What does it mean to be a good man? The election of US president Donald Trump, and his subsequent inauguration, has led many of us to worry about the example that he is setting for boys and young men now coming of age in America. Trump’s style of leadership—bullying, narcissistic, violent, and indifferent to the natural world—is a caricature of the basest traits of conventional masculinity. So too is his definition of success, which involves objectifying women and equating people’s worth with their pocketbooks.
As wilderness guides and mentors who work closely with young men and teenage boys, we’re especially alarmed by the fact that, to some voters, these traits weren’t just flaws to be overlooked—they were Trump’s selling points. And it seems that Trump’s behavior may offer other Americans permission to indulge in the worst behaviors associated with masculinity. “The Trump Effect,” as a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016 explains, means that “students have been emboldened by the divisive, often juvenile rhetoric in the campaign,” and that “Teachers have noted an increase in bullying, harassment and intimidation.”
And yet, as the incredible mobilization of protestors over the past two weeks has shown, there is also reason to believe that Trump’s presidency can galvanize a new level of organized opposition and new horizons of personal growth. From the millions of people—including men—who joined the Women’s March, to those that showed up at airports across the country in support of Muslim refugees, a clear resistance is brewing. Now is the time for men, young men, and teenage boys to align their personal journeys towards manhood with this groundswell. It’s time for us to rethink masculinity—starting with a willingness on the part of men to understand that they don’t have all the answers, and to listen more than they speak.
Read the rest of the article here: What does it mean to be a good man? Rethinking masculinity in the age of Donald Trump — Quartz