January 6th, 2021 was a dark day in American history, and white male supremacy was front and center. The image of a man waving a Confederate flag in the U.S. Capitol is painful, and it will stick with me and millions of my fellow Americans for a long time. But it wasn’t an aberration. This attack was just another example of this country’s deeply rooted oppression, white supremacy culture, white male privilege, and misplaced pain and anger from men stuck in the Man Box.
It is impossible to ignore the fact that the mob in Washington, D.C. on January 6th was composed of mostly white men. The Man Box has taught these men (and so many more of us watching) that the only acceptable emotion for men is anger. We’ve been taught not to accept defeat, not to accept blame, not to show vulnerability. We’ve been taught that rage and hatred is preferable to empathy and love. We’re at a crossroads in this country, and we’re not going to make lasting change if we don’t embrace and teach the concepts of healthy manhood.
Despite the frustration and the fear we may feel, we must find ways to come together and keep hope alive even in these dark times. We must continue to show up and do the hard work of dismantling the systems of oppression that got us here. This work is slow. This work is hard. But I am confident that it can be done.
I urge you not to despair at the terrible images from yesterday. Instead, look to the hundreds of thousands of organizers, social workers, parents, educators, students, and leaders who will continue their work today to create a new world where we center the voices of those at the margins of the margins. It won’t be easy, but justice and love will win. And we’ll make it happen together.
CEO, A Call to Men