For 2015 The 15 Most Helpful Things Ever Said About Men and Masculinity

listI write about topics that I’m working on in my own life and ones I think will be helpful to men and women as we work out our lives separately and together. Lately I’ve been writing about such things as depression, whether the PSA test is helpful or harmful, and irritable male syndrome.

But I also love to collect quotes that inspire me. For 2015 I offer you a countdown of those I have found that move me and guide me. Let me know if you have some of your own:

15. “Testosterone is a sex hormone, and I think it is the most social of hormones. The major social effect of testosterone is to orient us toward issues of sex and power. By the end of puberty testosterone levels in males are 8 to 10 times higher than in females, but decrease with age.”  –James McBride

14. “The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems. The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy.” –Simon Baron-Cohen.

13. “There is a biological basis for the observation that ‘Men never remember and women never forget.’ It plays out through our hormones.”  –Marianne J. Legato

12. “If menopause is the silent passage, ‘male menopause’ is the unspeakable passage. It is fraught with secrecy, shame, and denial.  It is much more fundamental than the ending of the fertile period of a woman’s life, because it strikes at the core of what it is to be a man.”  –Gail Sheehy

11. “I have yet to see a serious act of violence that was not provoked by the experience of feeling shamed and humiliated, disrespected and ridiculed, and that did not represent the attempt to prevent or undo this ‘loss of face’—no matter how severe the punishment, even if it includes death.” –James Gilligan

10. “The male has paid a heavy price for his masculine ‘privilege’ and power. He is out of touch with his emotions and his body. He is playing by the rules of the male game plan and with lemming-like purpose he is destroying himself—emotionally, psychologically and physically.” –Herb Goldberg

9. “If a person continues to see only giants, it means he is still seeing the world through the eyes of a child. I have a feeling that man’s fear of woman comes from having first seen her as the mother, creator of men.”  –Anais Nin.

8. “Masculinity is not something given to you, something you’re born with, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor.” –Norman Mailer

7. “She called to me from across her beauty. It stretched between us like a maze. I disappeared inside it, never to be seen again.”  –Sy Safransky

6. “One out of three black men are in the criminal justice system in some form. Their despair is beginning to resonate through the entire culture; that is why suburban children want rap music.” –Robert Bly

5. “When a man does not live with his children and does not get along with the mother of his children, his fatherhood becomes essentially untenable, regardless of how he feels, how hard he tries, or whether he is a good guy. Almost by definition, he has become de-fathered.” –David Blankenhorn

4. “We can’t be comfortable in intimacy with women because we have never been comfortable in being distant from them.” –Sam Keen

3. “Try not to become a man of success, rather become a man of value.” –Albert Einstein.

2. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life’s most urgent question is, what are you doing for others.”  –Martin Luther King, Jr.

1. “A Cree Indian legend says that when the Earth is sick and the animals disappear, there will come a tribe of people from all creeds, colors and cultures who believe in deeds, not words and who will restore the Earth to its former beauty. This tribe will be called The Warrior of the Rainbow.”  –Twyla Dell

May 2015 be a year of healing, growth, love, and acceptance.

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