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This morning Monday, August 27, 2018 Mars went direct.? For the last week God of war, passion and assertion has been moving slowly in the skies at his closest placement to Earth since 2003.? This summer we began with a mandate (no pun intended, as Mars ‘controls’ all things we consider to be masculine—directness, independence, stoicism and taking over) to deconstruct our ideals regarding masculinity.? His apparent backward trek started on June 26, 2018.? Look to your personal life to see how power and control have been used, from a shared ‘win-win’ position or ‘top-bottom’ one.? How has status and oneupmanship been exhibited?? (Even the word ‘oneupmanship’ contains ‘man’.)? Have you had past fights or resentments resurface over the past several months?

I am seriously considering to never use the phrase ‘man up’.? There is no achieving maleness, except at the expense of your spiritual, physical, mental and emotional health.? We toughen, are imprinted and taught to ‘man up’.? Just this weekend I was described as ’emotional’ and ‘stupid’ for dancing at a long stop light on 59th and 71-S (I use this stop light regularly, I know how long of a song it can take for the light to change from red to green & I enjoyed ‘Chinese Fire Drills’ in high school, too, song came on Spotify, I jumped out of the driver’s seat and danced.)? If being called emotional (in high school it was just straight up, gay), and it extends those ten years on my life, then so be it.

How does your man, ‘man up’? How does he build walls in that John Wayne or hyper-masculine hip hop pose?? How can we look through our intellect into our hearts and souls to embody a more evolved kind of power that includes our physical bodies without becoming attached to power/control equals masculinity and surrender/feeling equals femininity?? I am feeling and smart, and I have the dance moves on 59th Street to prove it.? I have enough messages in the dominate culture telling me how to ‘man up’, frankly I have no fucks to give meaning that I don’t give a damn, Scarlett) in my personal life from folk who do not take the time to understand my behaviors (that harm no one, incidentally), behaviors that are sourced in the joy I feel and express when my human side seeks agency.? Through a conscious balancing of my intellect (knowing how long the traffic light lasts) and my feeling/soul (Miss Celie, I feels like singin’ in a field of color purple) I changed my reality for approximately 20 seconds.? Knowing when to let your heart show matters in demonstrating healthy masculinity, that is recognize your connections and be true to your feelings, sometimes a bit of suppression, but repression is not allowed or encouraged.

Where women rule or are allowed more moving room is in this expression, that is socialized and imprinted from the beginning (I’ll ignore intersectionality of race, sexuality and class for now),?we men must choose to transform our toxic masculinity and its behaviors to become more whole and human.? It is through ending this binary trek of no feeling aka ‘manning up’, heightened repression that causes bad health outcomes to constant dependency on women to be the feeling agents in out lives.? It keeps us all out of balance.? Make your own doctor’s appointments.? Keep up with your own friendships.? It’s your party, you can cry if you want to…

??The three most destructive words that every man receives when he?s a boy is when he?s told to ?be a man.?? ?Joe Ehrmann, coach and former NFL player?


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