Earlier this year, Gus Worland and Dr Tim Sharp aka “Dr Happy” released their podcast series “Be a Man”, brought to you by PodcastOne.
Although I highly recommended you take the approximately 30 minutes to listen to each and every segment, if you do not get the chance, I scribbled my own takeaways from the episodes that impacted me the most.
Please be aware in some cases I have paraphrased but hoped to capture the sentiment of what was said.
Today’s summary is from the episode “Toxic Masculinity” with author Tim Winton.
As Wikipedia notes, Tim, “…is an Australian writer of novels, children's books, non-fiction books, and short stories. In 1997 he was named a Living Treasure by the National Trust and has won numerous literary awards. He has won the Miles Franklin Award four times… He rarely speaks in public yet he is known as "an affable, plain-speaking man of unaffected intelligence and deep emotions”.”
- If your version of manhood makes others afraid or compromised, that is not healthy - healthy becomes poisonous
- “Blokes” can generally assume too much, and give too little
- Once you have seen some change, it can be easy to slip back to old ways
- Men can look at others in envy, without saying it - they can look at others that they deem are happier, more interesting, those that have “more tools” in their toolbox
- Men are at mercy of the modelling we are given, or lack of, but the excuses are over
- The answer can lie in education and conversation
- As a surfer, Tim spends a lot of time waiting of waves next to many others, listening, and hears some incredibly positive young men talking but also the type that makes him cringe with old school toxic views
- Do not be afraid to call out bad behaviour you see - celebs are held responsible for it, why not bank manager or tradie?
- Tim’s dad was a outwardly appearing typical man, tough police officer but was far from it - when he had a serious accident a stranger came to look after him and help care for him and Tim would listen to their deep conversations that were nothing like the typical bloke stuff
- You are what you do
- Strong women in your life can be pivotal too
- We must understand strength and weakness can exist in balance - women can be strong and powerful but also feminine, why can’t men?
- There is no surprise men are brittle - we have armour on outside, but on the inside we can “go to bits”, implode, as we have trained our internal emotional muscles
- Is there any measure of a man’s character in correlation with how many female friends he has?
- In moments when a friend is in need, there are no easy answers but have the courage to perhaps listen first and then give
- Men want to control most of the time, so quiet makes some of us uncomfortable and we we fill it with noise
- Learn to accept being uncomfortable and do not always try to fix a friend
- Perhaps we are unhappy because we are not paying attention to what is really going on around us, taking in the important stuff
- Thin about what we are gaining more, not losing
- Establish resilience around accepting flexibility, if tough all the time we will break hard
- If you are doing okay you are ascribing to the the 70/30 formula, 70% of the time having a good day, 30% not so - or Psychologists talk of a similar positivity ratio of 4:1
To listen to the full podcast episode you can access it here: https://www.podcastone.com.au/episode/be-a-man/episode/Toxic-Masculinity
You can also read more about Tim and his views on masculinity here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/09/about-the-boys-tim-winton-on-how-toxic-masculinity-is-shackling-men-to-misogyny