Three Ways for Men to Become Better Lovers…of the Natural World

Trust your values, even if they aren’t traditionally masculine. Act in the common good. Take less, and with permission.

Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

A Toxic Fear of Femininity

Society as a whole would be better off if we no longer pitted masculinity against femininity as if they were polar opposites. Gender traits are human-created phenomenon — and we have the ability to reconstruct them or let them influence us in different ways.

What makes a man?

I’m no less of a man because I recycle.

What matters is stripping away psychological avoidance of feminine behavior

If we did that, we’d all be better off, and that includes the planet. It’s no secret women are experiencing hardships from the pandemic at much greater levels than men.

We shouldn’t juxtapose masculinity as the opposite of femininity

Once men become comfortable being themselves, and feeling masculine, even as they take on attitudes once thought as feminine, not only will we become better humans (and probably more resilient and mentally tough), we can engage in the behaviors that will steer us, as individuals, as families, as communities, into a way of living more aligned with the natural world.

Men will act against their own environmentally-friendly leanings just to avoid the perception they are anything like a woman.

Worse, men will “choose environmentally harmful activities and products as a way to reassert their masculinity.”

Tell me again…who is the weaker sex?

Why are men so fragile? According to that same Scientific American study, although “men are often considered to be less sensitive than women, they seem to be particularly sensitive when it comes to perceptions of their gender identity.” It goes on to offer the suggestion that we market eco-friendly products and practices as masculine in order to get more men to engage in them.

Excess Individualism (aka Selfishness)

If we can’t be bothered to stay at home for four weeks, if the government can’t summon the will to support us while we stay at home for those four weeks, if individuals will stake a political and personal identity on not wearing a mask, what hope do we have to collectively respond in the manner required to fully combat our changing climate?

Masks: The next frontier of reusable bags

Much of what we’re seeing in America’s reaction to the pandemic is positioned as a stark battle between individual freedom of choice versus political (or governmental) authority.

Not everything is about you

The pandemic provides a convenient showcase to the limits of individualism. No individual can provide enough protective equipment for health care professionals, nor can one person alone research and develop a vaccine.

One for all, all for one?

It’s easy for liberals to use this moment as a judgment against the right’s obsession with individualism, and to argue, as I just did, that “individualism can’t stop the virus — only collective action can.”

We’re living in a world with decreasing amounts of empathy

And this is where I must stop and catch myself. I don’t want to throw stones at people with different political perspectives than me. There’s been much debate, post-election, about how liberals should treat Trump supporters: with disdain, or with compassion.

The Father’s Dilemma

Have you ever driven a car while a hungry, tired toddler cries in the backseat? Have you been in a situation where your significant other, with her baby sleeping in the back, just wants you to drive everyone back home, safely?

An Ethos of Rapaciousness

If you are anything like me, when the pandemic began and stay at home orders were issued, one of your first concerns was how you were going to get your stuff.

On-demand consumerism is a defining trait of the American identity

This ethos began centuries ago, while the country was young and still taking shape. There was an expanse of land and wilderness so vast that the white settlers, colonists and pioneers couldn’t grasp what it offered in terms of size, and wildlife, and beauty — as well as in oil and arability.

It’s not just what we take, but who

When one sees the world in a manner of taking and having, it’s not just limited to plots of land. It also applies to other people.

Thinking and writing about my place in the world, and making myself (and the world) a little bit better.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store