Rollo Tomassi, a podcaster and writer has been concerned about the crisis in masculinity for years, maintains that modern psychology is failing men because “modern psychology is by women for women.” Appearing on Dr. Phil, he said, “Since the start of the Sexual Revolution, we’ve told men to ‘man down‘; yet modern psychology’s prescription for men is ‘man up,’ but only insofar as it benefits women’s interests.” He maintains that all proposed male solutions are “gender-swapping female solutions.” This phenomenon does not allow for “a uniquely male solution largely because to do so would mean acknowledging fundamental differences in men’s evolved psychologies.”
Men learn from other men how to relate as men and to “act like men” (I Cor. 16:13). Our mothers and other women can only take us so far. Men need to hear, feel, and experience the male mode of feeling and grief from other men. After all, we are different from women. But like many men, l learned a mostly female mode of relating and dealing with pain (my mother’s influence and being a heart-type guy). Men need an “AA” type of small group where men can share their pain as men. What is said often at an AA meeting is, “You are as sick as your secrets.” This is a truth that most men can only explore with other men. Why? Because the feminine voice in culture is too often screaming for men to “man up” from a feminine perspective.
Often when modern psychology promotes “positive masculinity” some form of “negative” masculinity must also exist. But it needs to be shouted from the rooftops of every home that being a man is not in itself “toxic.” The American Psychological Association claims there are no major differences between men and women. The AMA now considers traditionally masculine qualities such as stoicism and competitiveness as psychologically harmful to men. Be aware, modern psychology, in general, is failing men.
Recently, the Second Gentlemen Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, was interviewed on a major news outlet talking about too much “toxicity” in masculinity. He vowed, “I am going to continue to use this platform every time I get to speak out against this toxic masculinity that is out there.” He believes, “we’re kind of confused what it means to be a man, what it means to be masculine.”
In my opinion, he did very little to help men in their confusion. “You’ve got this trope out there where you have to be tough, and angry, and lash out to be strong. I think it is just the opposite. Strength is how you show your love for people. Strength is how you are for people and how you have their back and how you stick up for other people and pushing up and out against bullies.” Again, we find in the Second Gentlemen’s perspective the unconcluded struggle between being tough and tender. A man can be strong, determined, and resolved without being angry or vindictive. But how can he?
Here is my simple advice: First, allow God to fashion your unique masculine soul. Be open to God opening the flood gates of your soul. Allow yourself to grieve your past, while giving yourself hope for tomorrow. Healing of the soul takes time.
Secondly, allow God to shape your inner life to be a more compassionate, loving, sensitive man. But this is vital: do it from your masculine soul, not shaped by outside feminine voices.
Thirdly, build intimate fellowship with “soulful” men – men with open hearts. Drink in the healthy masculine from other men.