That Undefended Strength

Jo Cox

Jo Cox, the British Member of Parliament, tragically murdered this week, has been praised as an MP, a mother, a campaigner for social justice – and rightly so. I can’t add anything to what’s already been said. I didn’t even know her, if I’m honest, didn’t even know she existed until this week’s sudden immersion into these heart-breaking events and into the main themes of her life.

Today we all know something about Jo Cox. And now that I do, I wish I had known her, she sounded great. Mostly I just wish she was still here, for her family.

What I want to do here today in this blog, is honour her, as a woman. A woman modelling an extraordinary power, one that I’ve seen in some of the most aware, mature and whole women I’ve met – and arguably one that most women display at some level, every day.

I call that power, that ability, that gift to all of us, ‘undefended strength’. What do I mean? Well let’s understand the context first. In series 2 of the cop show “True Detective”, Ani Bezerides memorably says: “You wanna know the real difference between the sexes? One of them can kill the other with their bare hands”.

Now that’s putting it in the most stark, extreme way and my purpose here is not to demonise men, or even to focus on the violent death of Jo Cox, rather, I want to focus on something that was a characteristic of her life: courageous, right action, from a position of vulnerability.

So I might prefer Detective Bezerides to have said “Women don’t win many arm-wrestling contests with men” – but you see the point we are both trying to make.

When a woman, any woman, leaves the house in the morning, she does so, not from a position of strength and superiority but from a position of inherent insecurity, inherent vulnerability – relative to a man. Now I know that men get beaten up, killed even, by bigger men (trust me, as a guy who weighs 140 lbs dripping wet, I know), but it isn’t, I suggest, the same thing. When I leave the house in the morning it doesn’t cross my mind whether or not I’ll make it through the day, physically and psychologically intact.

Jo Cox had received various threats in the weeks leading up to her death but she continued doing her work, fighting wholeheartedly for the good causes she believed in, making herself available to her people. She could have hired a bodyguard, cancelled her MP’s surgeries (walk-in meetings with the public in her constituency), or allowed herself to be curbed or intimidated in a dozen different ways but she didn’t. She didn’t change, she didn’t stop, she never took her eyes off what mattered to her. She showed us that love can overpower fear. I can only wonder at the kind of courage that carried her out of her front door that morning, armed only with her principles and her compassion.

Jo Cox, I salute you. Women everywhere, I salute you.

A Change of Plan

No, make that, a change of heart.

This latest blog post is a little overdue. You see I sat down and wrote a post a week ago, a big, fat, 2,000 word barnstormer, all about the true nature of the gender problem.

And then I tore it up and threw it away.

Why? Well, even while I was writing it, and honing and refining it, I had a feeling in my gut. Something subtle, hard to put my finger on but undeniably there: something was wrong.

Of course I didn’t want to hear that but I’ve learned not to ignore that kind of instinctual sense, so I went to someone I trust and I asked her to read it for me. She made a few helpful suggestions, a tweak here, a modification there. She said it was “clever, intellectual, strong…” but I just couldn’t take my eyes off her face. Her face looked like I had just punched her in the stomach. So, I asked her to tell me how the article had made her feel. After a moment she said “Defensive. It’s very clever but it’s also didactic, and very… hard.”

I thanked her and left. I felt gutted. I mean, I started this blog to try to get a ceasefire declared in the gender war – and here I was, a man, writing stuff that made a woman I care about feel defensive, that made her look hurt.

I’d failed. But where had I gone wrong? I’d tried to write from that place within me where (sometimes) the sacred masculine and the sacred feminine dance together. And I’d read it back, several times, genuinely trying to be objective, balanced and critical… so what went wrong?

Having reflected on it for a few days I think it went something like this:

  1. I forgot the vision for a while. I took my eyes off the prize.
  2. I got distracted. The part of me that works in strange, clever, dyslexic ways, the part that loves logic and structured argument, and being right, became mesmerised by the complex, challenging subject matter.
  3. That made me unbalanced, (at least in my writing), my (masculine) inner Logic-Ninja grabbed the keyboard and went off on one. My (feminine) Muse wanted to try to restore balance, to prevent more damage, so she lodged that uneasy feeling in our gut: “Something’s wrong. Something’s wrong. Ninja simply can’t see it but something’s wrong”.
  4. Unbeknown to me, the tail was wagging the dog. A wound of mine, a previously unnoticed wound, was making me feel defensive. The subject matter was pushing my buttons and I was writing from a place of unprocessed hurt. Exactly what I advise other people not to do. Ouch.
  5. And I forgot to ask the big question: “Does this serve?”

You see, my Logic-Ninja loves the abstract beauty of concepts, the crystalline clarity of a pure argument, the satisfaction of piercing a false premise, or slicing a conflation in two, with laser precision. This is poetry to him. And he is a swordsman of rare skill and artistry. But he forgets.

He forgets that ideas and points of view do not exist in a vacuum, that they come attached to people. And people, men and women, have emotions and wounds, and hold their views very close. So when the Ninja’s blade sings through the air, piercing and cleaving, they feel it. Even though the blade, intentionally, cuts only their ideas, they feel attacked. Sometimes, though the blade never lands, it reopens old wounds.

This forgetting, this failure of the imagination is a problem. But by far the biggest issue, is when I don’t even realise that I am writing from my own hurt. My own untreated, unresolved hurt.


I’ve known for ten years that I had a ‘father wound’. I’ve done a lot of work on my father wound. But it had completely flown under my radar that I had – have– a mother wound too. One I’m going to have to sit with, and feel into, and look at the ugly bits. One that I’m going to have to re-experience (now that I know how to hold my wounded parts and take good care of myself).

I’m going to go through that process so that it can change me, so that I can grow, so that the wound can, at last, heal. So that it’s no longer a danger to others.


There it is. I have some work to do, and my strong, clever post is filed under “Shred”. All I have for you this time is this small and very personal experience, this little episode of ‘falling and getting up again’.

I hope it serves in some way.

Till next time,


One, two, a few, many

Aboriginal gecko

I’ve read that many of the aboriginal tribal people of what we now call Australia, developed a counting system very different to what we are used to in the West. They don’t count in base 10, or octal, hexadecimal or binary. No, their approach is radically different and hints at a radically different world view and culture.

Ask one of these aboriginal people how many kangaroo they encountered on this morning’s walk and they might reply “One” or “Two”. If they saw more than two then they might say “A few” or if there were more than a few, “Many”.

And there you have their entire numbering system: ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘a few’, ‘many’.

Striking isn’t it?

The lack of precision, the complete inability to support mathematical operations (what is 2 x ‘a few’??!).

And yet it has served them well for thousands of years. Unsettling, isn’t it, to the Western mind? Language, and linguistic constructs like number always reveal something of the thought processes, the character, the ‘M .O.’of the group who speak it, shaped as they are over millennia by place and lifestyle. If you are a hunter-gatherer looking for a new campsite for the tribe, the difference between one poisonous snake and ‘many’ is important and that limited level of granularity is everything you need.

One, two, a few, many – I love it, I love the sense of plenty those people experience in a terrain we would see as barren desert: “Many lizards!”; I love the calm assurance of “How many witjuti-grubs?” –  “Erm, a few. Yeah, definitely, a few”.

And why, exactly, am I talking about such things here, in this blog? Because there in that ‘primitive’ numbering system that we are tempted to look down on, is a model of sophisticated use of language that would serve us all very well in the gender conversation.

What I’m getting at is the number of times we say things like “men interrupt and talk-over…” or “What women want is equal access to…” or “men support patriarchy because…”.

What? All men? Every single last woman on the planet? With out exception? No? Oh, you mean some men, many women, a few of the guys you know…

See how easy it is? How we can take a one-off experience, or a number of experiences, or even a common, regular experience and suddenly we’ve bundled that up into an assertion that this thing is always true, about every single member, of a group of humans numbering (roughly) 3.5 billion.

I mean, we all do it but it’s just so linguistically (and intellectually), lazy. And when we are talking about gender issues the stakes are very, very high. So let’s stop. Let’s all just make a conscious decision to be more careful – more accurate. When we mean some men, let’s say “some men”. When we mean a few women, let’s say “a few women”. And if we mean this happened to me once, let’s say exactly that.

Does this really matter? I mean it seems such a trivial thing, doesn’t it? Well, remember how much language reveals about our thought-patterns and our world view? And it cuts both ways: language can shape thought and views too. Just try it. Try it for a week.

And every time we find that the meaning of our sentence has changed because we added that one word we forgot (some or many or whatever). Every time we find that actually, the paragraph we just wrote that seemed really punchy and strong at first, now doesn’t really stack up as an argument at all anymore – just because we corrected all those little ‘implied all’s- well then we’ll know that we just caught ourselves out. Caught ourselves telling ourselves (and anyone else who would listen), a little story that has much more to do with our unresolved hurts than it has to do with the truth.

So, I’d like to apologise for all the inconvenience I just caused. But I don’t take it back.

Try it. Try it for a week. Every time you write or speak or think about gender issues, turn on the little app in your brain – you know, the one that monitors for “Skipped aboriginal counting words in modern Western speech: One, Two, A Few, Many” – and put ’em back in!

Mind how you go, and don’t forget to make good use of the Follow, Comment & Like buttons 🙂


The Gender Wars – Part 2

In my last post you’ll remember I laid out my take on the Gender Wars that have so blighted humanity for so long. I ended (due to space constraints) with a teaser: there is a better way and I can describe it for you… next time! Well here we are, wonder no longer.

Now I can describe this “radically different approach” in 3 steps, it’s that simple but it isn’t easy. In fact it’s tough, it takes time and a lot of courage and commitment – but it is possible and it is worth it.

Here they are, my ‘3 steps to heaven’:

Step One: Stand Down!

As women and men we need to lower our weapons, step back from the front lines of the gender war and check ourselves into specialist ‘hospitals’ to get our wounds looked at.

That means we let today’s rocks fall from our hands. Even if rocks are still raining down on us. Because we’ve realised that today, retaliation is not the most important thing, retaliation can wait. Instead we’re going to find a ‘hospital’ (I’ll explain all about these in a bit), a place where we can be with our own kind (men if you identify as a man, women if you identify as a woman).

But not the ones who just want to bang on about how terrible the other sex are, no, we need to find some who believe there’s a better way, the ones who have declared a cease-fire or better. Among these calmer, more positive people, we can sit down and be honest.

Tell your story, reveal your wounds, express how you feel, in your guts – especially about the ‘enemy’. Don’t hold back. Here you won’t get applauded or egged on to greater resentment but you will be heard, accepted, and allowed to be where you are at, right now.

Then, listen. Listen to these others like you, as they share their experiences of being alive as a woman, a man, transgender, gay, straight… Listen to their stories of love and loss, of woundings and healings, of sudden insights and slow, hard-won learnings. Their experiments in bitterness and in letting go, their raging, their grieving, their learning to see themselves and others, their “coming to love again but like a refugee”[1] Listen with your heart and your belly, and give your comparing, classifying, calculating mind the night off.

You see pretending we don’t have resentments and scores to settle, won’t cut it. Hiding our wounds just means gangrene later. I’m sorry, I really am but there’s no quick fix, no easy way round this: we have to acknowledge and face our wounds, and we have to go and look for the parts of ourselves that got sent into exile when we were kids, and became our ‘shadow’.

These things are difficult, painful and scary and they are necessary if we want to heal, if we want to come close to anything like being a whole human being. The trick is not to try to do it alone. Join a group who are on the same journey, seek out trained, experienced guides and facilitators for the tricky, scary bits. The groups exist, the guides are out there[i]. I know, I’ve walked the man’s form of this path myself. It’s worth it.

“OK, what, exactly, do you mean by ‘hospitals’? Where are these groups and guides? Give me website addresses, contact details…”

Understood. My metaphor of the hospital refers to the organisations that exist for women, and others for men, in order to facilitate small groups that meet regularly as places of safety, solidarity, empathy, trust, camaraderie, and confidentiality – with the goal of becoming grounded, whole, heathy, whole-hearted, fully-alive human beings.

Not by merging into some inoffensive, homogeneous politically correct mush! No, by becoming more fully who we are! Men diving more deeply into healthy masculinity. Women plunging into the depths of healthy femininity. And exploring that dash of ying in your yang: the feminine within men, the masculine within women, the Anima and the Animus. What I’m talking about, is doing the hard inner work to become the best, the most we can be: amazing men, awesome women.

I’ve been a participant in one of these ‘hospital’ groups for nearly 7 years now and it’s one of the best and most transformative things in my life. It’s gritty and it’s real, and it’s brilliant.

“OK, Who? Where? How?” I’ll focus my answer on the UK but most of these organisations are multinational now:

For women, try the Red Tent – or Tree Sisters – Clearly, as a man, I have limited first-hand experience of these groups but I have read and heard very good things, from people I trust.

For men, I’d suggest The Male Journey – or the ManKind Project –

Check them out (and the many others that doubtless exist but which I have less knowledge of) and find the one that chimes best with you. Just don’t choose one that will reinforce your current sense of injustice, victimhood or superiority, instead commit to one that looks like it will provide a safe enough container for you to courageously clean out your wounds and bravely question your assumptions. By ‘safe enough’ I mean:

  • Absolute confidentiality
  • A shared vulnerability (avoid ‘gurus’ who guard their own privacy while you spill your guts)
  • A proven process for safe sharing and listening (my favourite is The Way of Council*)
  • No judging, no shaming, no trying to ‘fix’ each other

If you find a good one (and commit to it) it will become one of the best things in your life and will help you transform yourself, to the benefit of everyone who knows you.


Step Two: Truth and Reconciliation

In Step Two, women and men who have spent enough time in Step One, meet together under ‘safe enough’ conditions (see above), to continue healing their wounds and to begin learning to understand, appreciate and respect each other.

Having done the hard work of Step One, these men and women are able to sit down together without hostility, without looking for the flaws in the other, without seeking to ‘win’. This is the necessary precondition for beginning the hard and challenging work of Step Two.

That work is to bring into the Council Circle, the residue of those hurts that we perceive to be the fault of the other sex. To bring them honestly, fully, in all their rawness, and lay them on the ground in the centre of the circle. In doing so we honour them, we acknowledge their reality and the damage done but crucially, we do not hurl them at the other sex, and we do not blame personally, those of that sex, who are present.

This creates a completely new kind of space in which the wounded ones (i.e. everyone, in their turn) can be heard, have their suffering acknowledged, be wept for and with (by both ‘sides’ – of course there are no sides in the circle). The Way of Council process is vital here: I know of no other method capable of holding this much intensity of emotion without confrontation, without blame. It must be skilfully facilitated. It must be lovingly and courageously held. Trust me, I do not underestimate the challenges here: many of the hurts that will be brought were caused by terrible wrongs, domestic violence, all kinds of child-abuse, rape (of women, of men, straight, gay, trans), the list goes on. And so the levels of trust and vulnerability required will be huge. This work is not for the faint-hearted. But I do not underestimate the strength of the process either, or the power of women and men of goodwill, deeply meeting each other.

Once the hurts have been voiced, heard and held in this way, we can move on to a less intense, less charged but no less valuable round: Removing Misunderstandings.

Here, there will be much laughter, many “Really? Wow” moments, as the parties take turns to remove a little of the mystery that shrouds them from the other. It would spoil the fun to remove all mystery and I doubt that’s even possible but there are so many (often tragic) cases where one human being does something in the sincere belief that it will help or allure or reveal to the significant person in their lives – and it has the exact opposite effect. Sometimes we go on doing this for decades because we simply don’t know what else to do, or how to ask.

In the safety and the structure of Council we can offer lots of: “You know when we say this, and you think we mean that? Well we really don’t, we mean this!” or “You know when we do this, and you think it means we want that? We so don’t, what we’re actually hoping for is this!”

And we can ask the questions that have always genuinely baffled us: “Why do women never…? Why do men always seem to….?” In time, we can move on to curiosity mingled with admiration: “How do you do that? How do women do that ‘undefended strength’ thing, where you let the emotional armour fall, transcending the self-defensive instinct in order to stay open, to stay connected, to go on loving – when you know full well the risks of loss and hurt?”


If we have done the earlier work well, we may even reach a stage of mutual honouring, where we call out each other’s finest qualities and name and lament the injustices done to the other, (perhaps the ones that they couldn’t see themselves, that had become ‘part of the landscape’).

Can you imagine? The women calling out to the men “What we love and value and honour in our brothers is…” – the men declaring “We bow low in respect and gratitude to our sisters for the feminine gifts of…”

And wouldn’t that be amazing? And right and proper? Because men are amazing – when they are healed and whole they are fucking amazing. And women are amazing – whole and healed they are breath-taking and magnificent.

And we are differently amazing: we are so complimentary, you’re strong where I’ve got nothing; I’m strong where you’re weak; you know when I’m stuck in analysis-paralysis; I’m clear when you’re diffused. And it’s MEANT to be that way, that’s our true strength and creativity and beauty as humans: being diverse, and fabulous, together. Do you think it would ever occur to an alpha female wolf to go off with all the other female wolves in the pack and try to survive sans males? Or vice versa? No, it wouldn’t – they have the innate wisdom of creatures that have never lost their wildness. The pack survives because it is a unified, social, totality with every wolf dedicated to the greater cause: the pack[ii] .

I really believe that we haven’t seen the half of what humans are capable of yet, because we haven’t yet learned to fully collaborate (certainly not on a large scale). I tell you, the right side of Step Two looks a pretty damn exciting place to be.

When Steps One and Two are sufficiently complete, the world will look very different for all involved. A new way of being together will be possible. A pretty extraordinary team of people will be sitting right there. A team ready for Step Three.

But Step Three is for another day, another blog. For now let’s focus on getting enough of us humans to the end of Step Two, coz that would look a lot like “peace on Earth, goodwill to all”, wouldn’t it?

Let’s dare to dream of it – and graft[iii] for it,



[1] From “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen

[i] Facilitators of shadow work, wound work, and other healing and ‘wholing’ work:

Animas Valley Institute: Wild Earth:

Counselling & Psychotherapy:

Relevant books (warning: these may change your life): Soulcraft, Bill Plotkin; My Name is Chellis & I’m in Recovery From Western Civilisation, Chellis Glendinning; Wild Mind, Bill Plotkin; Adam’s Return, Richard Rohr; The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

[ii] (If you’ve never studied wolves you are missing out, everything you’ve been told about them I wrong! Forget Liam Neeson in The Grey, read Wolf Within by Shaun Ellis!)

[iii] Just to be clear, where I’m from ‘to graft’ means to work hard, like a miner or a steelworker or someone giving birth.

The Gender Wars – Part 1

What’s the first thing that strikes me about the gender wars that have been raging across the world for centuries, millennia even?

The fact that it’s an unwinnable war. When a species engages in a civil war, lose/lose is the only possible outcome.

Think about it: if, in one society at one point in time, men are dominant (perhaps via physical strength, or economic or political power), should I, as a man, celebrate? No, because my daughters, sisters, granddaughters, my mother and half my friends are losing out.

And my father, brothers, sons, male friends and myself, we are all losing out too, because we are denied the creativity, wisdom, insight, beauty and undefended strength that only free, respected and flourishing women can bring.

Likewise if women dominate (perhaps through the courts, or the education system, or control of the current societal narrative), then women should not rejoice either, because in their ‘victory’ they make victims of their sons and brothers, and they rob themselves of strong, vibrant, open, capable, interesting men – as partners, as fathers to their children, and as co-workers in the biggest challenges of life on Planet Earth.

On top of those loses, each group, when they ‘enjoy’ a period of power, are also corrupted and poisoned by it. That kind of power, power-over as opposed to power-with (to quote Richard Rohr), is toxic stuff. It will turn you into someone you never wanted to be, and a lifetime as someone you’d hate if you met yourself, is a harsh sentence.

So if gender wars are so utterly, utterly pointless, why are they so enduringly popular? To answer that, I think we have to pull back a little and take an even wider view: the problem is people. More specifically wounded people, who haven’t who haven’t had the opportunities to transform those wounds, and who are not supported by their community, culture or leaders to do such work – or even to realise that it is necessary.

That problem is then magnified by our human tendency to look for ‘others’ to use as ‘blame-fodder’. Someone or some ones who are different to us in some visible way so that we can quickly say “They are not Us, they are Them!”

Basically most of us haven’t yet reached a level of maturity that would allow us to say “You know some of this is my shit. Some of this big mess is down to me. I need to own that part and start doing something about it.”

So it is much easier and safer and more enticing to look for some people to ‘other’ –and make it their fault. Obviously as ordinary people like us, they also have their own issues, their own faults: great, we can blame them for those and then project our faults onto them as well! They become the root of all evil and we can come over all ‘moral high-ground’.

Now, if you have to live with some other people who are different to you in lots of ways (men and women for instance), then they are the perfect group to start to blame and to ridicule and to disenfranchise. Not surprisingly that group forms a similarly dim view of you and your lot. And your attempts at blaming and marginalising them only reinforce their conviction and stoke the fires of retaliation, of strike and counter-strike. Now, each group has access to different weapons, has different strategies and tactical styles, so they fight in different ways but make no mistake, they fight!

Although of course, neither side can take it too far: I mean you can’t actually exile the other half of the species or you’ll all be dead in a generation. And that’s why the gender fight is always a nasty fight: you need each other and you hate each other. We live together, sometimes intimately, and then we fall out and the inside info we get during the intimate times, when the other’s guard is down, we then use that against them and the hurt goes deep. ‘Puerto Rican knife-fight’ anyone?

So, we live together, we get hurt, our culture doesn’t teach us what to do with those knocks, so they fester, and then we make the other group the ‘bad guys’ and start throwing stones with the viciousness only a wounded person can muster. I think it endures because those conditions endure and because it seems to be a very human thing to say “I’m throwing this stone at her/him today because she/he threw one at me yesterday” – and not to see the irony. We’ve seen it in the Troubles in Ireland, in the Middle East, and countless other seemingly intractable human conflicts.

Now there’s a real danger here of me slipping into painting all activists, be they Men’s Rights Activists or Women’s Rights Activists, Equality Campaigners or Single-Issue Campaigners (e.g. domestic violence, suicide, rape, parental access rights etc) as motivated by gender hatred. That would be a gross distortion of the truth- and it isn’t what I’m saying.

What I am saying, is that in way, way too many cases, the activities, messages, thought-processes of those people, have become contaminated with just a drop of ‘othering’. So that over time, it starts to become oppositional, confrontational and blame-based. Which leads to the other gender feeling objectified, labelled and personally attacked. And then begins the slide into backlash and counter-attack, each ‘side’ justifying its new escalation, by the last attack of the other.

So how do we break the cycle? Is there any way out of the trench warfare we’ve become locked into? Is there any hope for a better way or should we all just pick a side, dig in and start sniping at the ‘enemy’?

Actually I do have hope – and not the fluffy, insubstantial, wishful thinking kind either, no, a solid practical hope, based on things we can actually do, and based on the truly mature, balanced people I’ve met of all genders, who are up for giving a radically different approach, a proper go.

“Alright then” I can hear you say, “Tell us about this radically different approach of yours then”

Well, first of all, it’s not ‘mine’, as in, this is not some clever idea I’ve just thought up (with the implication that the rest of you are fools for not having thought of it). I’m not about to publish a book entitled “The 10 Golden Rules of Peaceful Gender Equality For Dummies – how to fall love with your Ex all over again and get rich without really trying” – nope, the practices I’m referring to are, for the most part ancient wisdom and as for the vision I’m working towards, well I’m more ‘in service’ to that than owning it. So this isn’t all about me and you’re not muppets, ok?

And I will reveal all, I really will – in my next post! Watch this space, people.

Be gentle with each other out there,



First things first (an introduction)

Well hello. Welcome to my blog. This is where I hope to start a new strand of the gender conversation – you know, all that stuff about men and women, the sisterhood and the blokes down the pub, you and me really – and our partners, brothers and sisters, parents, friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

I realise that there’s no shortage of blogs, articles, books etc about femininity and masculinity, men and women (of all gender variants), misogyny, patriarchy, positive discrimination, misandry and on and on. Yup, you could be forgiven for thinking the gender war is largely a war of words these days. So why another blog, why this one?

Well, because almost everything I see today in that space is either women writing against men, or men writing against women. In other words, people writing from their unresolved hurt, their wounded-ness. Or, in a few cases, people appealing for a cease-fire but without a vision for how to actually end the war (and what to replace it with).

And I don’t just want to write about the gender war – in fact I’d prefer not to but it will be necessary to refer to it often. What I mostly want to write about are things like:

  • Wounded/Immature forms of femininity and masculinity (the causes and perpetuators of the war)
  • Things that actually help heal wounds and develop maturity in men and women
  • Mature/healed masculinity and femininity (what that looks like, in real people)
  • Nurturing the sacred feminine in men and the sacred masculine in women
  • Imagining the future: how to do ‘Truth & Reconciliation’ between men and women (and perhaps between straight and gay, transgender and non-transgender?); how to build trust and respect between women and men; what we might start to achieve together

If that all sounds naive, utopian, like a news update from cloud-cuckoo-land, let me assure you, I have no illusions. Getting there from here will be a long, hard road. There is no certainty of reaching the goal. Along the way, I fully expect to be lectured, scorned, trolled and generally hated by those at the extremes of both wounded feminism and wounded masculinism. I’ll try to take it all in good spirit 😉

You see, I believe that women have been subject to institutionalised sexism for centuries AND I believe that men are routinely discriminated against by the courts. I believe that men have for centuries been considered fodder for society’s wars, our heavy industry, our coal-mines etc. AND I believe that rape is always wrong and as terrible a crime as murder. By the way, I do NOT mean to suggest either equivalence or binary opposition between those pairings – indeed my point might be that there can be no ‘apples with apples’ comparison. All have suffered, all have been wronged. Some in this way, some in that. One to this degree, another to that degree, and to go down the road of establishing a scoring system to ‘prove’ that your ‘side’ has suffered more is, in my view, to lose your way.

You see, I believe in BOTH/AND, the non-dualistic way of thinking. It means I do not need to belittle women’s concerns in order to champion men’s concerns. I do not need to demonise all men in order to fight injustice against women. They are not mutually exclusive or self-cancelling in any way.

Those things are all injustices against people and I am pro-human! (I am also pro-planet so I believe humanity needs to get its act together but ending the gender war can only help with that).


OK, scene set, I hope.

I plan to write a new blog entry broadly every 2 weeks and to use the intervening week to respond to whichever comment from you lovely people I find the most interesting, or the most challenging, or the most thought-provoking. I think that allows for something a bit closer to a discussion rather than a monologue – and I’m all for that.

You can find out a bit more about me on the About tab.

Alright then, let’s blog!