For guys struggling with the vulnerability aspect, remember your greatest strength is also your weakness and vice versa.
So for guys ….. if you can’t read past the direct association your guys is giving you that patriarchy = male individual identity, stop. Take a breath. Realize it is word being used to define a set of societal traits good and bad that have arisen and needed to be defined by a group that knows how to use their “words” in balance with “their” emotions. If women were in charge and the roles were reversed it would be called the Matriarchy, it is a definition of time and place for which none of us have control over.
Why should you listen? Because unless you have real “trauma” to back your defensiveness (and even then it is not a full pass), understand when women talk about gender issue it comes from a place where they have to put the energy into protect their life and safety. The difference for violence on a person is directly related to the definition difference of homicide versus suicide. Women fear for their life “every” “damn” “day”.
So remember the call out is not (from my vantage point) about patriarchy = men = you, but it is about how you process and communicate your feelings and interact with the people around you when a hard topic like this comes up. It is how you talk to the “equal” signs in that formula above, and how you deal with people that help and hurt you as you communicate.
I can’t tell you as a CIS white hetero male whom if you met on a street you would make strong assumptions about masculinity [I am thick broad shoulder, thick assed, and strong guy], but I can tell you I will take any physical challenge over the mental and emotional fights I did. IT is hard AF to deal with, but I refused to not go after it because I would be “less” of a man if I didn’t.
For my personal journey, the bolster of internal defenses because I was in an internal life-and-death struggle empowered fierce stoicism which then required self-medicated soothing of Bourbon, Vodka, and Scotch.
I got lucky with my current partner who saw both the immense rage in me, but then also knew I would never raise a hand or hurt a woman as the angel fighting the demon in me was far stronger. As a personal share, one day she was thrown from a horse (think like Christopher Reever) and when she was knocked out cold for 30 seconds the horse went to try to stampede on her. I got between her and the horse and threw my entire body into the horse like I would tackling a running back in my old football days …. lets say it didn’t feel good.
So guys …. this horse going in for the kill is your inability to process a very hard thing (fragility).
So my “core” masculine strength is to be a protector, and if need be since the systems are in place to attack the weak … let me stand in front of the firing squad to swing my sword while you stand back like an archer in mid-evil times launching your arrows.
I will trust you have my back when I fall, as I know I will and then we can learn to teach all kids to be on the frontlines regardless of gender or sling the arrows in the back or providing their best core skills.
This author has taken considerable time and energy to broach a topic which can get her flamed or trolled. Don’t be that dick. She is doing a great service to you in empowering your manhood and that is a true statement of a friend and a person that truly “loves” men ….