Sustainable Masculinity – Ensuring Species Survival


As part of male gender studies we’ll explore how and why men were conditioned (socialized) to serve what is now an outmoded societal model. We’ll examine the resulting negative impacts, both for men, their families and communities. Once men understand the consequences of our socialising, we can make positive changes without self blame or guilt and our lives can change drastically.

These steps may help you expand your consciousness as they did mine. If this approach appeals to you then I invite you to dive in and begin the work; the rewards are huge! I know this from both my own experience and reports from the men I’ve worked and learned with.


One of the main reasons men are learning to change is that of improved relationships with their partners, their children and their workmates.
As men learn emotional competencies they are more sought after as companions and confidents; attracting quality friends because they are more authentic and compassionate. Numerous studies show that the happiest people are those with the best relationships. Usually this requires good emotional competencies which form the basis of good partnership skills. Above all, these people are happy with themselves. I’ve certainly found this to be true for my self.

All positive change requires a shift in personal consciousness first. I define consciousness as an awareness and congruency occurring across the five aspects that comprise a human being; namely our physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual layers. Becoming more conscious as men, means that we are less influenced by our unconscious parts. The unconscious is responsible for many of the choices humans make. Literally we are not in charge; we are not running our own show. The unconscious needs to be factored in because it can destroy all the good we do. (Bill Clinton Syndrome)

Therefore it is vital to maintain constant vigilance and congruency (integrity) between these aspects of ourselves; that is consciousness in action. Equally important is the congruent relationship between all aspects of ourselves to other people and the world we live in. There should be transparency and flow between all our parts.

When there is not, that is called compartmentalization. One example would be a gang boss kindly playing with his wife and child while ordering the extermination of a rival gang on the phone. Most men learn to compartmentalize to some extent. Our job requires courageous self-examination to see if we walk our talk, if there is flow, consistency and transparency between all our layers.

I believe in the innate intelligence of people; so do I believe in men. Our fathers and grandfathers achieved amazing things against all odds. We can as well but today’s challenge is more complex, both local and global, requiring a different type of courage; one arising from and solidly centred in our inner congruence mentioned above.

It is worth exploring the need for some new male norms (values) and consider them within a framework of sustainability. Today many men are working to change themselves and help others which is re-affirming of our potential to create a global culture of peace; re-affirming humanity’s ability to adapt and survive.

For men this work is inspiring; re-inventing ourselves by becoming authentic and then helping other men and boys to change one at a time is like adding a dropper of dye to a beaker of water, drop by drop, until suddenly all the water turns the same colour, the colour, a metaphor for the new male paradigm, a true partnership paradigm — partnership with men, women and children of all races, partnership with the environment.

The Global Mess

Lets face it, despite our brilliance in certain areas, we humans have made a mess; one wonders how we can have been so stupid in the big picture. (Lack of holistic thinking) As men we men played a major role in creating this mess due to our conditioning which will be discussed in more detail later in this booklet.

Masculinity was previously conveyed to boys by the elders in the tribe/village. Today’s media portrays a confusing range regarding masculinity and thus it is good to clarify the subject while validating the many different types of men and masculinities. Therefore when I use the term men, I’m recognizing a huge diversity or continuum within the gender. Some of my statements may be relevant to one end of that continuum and not apply to you. However myths are powerful; they shape societies, set behavioural norms and impact all men in some way.

The dominant “tough man” myth still lingers today; it is a very powerful and ancient myth, filled with irrational dogma. Most men and boys I’ve worked with said they never measured up to this impossible standard. It is an outmoded myth and quite dangerous for men and those they love. Therefore I encourage you to be authentic. Do what it takes to become your true self regardless of where you fit on the ‘male scale.’

Mess Cleaning -Opportunity for positive action!

Since many men like action, a phenomenon exists that just might be our saving grace. When we men clean up our messes, we embody a level of consciousness different to the one we had when we made the original mess. Remember Einstein saying, “One can’t solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it.”

Mess cleaning creates an opportunity to grow bigger and step up into certain positive character qualities. Positive change begins the moment we engage in cleaning up our messes. Sadly our socialization as men ensures that we have made plenty; especially relationship messes. If we have told lies, cheated, stolen or profited unfairly from certain behaviours, that weighs heavily on our soul and I believe will ultimately harm our health. But that was in the past, so today, with your new consciousness and intention, get on the phone and begin making amends.

Reclaiming Integrity

Integrity is crucial for the cleaning up process; our integrity may have been off when we made the mess but we can enter this next stage with new and clear integrity. (What a relief!) I’ll discuss this complex topic in future handbooks, suffice to say now that we cannot become an authentic being while our integrity is off; it will always come back to harm us greatly not to mention all those connected to us.

You could make a mess list today and begin to make things right; sometimes it can be as simple as an explanation and/or an apology.

Mess cleaning is a good starting place for many men embracing change. It is action learning, it is action change, it can be started today and it is a concrete step towards growing ourselves.

• Our consciousness shifts the moment we decide to mess-clean
• We grow during the process – growth is significant and lasting
• Many men like action -this is positive change action
• The rewards are greater than we can imagine
• Cleaning up our messes locally contributes to peace globally
• No man who does this work wants to go back to the old ways