Every once in a while we need to step back, review ourselves and those around us, and look at the world around us from a critical perspective. As men, and as people, I am seeing how it is becoming a common practice by to many within the social media to use shame into forcing people into action. And yet I see how it is actually creating a stronger resistance to that which needs to change.
There are bad men out there, a lot of them. This is true. But is it because they are men? Or because they are bad? Do we want create good men? Or just guilt them so they aren't bad to you? Or do you just want someone to blame for the bad men that have hurt you?
I support the ideals of feminism to tooth and nail. The biggest influences in my endeavors into the Gentleman ideals were the strong women role models in my life, who taught me that the most important thing in life is respect; to self and to others. They taught me that the biggest gift I can give anyone is to raise them higher than they could have gotten without my help. This is the main lessons I try to pass on to anyone who reads my message, or hears me talk.
The one thing that they also taught me was never to expect positive re-actions from negative actions. Shame is based on Guilt. And guilt only produces 3 things in life.
- The person feels guilty, which basically translates to self-hate.
- The person dismisses whatever you say have to say, no matter how right you are.
- The person hates you for trying your attempt at making them hate themselves.
Nothing about shame produces a positive result. At best, they will agree with you because they hate themselves. At worse, you will reinforce the very thing you want to change.
Think of this from this perspective. If you shame a racist because they said a racial slur, will they learn empathy, acceptance, and the benefits of diversity? Or will they learn to not say the slur in front of you? They might even choose to say that slur even more, just to get back at you. But if we teach people how to be better, about empathy, acceptance, and the benefits of equality?
Men, you are fathers, sons, brothers, and friends to other men around you. You teach and affect those around you with your actions and comments. You are a role model, so act like it. Women, you are told that it’s up to men to change men. But you are mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends to men. You too can teach and affect men around you with your actions and comments. You too are a role model. As a society, we need to stop trying to shame the bad out of a person, and start focusing on teaching them to be good.