What we do at the TMC Gathering is to create an environment where it is safe for men to learn about their capability to nurture, each other and the people they love in their lives. The elements that contribute to the creation and maintenance of what this author calls “rape culture” are complex and woven into the warp and woof of our societal tapestry. We must be patient to counter their effects. But first we must awaken from our dream states, acknowledge the need for change and then be persistent in finding ways to address the consequences of the teachings about masculinity in our culture.
“Violence is nurturance turned backwards.
“These things are connected, they must be connected. Violence and nurturance are two sides of the same coin….
“Compassion for self and compassion for others grow together and are connected; this means that men finding and recuperating the lost parts of themselves will heal everyone. If a lot of men grow up learning not to love their true selves, learning that their own healthy attachment needs (emotional safety, nurturance, connection, love, trust) are weak and wrong – that anyone’s attachment, or emotional safety, needs are weak and wrong – this can lead to two things.
“1. They may be less able to experience women as whole people with intelligible needs and feelings (for autonomy, for emotional safety, for attunement, for trust).
“2. They may be less able to make sense of their own needs for connection, transmuting them instead into distorted but more socially mirrored forms.
“To heal rape culture, then, men build masculine nurturance skills: nurturance and recuperation of their true selves, and nurturance of the people of all genders around them.”