I. Men are beautiful. Masculinity is life affirming and life supporting. Male sexuality generates life. The male body deserves to be nurtured and protected.
II. A man’s value is not measured by what he produces. We are not our professions. We need to be loved for who we are. We make money to support life. Our real challenge, and the adventure which makes life full, is making soul.
III. Men are not flawed by nature. We became destructive when our masculinity is damaged.
IV. A man doesn’t have to live up to any narrow, societal image of manhood. There are many ancient and modern images of men as healers, protectors, lovers and partners with women, men and nature. This is how we are in our depths, celebrators of life, ethical and strong.
V. Men do not need or want to become more like women. Women can help men by giving them room to change, grow and rediscover masculine depth. Women support men’s healing by seeking out and affirming the good in them.
VI. Masculinity does not require the denial of feeling. Men have the right to express all their feelings. In our society this takes courage and the support of others. We start to die as human beings when we are afraid to say or act upon what we feel.
VII. Men are not only competitors. We are brothers. It is natural for us to cooperate with each other. We find strength and support through telling the truth to one another—man to man.
VIII. Men deserve the same rights as women for custody of children, economic support, government aid, education, health care and protection from abuse. Fathers are equal to mothers in their ability to raise children.
IX. Men wish to be equal partners with women in all things. As men learn to treat women fairly, they want women to work toward a vision of partnership as well.
X. Men’s lives have been too circumscribed. We have the right to be wrong, unpredictable, silly, inconsistent, afraid, indecisive, experimental, insecure, visionary, lustful, lazy, mystical, fat, bald, old, playful, fierce, irreverent, magical, wild, impractical, unconventional, deeply spiritual, fully disclosing and many other things that our culture socializes us into believing we are not supposed to be.
Adapted from the book, Knights Without Armor by Aaron R. Kipnis (Kipnis, Aaron. (2004). Knights Without Armor: A guide to the inner lives of men. Santa Barbara, CA. Indigo Phoenix Books.)