Just a Thought with Tom Gentry
Just a Thought
What We Mean When We Say "Be Vulnerable"

This episode features a passage from Stop Telling Us to Be Vulnerable, by Tom Gentry. It was published January 27, 2023, on Substack.

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In her first big TED Talk, in 2010, The Power of Vulnerability, Brené Brown carefully explained how her research shows, in order to achieve real connection with the people we love, we have to summon the courage to be seen, and, to do so, we must be willing to endure some measure of vulnerability. Since then, we’ve been saying “be vulnerable.”

“You have to be vulnerable.”

The men in my world, if I give them that dumbed-down version of her message and say “you have to be vulnerable,” they will look at me like I have three heads.

By definition, vulnerability is synonymous with weakness. Words matter. We have to say what we really mean. Language has power.

When we suggest to someone that they should be vulnerable, we are challenging them to demonstrate the courage to be real.

We are not telling them to be weak.

We are asking them to be strong.

So, despite what they’ll tell you in the manosphere, we don’t want men to be less masculine. Want men to be more masculine?

Strength is one of the few common traits found in the prototypical man across all cultures; all religions. Almost never do we all agree, but we agree men should be strong.

So, Just a Thought. The truth is, when a man becomes grounded in himself, and connected to his heart, when he becomes emotionally literate, he becomes powerful in a way that would not otherwise be possible.                                   

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© Copyright 2023, Tom Gentry; Music: Worky Worky by Andy G. Cohen, edited for use. Used with permission from the artist under a Creative Commons license. Cover photo by Sam Barber on Unsplash.