, warrior, magician and lover, they were basically having the model replaced by one where there are no rules from them and they’re struggling because they don’t really have a structure. And without social meaning, you know, they’re living lives without purpose. So, they’re doing their job and they’re doing tasks and they’re feeling isolated and disengaged.
Now before you start becoming insulting . . . “Those poor babies. Man up . . . “ That’s the point. This isn’t about man-ing up any more than it was about womaning up. This is about not being insulting to someone who’s different than you.
Society has basically abandoned this notion of the good man. There’s nothing interesting about him. He’s insulted regularly. TV shows mock him so often. After all, the role he’s given is The Village Idiot on every family show. It’s not the mom. It’s not the kids. It’s always the father who’s the idiot. Many men don’t even . . . Well, I’ll just simply say the typical model that gets attention in modern times is the train wreck. That’s true of men and women. So, who wants to do that?
There’s another model that exists of basically being an Explorer–the one who’s going out and trying to build something new. In the 19th century, that would have been a robber baron. In modern times, these are the tech leaders who’ve created, in effect, idea railroads and highway systems for all of us. There’s a lot that’s changed but this model seems to be one of the new ones.
But the question comes down to in living a life where you have lots of choices, why is it necessary to demean men who try to be emotionally intelligent by using terms like “Bromance,” by trying to put them back in the box by telling them man up. We’ve heard for years that It’s important to be emotionally intelligent.
We’ve heard for years it’s important to not isolate. Yet, here’s an example– – Bromance– which is not said to be a complimentary term. It’s said to be an insulting and critical term.
If men are going to transition in our modern times, if men are going to look at things differently and adapt to a world where we are seeking equality between men and women races, sexual orientations and such, it’s important that men– white men, African American men, Latino men, Asian men– are not insulted in any way or discouraged from living life with the freedom that others aspire to.
Pay attention to your language and how its messaged. Is this the way you want others to be or are you just trying to score a snark point and to think that you’re so clever. Cleverness usually isn’t. It’s an insult and I don’t think that really serves people well.
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked in recruiting for what seems like one hundred years. He is the head coach
for NoBSCoachingAdvice.com. He is the host of “The No BS Coaching Advice Podcast,” “No BS Job Search Advice,” and “Job Search Radio.”
Are you interested in my coaching you? Connect with me on LinkedIn and, once we are connected, message me.
Connect with Me on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/thebiggamehunter
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