Our column today is part two from Kenny Luck, men's pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. He is also the founder and president of Every Man Ministries. If you missed part one and would like a copy, just send me an email, and I'll gladly send it to you. I have a sneaking suspicion this article might ruffle some feathers, so let me address some key points first.
I am old enough to remember the birth of the feminist movement back in the '60s. Trust me — it was dangerous being a man in those days. I had been brought up to always hold a door open for a woman and to treat her with utmost respect and decency. In those days, holding a door for a feminist was likely to get you slapped or at least find yourself on the receiving end of a scathing tirade.
I remember hearing a quote back then that "if men were liberated, women wouldn't have to be." I must admit I didn't fully comprehend the meaning behind that statement, but I took it to heart as best I could. I joined the chorus of voices who blamed men for all the ills besetting society. I reasoned that if men could somehow get their act together, all would be well with the world.
That was a time of radical change in our culture. Manhood used to be fairly highly regarded in the media. Since then we have gone from "Father Knows Best" to "Everybody Loves Raymond." From Ward Cleaver to Tim Taylor ("Home Improvement"). For those too young to grasp the connection, men and fathers used to be portrayed on TV and in movies as strong leaders, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. No wait, that was Superman, and he only exists in fiction.
But seriously, men used to be valued and appreciated in the media. Today, men are often portrayed as bumbling, laughable creatures who couldn't spell dog if you spotted them the "d" and the "g." And I propose we as a society have paid a steep price for the belittling of manhood and for men who have succumbed to that depiction.
So before I get moved to the Op-Ed section, let me bring on Kenny Luck to share his vision of men as strong, servant leaders. The kind of man any woman would appreciate and gladly walk through life with.
Part II by Kenny Luck
"I was lied to."
These strong words and the attached feelings flowed forcefully from the tall, super intelligent and beautiful woman responding to my talk on third wave masculinity and femininity. I replied, "How so? What do you mean?"
"I bought into the whole feminist message of power femininity, power sexuality and power economics for women. Then I met the man of my dreams who swept me off my feet. A good man. A strong man. A loving man. A 'keeper.' But I had spent so much time focusing on being strong, blaming men and being independent that I did not know how to partner, enjoy and affirm him to build a strong marriage and family. I now am re-learning what feminism failed to tell me about men and marriage."
She had met a third wave man and is now joining millions of women on a similar journey that transcends the narrow elements and borders of feminism. She is becoming a third wave woman (i.e., a blend of traditional and progressive) that:
• Acknowledges the glaring shortcomings of both traditionalism that devalued the female voice and vision and feminism that overvalued the same as the end-all
• Recognizes that men have a vital role, real value, commendable strengths and the ability to be great partners with women
• Appreciates and is not afraid to advocate for healthy male culture that benefits women, children and justice in the world
• Stops blaming, labeling, accusing and bundling the male gender into a group who cannot be morally driven, emotionally mature and relationally disciplined
• Starts encouraging, partnering, respecting, honoring and leveraging positive masculine strengths toward individual, marital and family health
The third wave man
The world has been waiting a long time for the third wave man, and, through progressive movements like the Sleeping Giant Movement, communities and countries will begin to see millions of third wavers rise up to challenge broken male culture without neutering the ethos and power of masculine strength.
Like its feminine counterpart, third wave masculinity is also a blend of traditionalism and solid progressivism that fits especially well with men who are hungry for meaning that contradicts the media characterizations of men as the "failed brand." Third wave men:
• Reject the idea that being a man is exclusively synonymous with sexual conquest, net worth, physical strength and self importance
• Accept the reality that if they do not do right relationships (i.e., marriage and family), they are not doing their lives right
• Arrange their morality and priority around the relational and emotional responsibilities of being a man along with the long-standing and desired qualities of material provision and physical protection with respect to their women and children
• Recognize and are not threatened by the unique voice, value and visions that women bring to the journey of life
• Committed to righting injustices toward women and children (fatherlessness, domestic violence, sex trafficking, etc.,) that are driven by or rooted in broken male culture
Watch out, ladies. He's coming. Cheer him and his brothers on. We need your voice behind us to create more energy within us. Join us now.
New version of masculinity
Can it really be that Luck is on to something? That a new version of masculinity is becoming a force to reckon with in our society? I can only hope so, for I truly believe that if men were to step up to their roles as husbands and fathers, we would all enjoy the benefits. Benefits such as fewer single parent families, fewer kids turning to drugs, gangs or other destructive activities, fewer dropouts from high school, etc.
So let me encourage the men in our audience, and the women who love them, that there are numerous resources available to help men succeed in their important roles and in life itself. I think I'll compile a list of some of these resources and put them in a future column, so stayed tuned.
In the meantime, Luck will be sharing more helpful thoughts for men on how to succeed better in marriage when he will be my guest on Twogether as One heard on KLJH 107.1FM tomorrow at 6 p.m.
Ron Price is the co-founder and executive director of the Four Corners Coalition for Marriage & Family, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to strengthening and equipping marriages and families in the Four Corners area. He can be reached at 505-327-7870.