I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
The greatest challenge when trying to change into a better person is the time you spend looking at the introspective mirror, critically reviewing who you are. Sometime you’ll be exposed to the greatness of Man, grow proud of what you are, and we all get to give each other hi-fives and go grab a beer. Other times you won’t like what you see, realizing just how broken some things are and how much work you have to put into fixing them. Or you could just rationalize the faults and find excuses for them, blame everyone else, and we all get to give each other hi-fives and go grab a beer.
This mentality has become the counter argument against becoming a better man. These men will blame feminism, women, and society in general for the failings and sufferings of all men. At this point they have no problem with grouping people and expecting accountability from each individual within the group. That mentality ends when you call them out to hold each other accountable for the actions of men. At that moment they become an individual, only taking responsibility for their own actions. They will individualize the responsibility but socialize the blame. Sound familiar?
This is the same mentality that led to “Privatizing profits and socializing losses.” Companies had no problem thinking only of their own profit and gain when things were going good. They would justify this mentality because the gains were a direct result of their actions and strategies. Till the economy crashed, then it was everyone else’s fault. They would blame speculators, regulations, or whatever other faulty logic that came to mind. At that point the government had to come in and bail them out. This strategy has been given many names. Some called it Lemon Socialism, where it was social responsibility to deal with these “lemon” companies, or "skirt capitalism", where these companies were compared with little boys hiding behind their mothers' skirts after having done something wrong.
Except this doesn’t work when you mother teaches you better. “If were man enough to do something, then be man enough to deal with the consequences.” I can still hear those words echoing in my head. That was the most important lessons my mother taught me about being an adult. This was usually brought up every time I did something stupid as a boy, yet wasn’t willing to accept the punishment. It means owning up to your mistakes, to others and more importantly to yourself. It’s a simple concept, yet one that is rarely used. People are too busy denying their mistakes, justifying their actions, or blaming someone else.
And in this case, we see men blaming anyone who is not a man, AKA women, for the problems men face. I am not saying that men don’t have problems or that in many cases these problems are dismissed. We do have problems within society, of equality, and gender specific. Yet if we are more than willing to group others and expect them to police themselves, we have to do the same. If we expect women and society to recognize where they have wronged us, we have to be willing to look into that same mirror and see what we have to change.
Unless you don’t want change, unless you expect everyone else to change for you. You can blame everyone else for who you are, but realize that you are not a result of your surroundings, but a result of your choices. At that moment, at least be honest enough to admit you don’t want better men to rise, but enough excuses to justify that you are a “Lemon” Man looking for “Skirt” Manhood. At that point, move aside and let the rest of us striving for a better world to work.