“A full five fathoms your father lies,
Of his bones are coral made,
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
Nothing of him does fade,
But does suffer a sea-change,
Into something rich and strange.”
~ William Shakespeare, The Tempest
There is no question that masculinity is caught in a tumultuous tempest. But I believe the social and psychological storm we endure now will be the catalyst for a sea-change, transforming yesterday’s man into something rich and strange.
Strange in the sense of something unusual, unforeseen, and unexpected, yet welcomed all the same.
Rich in the sense of something creative, beautiful, and sensual, washing away generations of bitterness and blame.
Remember, I am not my father, I am my father’s son. I am a protector, not a persecutor of liberated women.
Do not mistake me for that former fading generation, or burden me with the baggage of their sins; I come to bury the patriarch, not to praise him.
Too often I have been cast as the villain by virtue only of my sex, herded in with all the chauvinist cattle, and branded a misogynist.
But I tell you, a man who is a man will not cower; it is the man who follows the herd who is the coward.
Brand those beasts of burden if you must, but in me and my like-minded brothers you can venture to hope and to trust.
Trust us then to be your equals, and we will be equal to the task. Task us with the love and lives of your sons and daughters, and we will be better men than our fathers.
And as fathers in turn we will raise our sons to be better men than us. And yet the larger truth is this: a boy is raised to be a better man by a whole world of villages.
First there is the village of home, where a boy is raised to be a good man, and knows clearly, unequivocally, right from wrong.
Broken homes, we know, breed ever more broken men and women. We must endeavour to heal our wedded wounds, and meet as equals the divine feminine.
Then there is the village of school, where a boy must have the freedom to be rambunctious and boisterous and bounce himself off the walls.
Do not diagnose him a dervish, then medicate him and sedate him. Teach him to harness his fiery energy and educate his creative force.
Last but not least is the village of our shared community, where a coral-boned man is bound by his conscience to respect a woman equally.
But do not confuse equality with sameness, for sameness is not always equality; every conscious wave is diverse and different, yet every one still made of sea.
It is our freedom to choose that is the expression of equality, not our expression of choice that makes us equal. Diversity and difference is our greatest strength, let us aspire to that great-spired cathedral.
Indeed it requires an inspired community to raise an awakened man, not battling sexes that raise up the feminine and tear the masculine down.
Tears of salty sea have been wept for so many supreme injustices. Now that our eyes are changed to pearls we perceive such crimes, and passionately pursue due sentences.
To complete the metamorphosis of the enlightened man, the tempest will cease moving heaven and earth, and in his palm he will perceive a new world in a grain of sand.
We are sea-changed sons of Neptune now, we are moon changed in our power, tides turn us to the daughters of Salacia, time turns us to each other.