Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Men's Group

Over the years Julie has asked questions that begin with “How do men feel about . . . “. My response is usually something like “I don’t know how men feel about that. Men don’t talk about such things. I can tell you how I feel but not how men feel.”

Last night I left the sixth meeting of the men’s group and waited for her usual question – “What did you talk about?” Subjects in the past have included gender roles, aggression and others.

Confidentiality and personal integrity are important. Julie works in the Health Psychology Lab and maintains confidentiality. I pledged myself to confidentiality when I joined the group so we discuss subjects but not individuals.

Last night I waited with anticipation. Finally, she asked – “What did you talk about”?

We discussed that mysterious subject that torments young men and gives many of them all manner of guilt. “Sex! We talked about sex.” Men never talk about sex in a serious way but we did.

I enjoy the group. The other men give me an insight that I can’t get from books and journals. They bring humanity, new perspectives and an array of experiences to any discussion.

There are only four meetings remaining. I’ve come to respect and admire each member. I’ll miss the group when it ends.


Blogger Whitesnake said...

The mention of a men's group, gives me the perception of a bunch of old farts sitting round a table smoking cigars and drinking port.
( no offence to you Paul ).
Talking about, how wonderful their lives are or complaining loudly that something they stuffed up was some one elses fault.

There are things that I read that I have no idea what they are.
Or I have a preconceived idea.

10/12/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Question. Do you ever ask her how women feel about things?

10/12/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Clayton said...

Paul, it's quite a trick to get a bunch of men to talk about serious things (for that matter a bunch of anybody). You're gifted, and you seem to have a good life; I'm happy for you.

Re macho: just a sign of immaturity.

Many, many years ago I spent some time in Santos, on the beach near Sao Paulo. I was so disgusted with the men. They would customarily lock up their wives and gather at the local bordello in order to brag about their conquests.

I (unbelievably) found myself popular with the young women. I asked one of them why they loved Americans so much. She said, "because they're not 'malicioso'."

10/13/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

Did you guys get to hug each other and say "I LOVE you, MAN!" ? :)

Men being men is always going to be a problem until men get the balls to hold each other accountable for their behaviors.

10/13/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Mark K said...

I invited a bunch of my friends to help me create a men's group (I call it "Men Who Pause") and we've been meeting for four months now. You're right, Larry, that it's quite a trick to get a bunch of men to talk about serious things. We have a theme and use books and movies as the starting point for the discussion. The bad news is that people aren't "doing their homework" but the good news is that we have great discussions anyway. I'm writing about it on my blog and hope that others will join in on the discussion.

11/28/2006 11:35:00 PM  

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