Most men have thought they should limit what they express, or even feel…. That emotions are not manly and won’t be well received. Times are changing though and there is a call to support men to be healthier and happier, which includes welcoming men’s vulnerability. A Call to Men’s Chief Development Officer, Ted Bunch, talks about why it’s important to be bold, brave, and kind, and to teach your kids to be the same.
It’s likely you didn’t grow up feeling safe to reveal all parts of you. Most men hide, to some degree, their hopes, fears, desires, and emotions.
How much do you hide or hold back?
Most men I talk to have thought they “should” limit what they express, or even feel, because it doesn’t look manly, and they’ve often not been well received when they are vulnerable.
The Man Box is a term used to describe the limiting persona and characteristics many men have been trained to emulate. Whether it’s parents, teachers, media, etc. the message has been clear for many generations: In order to be manly, you have to be strong and tough. You can’t fall apart, need help or ask for it.
Times are changing, thankfully. You are likely seeing and hearing more organizations and people talking about the importance of men being welcome in their vulnerability, including me!
Today’s Man Alive podcast guest, Ted Bunch, is the Chief Development Officer of A Call to Men. He is a leading voice on male socialization, the intersection of masculinity and violence, and healthy, respectful manhood. Ted is the co-author of The Book of Dares: 100 Ways For Boys to be Kind, Bold, and Brave. The book has been called “a direct answer to parents’ cries for building healthy masculinity, respect, and emotional literacy in their sons.”
In this conversation we discussed:
- How being socialized into cultures of sexism hurts everyone, including men
- Ways to welcome your kids’ emotions and authenticity
- What it will take to decrease the astronomical rate of men’s anxiety, depression and suicide
- The importance of speaking up rather than staying silent
- The Book of Dares and integrating A Call to Men’s principles into communities
Ted is an incredible role model of healthy masculine perspectives and actions. There is great wisdom to be gained by listening to this episode!
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Ted Bunch is an author, educator, activist, and lecturer working to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls. As the chief development officer for A CALL TO MEN, Ted is internationally recognized for his efforts to prevent violence against women while promoting a healthy, respectful manhood. He is a leading voice on issues of manhood, male socialization and its intersection with violence, and preventing violence against all women and girls.
Ted is the co-author of The Book of Dares, 100 inspiring, creative, fun challenges for boys based on the work of A CALL TO MEN. The Book of Dares has been called “a direct answer to parents’ cries for building healthy masculinity, respect, and emotional literacy in their sons.”
Ted is an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is the former director and co-creator of the largest program for domestic violence offenders in America. His innovative work laid the groundwork for the prevention strategies now endorsed as best practice in engaging men to end violence against women. Ted developed and implemented model response programs for police, fire departments, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and other first responders dealing with domestic violence.
Ted is an adviser to and trainer for the National Basketball Association. He has also provided training to the National Football League, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, and Major League Baseball. He was invited to help lead the #TimesUp Engaging Men efforts and is providing ongoing healthy manhood and sexual harassment prevention training throughout the entertainment industry.
Ted was a guest presenter for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. He is an international lecturer for the U.S. State Department and was appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as a committee member to UNiTE, an international network of male leaders working to end violence against women.
Ted’s work has been featured in the UK, Israel, India, Suriname, South Africa, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, and Puerto Rico. He is the co-author of the LIVERESPECTTM Coaching Healthy & Respectful Manhood Curriculum, designed to prevent violence and bullying in school and sports. He is sought after for his impactful and engaging sexual assault prevention programs for young men in high school and college, and has trained extensively in colleges and universities. Ted is a frequent guest on national television and radio programs like The Today Show and National Public Radio, and has served as a script consultant for the Emmy Award-winning television series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and for the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Jagged Little Pill.