Adam Gabbatt, in the Guardian, went to the California desert to explore emotions and get in touch with ‘healthy masculinity’. October 2020.
Pic: Matheus Ferrero, Unsplash.
On a Friday evening in early March, two weeks before much of the US went into a coronavirus lockdown, I found myself standing in the California desert, screaming into another man’s face.
The next day, the smell of burning sage wafted through the air as I took my shirt off and wrestled a guy inside a metal dome.
Later, I was part of a group of more than 20 men, many crying, as we talked about our emotions – about moments from our childhood, about parents, about doomed relationships and fading hopes.
This rollercoaster ride was part of an “embodied masculinity experience” hosted by a group called Sacred Sons, aimed at promoting healthy masculinity.
Courses like this – often dubbed “man camps” – have grown in popularity in recent years, as the #MeToo movement, and numerous other high-profile examples of toxic masculinity, have brought the misconduct of numerous men to the fore. They aim to teach men how to become, well, better men.
“Healthy masculinity was never taught to us, so now it’s time,” I’d read on the Sacred Sons website ahead of my trip.
“Through time-tested frameworks and psychological processes, we guide men to their emotional and spiritual edges so that every man who shows up and does the inner work will one day feel the full depth and breadth of their emotions, find and honor their purpose in life, and commit to embodying their truth.”
I felt the weekend had come at a good time.
After years of revelry and over-exuberance, I’d stopped drinking a couple of months earlier, and in the starkness of sobriety I was already thinking about the way I’d treated people in the past, about how I’d acted in relationships and friendships. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to rethink my version of masculinity.
About Adam Gabbatt: https://www.theguardian.com/profile/adam-gabbattRecommend0 recommendationsPublished in