I am feeling a bit self-conscious about writing it but there is so little celebration of the beautiful masculine at the moment I have decided to just stand on my vulnerability like a surfboard.
Here I go.
Some context. I am 38 and most of the people in my social circle are 35 – 45 so the men I am most aware of fit into this broad age group.
I have been working at a tech start up since January and most of the men I work with are under 32.
And they are different - eyebrow raising, head tilting, frowning different.
There is an emotional connectedness and a fearless vulnerability that has me very confused some days. These men share. And I mean really share, not the point scoring debating I am used to, but proper stuff. Beyond new music and car tips they offer their stories, their humour and their care.
It's a new definition of what it means to be masculine where sensitivity is not weakness, emotion is not death and the ability to share is rewarded by tribal support rather than ridicule.
I have just read my last few sentences and my inner judger (with clip board and checklist pen) is reminding me that there is a certain level of privilege that is required to come into your 20s as such a person. And I agree. Sometimes our life path does not allow vulnerability as an option. But the fact that in spite of all these obstacles, there are a lot of these new men out there is so delightful to me.
This new kind of man is worth celebrating. He can talk about how his wearing skinny jeans for the first time is making him feel awkward, share a hilarious but totally wish-this-was-my-relationship-with-my-father BBM discussion with his dad about cars or skype chat about BDSM erotica and marginalised subgroups. And all in a way where the connection happens in the conversation and in the moment.
I am having the kind of discussions with these men I normally only have with my girl friends. And it’s wonderful. It gives me the sense that this battle of the sexes has the possibility of finally being put aside as this new generation battles it out for humanity.
I don't have any killer conclusions to this post. All I can offer is my hope that my son becomes one of this new generation of men that my daughter has the love of one of these men in her life.
And to all the men I know who are a bit older - you deserve celebration too. But for different reasons.