Just before going to a 10-day Vipassana silent retreat I took the PAX seminar “Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women”…
The flavor of the course seemed like a sophisticated etiquette course… and the workshop leader seemed like an uptight sorority girl, lecturing us as we are little kids on her boundaries for an hour before the course began!b There is a huge difference between setting boundaries to control people vs. Despite these initial impressions I came to the workshop to learn how to be more empowered in my interactions with men. I wanted to stop self-abandoning and stop giving up my power with men through feeling guilty even though I did nothing wrong or feeling responsible for their experience.
It’s really valuable to give up this idea of men as “dysfunctional women” and just enjoy them for their own merits. To know how to ask for our needs to be met in a way that men understand, to respect, and honor men and to realize it doesn’t help them, us, or our relationships to make them feel inadequate because they have another way of listening and understanding.
1. Stone age view of men’s emotions with ideas that “the way men are” is they don’t:
– Trust their emotions as a source of information
– They believe their identities are their values, not their emotions
3. “Posts” or values protect men’s hearts and we attack their “posts” they feel attacked. Examples used in the class of men’s “posts” – football, video games, and beer… WOW
4. Validates men, while invalidating women; women come to the course feeling disempowered around men and that makes it difficult to jump into appreciating men.
5. Many important topics/ questions not addressed.
– Values conflict with how men “are” – what if my values like open communication, sharing emotions, and connection conflict with this idea of how men “are” (which I don’t buy)
6. Men develop Crohn’s disease and other psycho-somatic diseases from repressed emotions. How can we just accept them as not communicating their emotions when potentially they could get sick from this!
There was not enough emphasis placed on Women’s Empowerment and it made it difficult for some of us to move wholeheartedly into the oath to give up “castrating men forever”
What I learned
I can’t believe the PAX course is the MOST progressive course we have for women to understand men. I think it undermines men, our men are capable of much much more. I recently started listening to podcasts by Robert Ohotto, the guy is great and really highlights the problem, especially this podcast