Recently my neighbor told me about a widower living in double jeopardy. With no homemaking training in his past and no wife to clean up after him, his house was piled high with junk, dirty dishes, and soiled clothes. In addition, he had to share that house with a virtual stranger: his child.
After years of leading an identity formation group for women, I was asked to create a similar process for men. While developing the curriculum, I was hard-pressed to find material that was not complementarian, or that did not rely heavily on archetypal models to frame a man’s identity. Because I wanted the curriculum to be rooted in the biblical story and the imago Dei, I searched for resources that provided a biblical framework for a male identity. I never quite found what I was looking for—until Malestrom.
Countering prevalent views on masculinity requires intentional action. While there are many ways to foster connection and emotional health, there’s one tool that has worked especially for us: storytelling.
Women were considered physically and emotionally frail and in constant need of men’s care and protection. These were the values that I grew up with, but I always considered them to be demeaning of women.
My dad showed me that a great father, like a good man, is defined not by strength, but by tenderness. A great father doesn’t run from his feelings, but knows and communicates them. He is fully invested in the nurturing of his children.
When asked what we, as regular people, can do to prevent sex trafficking, a Minneapolis police officer who works with both victims and perpetrators on a daily basis had only one response: “We need to reinvent what it means to be a man in our society.”