Change is hard. And, as men, we’re being asked to do a lot of it lately. The good news? We’re prepared for it. We’ve been preparing all of our lives for it. We just didn’t know. When we were growing up, and people told us that being a man required courage and bravery, we thought they meant the kind of courage it takes to run into burning buildings–but no. They actually meant we needed to be courageous enough to face something even more terrifying: our own feelings.
The world’s rapidly changing gender dynamics are your burning building. And, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to run in there without getting at least a little bit burned. If you want to make it out of that building as a hero, you’re going to have to take some emotional risks. You’re going to have to have a lot of honest and uncomfortable conversations about sexual harassment, sexual assault, gender discrimination, and your own privilege. You’re going to have to be willing to risk saying the wrong thing or asking a stupid question in order to learn. You’re going to have to be willing to feel the shame and resentment when some people refuse to have patience with you as you learn and make mistakes. You’re going to have to be willing to feel your own frustration and anger when you can’t seem to get anyone to see your point-of-view. And, you’re going to have to be willing to be humbled, to acknowledge that you don’t know everything, and to acknowledge that you may have been wrong. More than anything, possibly, you’re going to need to listen in a way that you maybe never have.
Why in the hell would you put yourself through all of that? Because the reward will be great. You’ve heard the expression, “until all of us are free, none of us are free,” right? To the extent you help to remove the obstacles women face in trying to live to their full potential, you help to remove your own.
In this episode, Michael Levittan returns to talk to Dan about how men can thrive in the #MeToo era. At times, the conversation is awkward and painful. But, it’s a great example of two guys who are “not doing it perfectly, but doing it consciously.” It takes emotional courage for men to have these kinds of conversations in a public forum. AND, we’re willing to bet that it might take a great deal of emotional courage for many of you just to listen to this conversation to the end, without shutting it off to avoid feeling uncomfortable. But, we challenge you to stick with it and to join in the conversation, by letting us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or send an email to [email protected].
Dr. Michael (Levittan) is an accomplished and recognized expert on domestic violence, anger management, child abuse, trauma and PTSD. He is a licensed psychotherapist, director of a state certified batterers’ treatment program, serves as an Expert Witness in court, teaches seminars and courses at UCLA Extension, National Alliance on Mental Illness, International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma, Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, L.A. Superior Court, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, U.S. Marines, Women’s Shelters, etc. He appeared as an expert on the Tyra Banks Show, Starting Over, Bad Girls Club, Montel Williams, Hollywood 411, and in radio, online, and print publications. Dr. Michael s believes in working to further the cause of establishing safety in the family and peace in the world. His passion and determination come across in his presentations.
I’m a Straight Man, Now What? – New York Times
The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker