Breaking Out of the “Man Box”
(A.K.A. Toxic Masculanity)
There are different layers to “privilege.” While there is a hierarchy of privilege with straight, white, cisgender, Christian, men at the top of the food chain, each and every one of us have a privilege of some kind. With this privilege, society has placed a set of rules upon us.
For Charles Matheus, a straight white cisgender man these rules are called the man box. Charles chooses “Man Box” over the term toxic masculinity because of the negativity association with toxic masculinity. Sometimes, Charles says, we have to find a clever way into a conversation, and using polarizing words (even if they are accurate) won’t help us break through to the group who most needs it.
Charles freely admits that despite all his personal work and growth, he sometimes still finds himself “inside the Man Box.” He tries his best to recognize his behavior, take responsibility for it, and do better.
Unintentional Generational Trauma
Growing up, Charles looked up to an unconventional set of gender norms. His mother was a strong female figure in his life and his father was always emotionally available. Somehow he still found himself facing the man box. Eventually, Charles found strength in vulnerability and recognized the power he activated within himself when he leaned into that personal strength.
Sharing These Lessons
With this newfound strength and power, Charles felt called to share this new approach with the men across the world. He currently works with young men and boys teaching them to break out of the man box themselves. Charles is breaking down toxic masculinity and making the future generation of men more vulnerable which is a benefit to everyone on the planet.
Connect with Charles
Charles helps men, in particular, find meaning, purpose, strength, and compassion by combining ancient wisdom with modern approaches. He is on a mission to help other men feel powerful and confident as they step away from old, unsound leadership models and toward more inclusive, flexible, and sustainable modes. You can find his podcast with Mark Greene, The Remaking Manhood Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. You can find a special offer just for listeners of The Brave Files on his Website.