Masculinity in Conflict – 2014 Edition

Masculinity is characterized in many ways, and in a country with 92 million Americans no longer in the labor force, we here at Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT), wonder what the impact of that could be on both men and women.

Work gives life meaning.  It doesn’t matter whether you are the Christian and Jewish God of the Old Testament, the scholar consumed with the workers and the bourgeoisie or the creator of a political party dedicated to the death of people, work gives meaning.
Here in this space, we have blogged previously about the issues that men face and the very public methods that they sometimes use to resolve them. Violence is never an answer to a conflict, but unfortunately, it seems as though violent response by men to any and all perceived slight, has been codified in our culture, from video games to the movies.
We believe that each person is responsible for their own level of self-awareness and is accountable for their own actions, and that men are particularly held to a higher standard.
This is an “old school” philosophy that may reverberate with some readers as being misogynistic or narrow, but when men cease committing the majority of violent crimes and the majority of violent wars, then we’ll take a step back.
But, what does this have to do with work?
  • Work creates freedom. It allows for meaning, creativity, growth and fertility.
  • Work fosters connection. It creates the situations and environments that allow for the growth of human beings through connecting with others
  • Work develops character. It creates not only commitment, responsibility, accountability and purpose, but it also incentivizes actions that lead to more character.
But, what if there is no work?
Then masculinity (and by extension, femininity) must be redefined.
We here at HSCT would rather see that happen through the efforts of men who are committed to doing the hard work of work with other men, than through a wandering George Zimmerman or a gun-wielding, angry 14 year old.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
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