A lot of men don’t seem to ‘get’ gender inequality
We struggle to see what so many non-men can see so regularly and so plainly.
Firstly, because there is male privilege, we probably don’t see the inequality as easily as those without the privilege.
But here’s the thing – even when it’s pointed out to us, a lot of men refuse to engage or do anything about it.
There are psychological forces at play.
Abraham Maslow in ‘Toward a Psychology of Being’ describes this perfectly:
“Every human being has both sets of forces within (them).
One set clings to safety and defensiveness out of fear, tending to regress backward, hanging on to the past, afraid to grow… afraid to take chances, and afraid to jeopardise what (they) already (have)…
The other set of forces impels (them) forward toward wholeness of Self and uniqueness of Self, toward full functioning of all (their) capacities, toward confidence in the face of the external world at the same time that (they) can accept (their) deepest, real, unconscious Self.”
Acknowledging the inequality that exists between the genders, and accepting that all men continue to benefit from male privilege, inevitably forces men to confront their fears –
Perhaps I don’t deserve to be where I am.
Perhaps I’m not as good at this as I think I am.
Maybe I will lose what I have.
These are very difficult barriers to overcome, and so a lot of men will protect themselves against this perceived ‘threat’ with a fight, flight or freeze response.
And that ‘threat’ response can be triggered by even the most benign stimulus – like an Australian of the Year who doesn’t smile for a photo.
Blokecoaching is a program we have designed for senior male executives to understand male privilege, patriarchy and prejudices, and continue progress towards achieving gender equality within organisations.
Working as a cohort as well as 1on1 with a certified organisational coach, helps men to address the realities of the patriarchal system, tackle the unconscious forces within us that compel us to protect our male privilege, and provide encouragement to come to terms with who we really are and find courage to move forward.
It’s a confronting program. Losing privilege is hard.
It’s an emotional journey. And we will support men through all phases of that emotional journey from denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.
If your organisation’s gender inclusion strategy seems to be plateauing or if your organisation is struggling to make progress towards gender equality, perhaps it’s time to invest in developing the men.