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November 12, 2015

Is the Myth of the Emasculated Male Just a Form of Gas-Lighting?

Sascha Kohlmann/Flickr

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Guys, it’s not your fault that women emasculate men.*

Women should know their place by now, right?

We should know not to criticize a guy’s point of view about driving too fast, the forgotten birthday gifts, the flakes of spinach on the clean dishes or the way they totally checked out the woman standing in line at the store (yep, we agreed—she was gorgeous).

We should accept your bad behavior and/or continual poor choices.

But do you really want a passive, compliant, 1950s housewife kind of woman in your life? Boring. Not to mention it’s completely and ridiculously trite.

Don’t you want a woman who will be comfortable in her own voice just as much as you are comfortable in yours?

She will want to continue evolving into a whole person, just as you do the same.

Honestly, from what I’ve seen and experienced, the persona of an emasculated male is truly just a mask of a man not willing to take ownership of his actions.

Yes, it’s true we all should speak from a space of grace and civility, but why make it harder on your partner by continually discounting what they’ve said and then making it look like it’s their fault. This action is called “gas-lighting,” or a manipulation of a person’s reality by another. The phrase came from the 1938 play, Gas Light.

The myth of an emasculated male is a form of gas-lighting, because women are encouraged to never shame their man, and if they do then they look like a b*tch. And yet, what if the perceived “emasculation” of a male is more a woman’s attempt to speak up for herself in light of a situation that may prove difficult or harmful?

That’s common sense, not emasculation.

Men and women can be strong in their vulnerability, in speaking their emotional take on a situation.

Relationships are about relating, not creating power over the other. It takes love work.

We can honor each other’s perspectives without bringing down the other, and if we’re in a relationship that appears to have an unhealthy dose of gas-lighting, we can ask for help in forming a path to a way out of it.

Love-ships, relationships or marriages should be a place of continual growth, not shaming.

Be present in creating a healthy relationship that doesn’t include roles such as the emasculated male; instead, make it the experience of two people who are showing up to love each other through the most difficult and the most gorgeous moments of living—the now.

[*I’m saying this with a sarcastic tone here.]

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Relephant Read:

Gaslighting: The Mind Game Everyone should Know About.

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Author: Jessie Wright

Editor: Toby Israel

Image: Mike Schmid/Flickr // Sascha Kohlmann/Flickr

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