Even though men as a group have power, individual men often feel powerless. These contradictory experiences contribute to men’s hurting—hurting others and being hurt.
Based on more than fifteen years of research, Keith E. Edwards, PhD, illuminates men’s masking, unmasking, and becoming to help men develop their own authentic masculinity. He also shares strategies to help us all better engage the men in our lives with empathy, reach them with compassion, effectively hold them accountable, and help them to become the men they aspire to be.
The men in his study thought they had a unique secret, but they all shared the same secret. They each wore masks to hide their insecurities and portray an image that would be seen as “man enough” according to the external expectations of them as men. These external expectations oppress women and transgender people, place some men above other men, and limit all men.
Men struggle with their unmasking. Too often, as soon as their insecurities reemerge, the mask snaps back into place as though attached with an elastic cord. With mask consciousness, men can engage in their own process of becoming by exploring their identity and practicing aligning their actions with integrity.