by Lee Green, humbled man, Perth
I am a man and am piecing together what it truly is to be me. This process is fascinating and akin to dipping my toe in the water – unsure about the ‘water temperature’ but knowing I want to swim. The amazing thing is that each time I dip my toe in, a little more of me feels a little more confident – then something else is presented. At this time, it is ‘equalness’… the equalness between men and women.
What is this ‘equalness’? I have only just realised that my mouth has been saying all the right things and my gestures portray a tolerance of this equalness, and yet there is no depth to it. It doesn’t feel real. It actually feels a bit like an old, heavy coat, passed down from generation to generation to show ‘our women folk’ that they are considered and held dear. And yet, as I sit with this coat on, it still feels empty and not at all equal.
So what is the payoff? Is it there to protect us from something? The pride of a man, protected by an old, heavy coat… The possibility that the man has strayed ‘oh so far from his true way’ or ‘lost his true way’, that the coat now acts as a security blanket?! Just in case anyone should find out that I am just playing a ‘role’ and am hiding my true self from the world – a tender and loving self.
The coat prevents us from stopping and saying, “You know what? This has been happening in our house, in our home, for too long… It feels wrong and I cannot keep up with the falseness any longer. I am a man who is finding my way back, and yet in that return I am still doggedly holding on to the fact that I must be stronger, earn more, be looked after, taken care of, held when I want, have sex when I want, do my hobby, mope and moan, and act like a little boy… Our terms are always so selfish, aren’t they?”
“It is not that I want to be this man, but this coat is so heavy and I have been wearing it for so long that some days I only see the coat, and not who I am at all.”
“Right now, I can see quite clearly that the amazing woman you are doesn’t see the coat but the ‘true me’, and that your trust in the ‘true me’ is the helping hand I need to get this coat off for good.”
“I can also see that when I put the coat on it not only changes me but impacts you, and that it hurts us both. I never saw that before… I never felt that before, or the pain that you suffer when I choose the coat and its inequalities, over true equality.”
Hello world! I am taking off this old, tired coat so you can see me now as the man I truly am.
And I also know that no man is an island, and that my own development is intertwined with those around me. The women I live with are so patient, loving and amazing. Yes, extremely patient. And I am very appreciative.