It turns out its extremely easy to make men get along well with each other.
All you have to do is get them pregnant. More precisely, you have to cause them to give birth.
The reason for this should be obvious. The extreme majority of women, regardless of where they’re from, what language they speak, their income level, their education level, their whatever, all share one thing and one thing only that’s denied to men: child birth. Child birth is so female oriented (duh!) and such a bonding element among women that there are birthing rituals and ceremonies going back to the dawn of time, all of them male exclusive.
The act of birth, of creation, creates a bond among those who experience it that can not be broken.
Men, it turns out, don’t have to be completely denied these kinds of bonds. Some readers may know of my anthropology studies with the GrandMothers of the Three Women’s Nations. One of those GrandMothers, an elderly Paiute Woman, taught me the ceremony that enables men to give birth. In truth, I suggest it to very few men. Very, very few. Most men, in all honesty, can’t go through with it. For one thing, it requires a complete abandonment of the male psyche and adoption/acceptance of a female psyche. Most modern males aren’t comfortable enough with their own sexuality to willingly accept a female sexuality for even the shortest period of time.
(and if you read the above and could only put it into a gay or homosexual context, I rest my case)
One method for helping men get along (not involving the Grandmothers’ training yet directly traceable to it) involves having men get together and take part in a communal creative experience.
What must be unique about the experience is that the creative output must be ephemeral, fleeting. It must be formless, shapeless and substanceless so that no one male or group of males can point to it or some part of it and say “I did that” or “I did that part”. Whatever is created must be done by all involved equally, so there’s also no ku-counting or notetaking or scorekeeping.
It can, of course, be something physical like a barn, a boat, even a box will do. The core element is that the shared, communal creative experience be remembered, not necessarily what that experience created.
Here’s the amazing (to me) part: Once this ceremonial birthing, this creation, is done and all have shared the birth pains and joy of it, the men involved are amazingly able to work communally on some real-world problem, anything from building a shed to creating a company.
And women can take part, too, birthing right beside the men, once the men have allowed themselves to have a shared creative experience.
Some readers may be thinking “He’s writing about team-building”. I appreciate that thought and what I’m describing does, yes, build teams but only much after the fact. Teams require leaders and followers, captains and soldiers. The experience I’m writing of does not. In fact, it rebukes them.
Everyone coming to the creation ceremony will have their own expertises and some may lead for a bit, but without equal partnership and equal input and equal levels of creativity, the ephemeral offspring will be misshapen and odd.
So, if you want to get along with the goal of getting something done, and if you can’t seem to get everybody together on it, maybe the real problem is that the men have never given birth.
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