Making men accountable

Marcia Tullous, mother, friend to me and many, and yoga teacher, posted this to Facebook:

It hurts my heart to know how many and how much some suffer, animals and human alike. How can we heal and change that? And why haven’t we?

I commented on her post that most of the deep suffering is brought about by men, and that fact could narrow the search.

If you follow this blog you know that I believe my dad’s generation and mine both failed. Some generations are more effective than others.

She asks two questions. How can we heal it, and why haven’t we done it. The how is remarkably obvious. Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama, among hundreds of others including Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, have made that perfectly clear. The how involves no mysteries. All the mystery is in the why question.

I have a theory about the why question: We don’t really want to stop suffering. We actually enjoy inflicting it and witnessing it. Look at the popularity of football. It epitomizes suffering. So does boxing. Likewise the slaughter of farm animals.

Look at the magazine rack next time you are in a grocery or drug store and peruse the headlines. They say you’re too fat, you’re dull in bed, and you don’t eat enough broccoli. This is emotional violence. Men make their living inflicting such violence.

Men are rarely, if ever, required to express their own value system. It’s actively discouraged in most business organizations, which is to say, it’s not even allowed. Leave your moral values in your car is the policy at most male-dominated companies.

My suggestion to the ladies is that you examine the ways you support the male appetite for physical and emotional violence, and then decide if you want to bring about a shift in your priorities. Do you want to tolerate, support, encourage it?

General Douglas MacArthur, portrayed in the parade photo, was a peevish and contentious man. President Harry Truman flew out to see him in some remote Pacific island, and the general was rude to the president. When you see behavior like that speak up. You might save the world some day.

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