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Masculine and Feminine

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Are masculinity and femininity biologically determined?  Culturally constructed?  What role does nature and what does nurture play in the way we perceive these two?  Are masculine and feminine traits, as determined by a particular culture at a particular time, simply stereotypes that ill fit many people within those same cultures?  

These questions inevitably bear upon discussions and reflections in Jonathan’s Circle.  Rather than establish a static point of view, men here agree to explore together ways to honor masculine and feminine, whether they are embodied in males or females.  

•  We accept that masculinity needs to be freed from patriarchy.  

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•  We understand that men can be fully men without accepting some commonly assumed traits of being masculine, including avoidance of perceived femininity, restricted emotions, physical combativeness, aggression, dominance, violence, homophobia, competitiveness, work-drivenness, and a frequent reluctance to embrace the “spiritual.  

•  We understand that being masculine does not mean denigrating or discounting, but rather honoring, the feminine in women, in other men, and in ourselves.  

•  We understand that being masculine entails claiming our masculinity embodied in such traits as integrity, courage, openness, authenticity, compassion, gentleness, responsibility, dependability, respect, and emotional accessibility, regardless of how society and culture might view such traits as matching predetermined notions of masculinity or femininity.   


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  © Frank Dunn 2014