As the story goes, UK based Tony Martin (@redfoxcountry on Twitter) had the very creative idea of starting a “male wish list” using the Twitter hashtag #malewishlist. His US based pal, Rick Belden, author of Iron Man Family Outing: Poems about Transition into a More Conscious Manhood, so liked the idea that in addition to posting his own tweets, he started inviting men from around the world to contribute. Soon, a running archive of tweets began to accumulate. On his blog, Rick Belden says, The results were outstanding. It was great to see so many men sharing their most heartfelt desires in such a free and spontaneous way, and as the list grew, I felt I was beginning to see the formation of a running archive of communiqués from the deepest inner lives of men.
Sadly, when hashtag responses slow down, they fall off Twitter’s search radar pretty quickly. As posting slowed, the Male Wish List became hidden from view and, for all practical purposes, invisible. Fortunately, a friend of Rick's named Peter de Kock, from the Netherlands, and one of the contributors to the list, had been compiling his own collection of the original tweets from #malewishlist. Peter put his collection on his blog, and in doing so, has preserved this snapshot into the masculine heart.
Here is a sampling of the Male Wish List from Peter's collection:
- To know and trust that I can be strong and powerful without hurting others.
- To not be assigned the role of combat soldier by gender in time of war.
- Not to be regarded as culpable or responsible for bad acts committed by other men or groups of men, now or in the past.
- To not feel like I'm a rapist every time a woman walks the same route home as me after 9 PM.
- To always remember failure and rejection do not reduce or diminish me as a man, but are pathways into my own strength and wisdom.
- To know our real (masculine) strengths and not be afraid to use them.
- To connect more openly with other men and allow their support into my life. I need to hear men speak from their deep inner self. I want to know all men better.
- To not be pigeonholed as a man who is only interested in sex and beer.
- To make a living doing work that truly moves me.
- To live in a world in which cooperating, collaborating, and caring are valued and rewarded as highly as competing and winning.
- To feel that my sensitivity is an asset rather than a weakness to be feared and hidden from others.
- Being vulnerable, experiencing shame, and having friends to share about it without being judged or fixed.
- I want the good men to start showing up for young males. I'm tired of hearing about the creepy ones!
- To love myself enough to feel tired and take some rest instead of violating my boundaries for the sake of work, work, work.
- To feel, without having to have words for what I feel.
- To smile at a child in public or enjoy watching kids play in the park without being seen as some kind of threat or weirdo.
- To live in a world in which men and boys who've been abused feel free to talk about it, and have the words to do so. To live in a world in which support for men and boys who've been abused means more than just words and candles.
- To live in a world in which greed, avarice, venal stupidity, and amoral self-interest are punished rather than rewarded.
- For every man to have the support he needs from other men. Far too many of us are still trying to go it alone.
- To be able to cry without shame or fear when feeling sadness, grief, disappointment, weakness, or loss.
- To live in a world in which tenderness, compassion, and sensitivity are no longer regarded as primarily feminine qualities.
- To be Unapologetically Ourselves as men.
I feel pretty confident that simply reading through this list has stirred your own collection of male feelings, hungers, and dreams you could add to this list.
I think this is part of a grand re-visioning of manhood we can all, collectively, create.
Don't you have something to add?
Don't you have something to add?
If there is a wish from deep in your masculine soul you'd like to contribute, you can put it up as a tweet with the hashtag #malewishlist on Twitter, add it to the comments of this blog post, or sent it along to me and I'll add it to the comments for you.
If you'd like to communicate with Rick Belden, you can reach him via his website, or at his Twitter page.
Peter de Kock can be reached via his website, or by visiting his Twitter page.
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