DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: A friend with daughters referred me to your column. While I enjoy it very much, I would like to see more coverage of male issues. Almost every helpful program is weighted toward girls while ignoring the needs of boys. What is going on? — Mother of a Son, Monterey, Calif.
Editor’s Note: Jesse finishes his comment with “...we don’t ‘take things to heart’ like women do.” His words reveal the core of the male crisis which is a crisis of the heart. The male heart has not been allowed to be vulnerable. We now know that emotional IQ is the biggest predicator of success. Having a high emotional intelligence means being in tune with your full range of feelings and knowing how to make these feelings your allies in accomplishing your goals instead of letting them shut you down. Another factor in success is mutual support, something women do for each other constantly, but that you only rarely see in men.
The Mankind Project is the best thing I’m aware of for empowering men and helping them become stronger through honesty around their feelings and mutual support. From their website at www.mankindproject.org is the following description: “The ManKind Project flies in the face of rigid stereotypes about the “Sensitive New Age Man” AND the “Macho Man”. We ask men to go right up to the edge — and beyond it — in a culture that seems to be comfortable with mediocrity and passivity from men. We ask men to stop living a vicarious adventure through their TV’s and step into a real time adventure to win back their passion for life. We ask men to confront the real problems in their lives and to get 100 percent honest about who they are.” I urge men of any age to check it out. It is multiple programs like this designed for women that have made the women’s movement so successful. —Lauren