We are men faced with a challenging moment in time, but men have always faced challenging moments throughout time—with courage, with clarity, and with conviction.
Now is no different.
We are men of the moment.
I am not concerned with the colour of your skin, with your politics, or your religion. I am not concerned with your nationality, your preferences, or your sexuality.
My concern is that you are a good man, a real man. My concern is for my brother.
We face an adversary that we cannot fight with force of arms, or violence of any kind. Despite common character assassinations, despite provocations and the perpetration of verbal, legal, and social violences against us, we must be men of peace and fierce passions, and yet still remain brothers in arms.
It is no irony that Mother Nature has made you strong, that she has made you the salt of the earth, unshakeable, unbreakable, and bold. It is no accident that she has made you a man.
My brother, listen carefully. Masculinity is not made malignant inherently. You are not to blame for all the ills of this world. You are not by nature destructive, aggressive, or evil.
You are noble in reason, infinite in faculty; in action you are beautiful. In movement and form how much like an angel, in apprehension how like a god. What a piece of work man is.
The men at work in danger and dirt receive little recognition or praise. We thank the miners, the loggers, and the steelworkers. We thank the farmers, the fishermen, and the home builders. It is little wonder in such professions there are no gender parity quotas.
Ninety-three percent of deaths that occur in the workplace are men.
The other dirty work of men is war. It has always been so. A man at war is supported by his mother, his wife, his lover. When a man fights a just war he fights to protect his way of life, his culture, his country, his children. He fights to protect his women.
These are the women who kiss him goodbye, the women who pray that he does not have to go, and pray that he returns safely home. These are the women grateful for his sacrifice and his protection.
But they are not alone. Our military and security services have many proud and patriotic women. The wars and conflicts of the world clearly are not solely the cause and consequence of men, as we are dishonestly told, over and again.
War and peace are the responsibility of us all, both men and women.
Domestic peace is the responsibility of us all, both men and women.
My brother, you are not part of a corrupted patriarchy simply because you have a penis. Do not carry the burden of guilt for generations past. Do not cower, do not bow, do not submit to angry blamers, shamers, and man-haters.
You are not a rapist, you are not a bigot, you are not a sexist. If today you are labelled with these throwaway names and then tomorrow asked to support or save the name-callers, think carefully on who and how you spend your time and energy.
Does name-calling win your understanding, your empathy, or your help? Brother, value your self.
Know this well, your good reputation can be destroyed with no more than an allegation.
No means no, in every circumstance.
If no really means maybe or actually yes, then walk away. You cannot afford to play that power game. Do not doubt the reality: a misunderstanding can land you in deep trouble. Know this well: a woman playing hard to get is simply not worth getting.
Consider well if a woman is open to charm and chivalry; some women welcome it, yet others regard it as patronising and sexist. Judge carefully.
Look but do not touch. A well-meaning compliment, or a request for a date is not sexual harassment. Look but do not leer. By all means pay the dinner bill, but thereafter be sure to share. You are nobody’s meal ticket.
Protect your sovereignty, secure your assets, and beware the honey trap. Your wealth is your health, so be a rich man. Invest in your well-being; mentally, emotionally, and physically. And do not suffer abuse from angry social justice warriors. You are a warrior of peace. Educate yourself, expand your mind, and live free.
A real man respects all women, and is above reproach. Yet, if you are reproached unjustly then every man will stand with you fearlessly. Due process of law is your human right; you are innocent until a court proves you guilty, not guilty until mob rule destroys your life and liberty.
Yet, if you are guilty, then we will not protect you from the letter of the law, but subject you to its just punishment, for the protection of all women and for the reputation of all good men.
Do not allow yourself to be the scapegoat for other men of lesser character. Do not let the grim reapers of guilt grind you down. But if you are downtrodden then rise up from the dust of despair. Stand up, and stand strong.
You are a good man.
Seventy-eight percent of worldwide suicides are committed by men.
My brother, be strong, be brave, be beautiful, and judge carefully with whom it is safe to be vulnerable. That is a trust that is well-earned.
Show up, man up, only when you see it is safe to do so—not by demand, by command, or just because you are told that’s what real men do.
Be gentle and generous in your strength. Do not allow yourself to be belittled, ridiculed, or shamed. Do not become apathetic, passive, or passive-aggressive.
Above all, do not fight man-haters with hate; an eye for an eye, in the end, will only make us all blind. Fight the good fight, my friend; be courageous but be kind.
Do not allow your language to be politically policed, to be censored and then prescribed. If you are forced to speak disagreeable words, then disagree devoutly and deny them. Compelled speech is not free speech.
Free speech is your human right.
Do not succumb to cynicism—it is a cancer to the brave heart of optimism. Rise up in your creativity and make yourself anew, and raise the world with you.
Real men are creators of life, of art and architecture, of love and literature, of music and dance.
Real men are builders of just laws and freedoms, of bridges of friendship and righteous roads. We are builders of better tomorrows, for our children, and for all good men and women.
A must-watch bonus video, for both men and (especially) women: