So, let’s talk about the enlightened man. Is this just another fad, like the man bun, or are men really ‘waking up’?
I like to think that we, as a society, are starting to move in a good direction. But as for whether or not men are becoming ‘enlightened’, that depends heavily on how we are defining the term. And for me personally, I think this has a fair bit to do with privilege and awareness.
As a woman, I know that male privilege is more than just a hashtag. It’s ingrained in our society and affects us throughout life, from childhood to retirement.
How much can a man really understand what it is like to walk in a woman’s shoes, when he can only truly see the world through his own eyes? He was born with male privilege – can he really escape it?
And the same can be said for race or socio-economic background. Can we really walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes? I’m afraid we cannot. Realistically, the best we can do is try to be open-minded and compassionate.
So is it then impossible for men to ever truly understand a woman’s point of view? Should we cut them some slack? Actually, I think we must. Life is all about balance. And when we take a balanced approach, actually masculine and feminine energies can compliment each other beautifully. With understanding and acceptance, gender differences don’t have to be such a sore point.
What does it mean anyway?
For me personally, being enlightened basically means being curious, open-minded, tolerant and compassionate towards ourselves as well as others. It means being interested in the world around us and not being afraid to listen to other people’s truth and values.
And could we argue that being enlightened has an element of spirituality to it? Or would that be taking it to far?
You tell me.
There’s something about the extra dimension added to our lives when we feel that there’s something bigger than ourselves… whether we call it God, Universe, Soul or Love.
I know it’s not all rainbows and unicorns…
Sure, there are plenty of unenlightened men (and women) in our world today. And of course privilege is dangerous in the hands of inflexible, narrow-minded men who wish to oppress women, or even other men.
This superior attitude that so many men still have, like so many things, begins in childhood. We raise our little boys and little girls differently. Perhaps this is done a little unconsciously, as we are only repeating what our parents did, and their parents before them. But I think women everywhere, and now some enlightened men too, are waking up to the fact that it’s time to move on from this and teach equality to our next generation.
What about enlightened women?
I think as women, the most enlightened thing we can do to help the situation is to be understanding of men, and appreciate their efforts to treat us with equality. Sure, they will never truly walk in our shoes. But if they can give us more room in society to be different from them but still accepted. If they can laugh with us, not at us. If they can stand with us, not above us. Then I for one will happily take that as a win.
To answer the question in my title – does the enlightened man exist – I think that he does. He seems to be small in number right now, but steadily growing. And the more enlightened men AND women that can help to educate and raise the next generation, the better still!
I have proof!
In the recent show we did on the show Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Pleasure on America Out Loud called “Toxic Masculinity” you might be surprised at the points my co-host Malcolm Out Loud end up sharing with us. You can listen in right HERE.
What we can do to help increase the number of enlightened men in our world is to parent our next generation in a way that allows more openness, equality and compassion.
So welcome, enlightened people, I think the world is ready for us.