Where can all the men go

Why did it take a walk up the Pentland hills with the Violent offender working group for us to find space to talk about our vulnerabilities?. Or even admit that we may have them?

I think it’s interesting that you’ve posed that question Craig because actually knowing you as a work colleague I think that you genuinely are open with me in the office about how you’re feeling (to what extent obviously I don’t know!)

Do you find that it’s more to do with the space that you are in or the people you are with that encourages us to speak out?

I guess we are lucky to get to share in the office space largley due to our line of work and I realise that sometimes expressing my vulnerability is liberating and empowering. However in other settings I see some men looking uncomfortable with this and I wonder if this is social environmental thing. It seems to me status and presence of the masculine element is given to much kudos in our world and we have to be seen to be plays its part. its hard to see a grown man cry :[ .

Definitely agree with the idea that some settings provide more opportunity or a ‘safer’ space to be vulnerable.

I wonder whether there’s an element of us assuming that we can’t be open because others would react badly…when in fact maybe they wouldn’t at all…maybe they would see us as role-models almost giving them permission to be vulnerable also.

Maybe that sounds terribly naive now I read it back

I was on that walk and one of the participants told me that “out here there are no walls…” I took that as there is a sense of freedom out in the hills, a non threatening environment where your “sensitivities, insecurities and vulnerabilities” don’t really matter. Nature does not judge it is there, it is space and you use it as you want, for example a reflective space, a challenging space, a curious space, a free space, your space!

I reason the assumption is made due to the structure and expectations of our society. I feel the assumption is based on experience. no one wants to see a grown man cry its real . its not the expected image of a man. well the image that has been manufactured over many years of masculine dominance and the down playing of the feminine qualities within our systems. There is some movement however and pockets where we can share our feelings and vulnerabilities, and yes Alan we can champion that. Space for men to get in touch with their Ying and do the right thing could be the name of the project :} [ I wish I could put a little tear on that smiley face there ]

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