By Lynn Seiser, Ph.D.

Brother sun and sister moon. Father sky and mother earth. Opposites balance and compliment each other. The one presupposes the other. If there is an up there is a down. If there is a question there is an answer. Too often we are caught up in the judgments of if there is a right there is a wrong. If there is a positive there is a negative. If there is a giving there is a taking. While this is true, why at this point in our evolution is it the males who are seen as wrong, negative, the takers? Are we seeking balance by doing that which created the imbalance to begin with? Have we simply reversed the process? I am not saying that men are not wrong in their ways. They need to grow. I am only saying if there is dark there is also light.

Male bashing is a very popular past time. The media presents men as incompetent and insensitive. There are very few men presented with any redeeming graces. The things that men are valued for are also the things they are criticized for. This presents a tragic no-win double bind. In risking the politically incorrect and unpopular position, I would like to offer some thoughts in defense of the male difference.

Men are often seen as controlling. This takes many forms. Unfortunately, many men believe that power and control means power and control over someone or something else. True power comes from self control. Yet, in our society, just as women are wrongly seen as sex objects, men are seen as success objects. Men who are often held up as models today would be seen as wimps if they did not hold some position of power and control. Why do men seek power and control? Because they have been taught it is what they are to do. They look into the world and see that it works. Many do not want it themselves but seek it to be of service to others. We all, men and women, seek to gain some sense of power and control over our world. It allows us to be a contributing member to our lives, our families, our community, our world. If we all used our power to control ourselves in our mutual best interest we would all benefit.

Men are seen as lacking in the ability of self expression. I hear women complain about their husband's or boyfriend's inability to open up or be vulnerable, to express their emotions. This usually refers to the softer emotions. There are lots of complaints about the expression of anger. Beneath that anger is a man's hurt. If he expresses his hurt he is often told he is wrong or is seen as a "little boy". Why would a man want to open up, to go against everything he has been taught to be, just to be told he is wrong and belittled? He doesn't want to be responded to that way and he has trouble believing that anyone will listen. And gentle reader, if you are having troubles listening to this article, perhaps you are proving the point. Both sexes need to learn to listen to each other without right or wrong, without judgments. We need to listen to hear and accept that we are different, not better or worse. We cannot become each other. Men need to accept and express their masculinity just as women need to accept and express their femininity. We can listen to each other and heal the distance that our silence and lack of acceptance creates.

Men try to fix things. They try to fix things that aren't broken. They want to fix things as opposed to talking about them (please see the above paragraph). This is not necessarily a means to keep women helpless and dependent or to imply that they are incompetent. Quite the opposite. Men usually want to fix things to make it better for the people they love or for the people they serve. Again, men are taught that it is their job as men to fix things. Yes, even if they haven't the slightest idea how and refuse to ask for assistance or instructions. The intent to fix is an expression of love.

We would all get along better if we learned to express our power and control through ourselves instead of over others, and to openly listen non-judgmentally to the difference in how men and women feel. Perhaps then we would be able to see the underlying positive intentions behind being male. Mother Earth could reclaim her relationship to father sky and again be loving parents and a couple. Sister Moon could reclaim her sibling brother sun. Perhaps we can see through the differences and become a family again.

Thanks for listening, for this opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey.

Lynn Seiser Ph.D. is an internationally respected therapist, consultant, speaker and writer in recovery counseling for offender and victims of violence, trauma and abuse. He is well known for his work in "holistic" recovery from addictions and his emphasis on "healthy" relationships. He has 10 web pages at

To discuss the benefits of his services, to make a referral, or to schedule an appointment please contact him at 550 Pacific Coast Hwy. Suite 203 Seal Beach, CA 90740-6601 USA. (562)799-1371 FAX (562) 596-1892 E-mail: .

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