He highlights the necessity of, as well as the struggle with, opening up our lives as men to other men. And quite frankly, there is a struggle most men have with opening their lives up to women as well.
In other words, he describes what i call the Vulnerability of Vulnerability.
What often goes unsaid in our culture is the freeing truth that men do not always function best alone, they often do not feel strong, and they experience very strong emotions. Even less do we hear that it takes great strength for a man to courageously step outside of the masculine stereotype, and actually be willing to express what he “feels” from a point of vulnerability or brokenness.
We do experience very strong emotions and we certainly don’t function best alone. In fact, i would say it more emphatically than Gomez: men — like all people — are designed for relationship and to live without healthy and deep relationships is catastrophic for our souls.
i agree wholeheartedly with Gomez when he says that it takes great strength for men to courageously step outside of the masculine stereotype and express what they feel. It takes even greater courage to share anything from a position of weakness.
It is this refusal to be vulnerable that keeps many men trapped in all sort of patterns, behaviors and addictions. It is especially at play in the imprisonment that comes with an addiction to pornography, lust and masturbation. Who would dare take the risk of opening up about those things?
After all, in our culture, pornography lust and masturbation are treated as approved masculine behaviors by an increasingly large section of popular culture.
For example, it will seem completely normal for countless men to sit down tonight and watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Many women will obviously watch too, but the point is that in our society now the lustfulness of men is considered normal, healthy and acceptable.
What a vulnerable move it is then for a man to say that he won’t watch that because of what it does to his soul. What a courageous step to admit the weakness that drives his lustful cravings and marathon porn sessions on line. How risky to share with anyone that it is insecurity about masculinity that drives habits of pornography, lust and masturbation.
So risky. So true. So very needed in the current age we live in.
Gomez goes on to ask the question: “How did our culture come to such a point that we have gotten masculinity so wrong?”
i think the answer to that is a rather long story. But one of my thoughts on that is this: most of the models of masculinity we have been given in our culture have been false. Heroes in movies who never have a weak moment and never need anyone else are untrue and they mislead us about what a man really is.
Gomez also raises this point:
Lets assume that men somehow get the message that brokenness, healing, and strength are all intertwined. Where would they go to connect with other men to simply “be real?” I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that far too many men still wrestle with having a male confidant to turn to when life becomes difficult. This area too has to be addressed.
To this i say: men need a band of brothers. Every man needs one. Men become men in the company of other men. It’s the relational dynamic for which we were designed.