Months before the DebaclElection in November, I decided to take a long-held (and favorite) documentary idea of mine and have it be the first longer-form storytelling initiative of "Listening to America." It's called Act Like A Man. The exploration of what a phrase like that even means, whether to men and/or women. I thought the timing was perfect. Post-Election, on the assumption that Hillary Clinton would be President (although I knew 45 was capable of winning), this would be the 2017 post-Trump look at the State of Men. Maybe even to highlight the rejection of old school male values that are so outdated, misogynistic, sexist, homophobic and repulsive, and further deepen the opening for the celebration of everything that this old archetype "is not" and should not be. The New Real Man. Whatever that is, and might be. Well, we know how 11/8/16 turned out and I find myself realizing that the time is more right than ever. We need to have this can opened-up, we need to hear from men about being a Man, and women about what their experience is of men these days, and what their expectations, and desires and hopes are. About them, or for them. These conversations, and eye-openings and listenings need to happen between the genders, not in vacuums. If we want better relationships, we need to understand how to have them, how male and female brains are wired differently AND that some elements of what may be traditionally perceived as "male" (non-emotional, analytical, focused on results, etc.) or "female" (emotional, process-oriented, soft, nurturing, etc.) might actually be "human" feelings or behaviors. We each have our own alchemy, male + female. Men can certainly possess the feminine Shakti energy, I know that I do, bigtime. My point isa that men need help, and women need to be part of the dialogue, about the questions as much as helping each other find the answers. What we did as a Country on 11/8/17 - with many women part of this horror - is reward (REALLY) bad male behavior. There's a great song by Baba Brinkman in his seminal show, The Rap Guide to Evolution, called "Don't Sleep With Mean People." The audience would stand-up and scream the chorus. Don't Sleep With Mean People. It's a Shout out to women that they (YOU!) have the Power of the Pussy. You don't want more assholes in the world, the essence goes, then don't procreate with dickheads. Don't Sleep With Mean People. Don't give men what they want (sex) if they are treating you badly, and reward good behavior. Reinforce the best that you want, in good people. Natural Selection. More and more people these days are telling me that their new Mantra for themselves is #nomoreassholes. We are living at a time when bad behavior is flying at us on each and every content-delivery platform. The bar is getting lower, and people young and small are learning by observation and example that it's OK to behave badly, and to expect it (often from a man, and obviously women as well). They see it on reality TV, they read about it, and then they now see the President of the United States acting like the most horrible version of a (White) Man that can be imagined. Women, we are all in this together, and if we want to bring-up daughters, who become women, and we want them to feel safe in this world, we need to teach by example. And if we want to elevate soulful, caring, nurturing males who grow up to honor all sides of themselves - of ourselves - then we need to shift this Paradigm.
"Don't Sleep With Mean People": youtube.com/watch?v=5FVsCWKgKEY