Boys and men are increasingly at a disadvantage in education and in the job market.
As author Richard Reeves is at pains to point out in this brief video, this is not an issue of men vs. women in any sort of misogynistic way, but the very real fallout from the necessary rebalancing of gender inequality that has played out over the last few decades.
I’ve been in a men’s group since November 2018, meeting with seven (recently it became eight) other guys and the facilitator every other week, and it has literally changed my life because it’s opened me up to a whole other world of possibilities. It set me on a journey to finally, in my mid-to-late 50s, figure out and get in touch with who I am.
A recent article from the Guardian newspaper starts with a statement that captures the very essence of what Father Lessons is about:
The writer talks about how, as a journalist, he was able to be a stay-at-home dad when his son was born some 20 years ago, but points out that he was very much the exception at the time in the UK. As a self-employed online business owner in Tokyo, I had that same opportunity and was pretty much the only father dropping off and picking up from daycare.
In a recent issue of the Guardian an article appeared with this tagline:
“Some things get easier with age. The intensity of my friendships and the emotionally sharing nature of them has deepened.”
If only that were true for all men. Particularly when we get into middle age and the balance of life starts to shift from infinite potential and novelty to mortality and loss, that’s when close friendships become all the more important. But sadly, as the article goes on to explain, male friendships tend to dwindle in number as we age and often don’t involve that kind of emotional sharing.
Anyone up to date on this blog will know that I belong to a regular men’s group. We usually meet up once every other week in north London, but since the lockdown started we’ve been meeting up on Zoom on a varying schedule. The group is actually one of three run by the same therapist, Jerry Hyde, and once a year all three groups gather for what is lovingly called “Manstock”.