When I told a female colleague about our mission she shared a few interesting comments. “I imagine sometimes you get pushback when you first describe your project as one helping men, as the first thought might be, ‘really, do we need to help men, especially white men anymore? Don’t they get enough?’ But then when you describe the details of what you’re doing, the lightbulb goes off and the answer is YES!! This is exactly where men need some help!”
I’ve been working in the field of gender medicine and men’s health for more than fifty years. It is not surprising that many women are suspicious when we talk about differences between the sexes. Differences have often been used to limit, restrict, and control one sex, most often the females, as well as those who express themselves outside the binary of male/female.
Our moonshot mission began in November 2021 when I invited a number of colleagues to join me to share what we were each doing in the broad area of men’s mental and emotional health. A group of us have continued to meet monthly and are working together to make a positive difference in the world of men, their families, and communities. We are a diverse group including:
- Boysen Hodgson with the Mankind Project.
- Lisa Hickey with the Good Men Project.
- Frederick Marx with Warrior Films.
- Shana James with Shana James Coaching.
- Joe Conrad with Man Therapy: Men’s Mental Health Resources.
- MaLe Corona with Male Wholeness.
- Ed Frauenheim with Reinventing Masculinity.
- Jed Diamond with MenAlive.
The inspiration for this movement came from a research study by Randolph Nesse, MD and Daniel Kruger, PhD who examined premature deaths among men in 20 countries. They found that in every country, men died sooner and lived sicker than women and their shortened health and lifespan harmed the men and their families.
They concluded with four powerful statements:
- “Being male is now the single largest demographic factor for early death.”
- “Over 375,000 lives would be saved in a single year in the U.S. alone if men’s risk of dying was as low as women’s.”
- “If male mortality rates could be reduced to those for females, this would eliminate over one-third of all male deaths below age 50 and help men of all ages.”
- “If you could make male mortality rates the same as female rates, you would do more good than curing cancer.”
At the time of their study, they hoped their findings would stimulate governments to create programs to address these issues, but thus far, this has not happened.
The purpose of my Moonshot Mission is to bring together individuals and organizations throughout the world who are doing significant work to help men live fully healthy lives, to offer our resources, and coordinate efforts for change. When we help fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, and all males, we help mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and all women.
Google [X] is called the Moonshot Factory because they tackle big problems in the world where they hope to make a major change for the better, not just a 10% improvement, but a 10X improvement. That’s what we hope to do by creating a world-wide movement to heal mankind and humanity. If you’d like to learn more about what we’re doing, drop me a note to Jed@MenAlive.com. Put “Moonshot for Mankind” in the subject line.
Over the years I’ve been working in the field it is obvious that we can’t improve the lives of men without improving the lives of women and vice versa. Among the colleagues I’ve worked with over the years are a number of well-known and well-respected female leaders who recognize the importance of healing males including:
- Riane Eisler, Founder of the Center for Partnership Systems, and author of numerous books including, The Chalice & The Blade: Our History, Our Future and Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives and Future written with anthropologist, Douglas P. Fry.
- Marianne J. Legato, M.D, Founder of the Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine and author of numerous books including, Eve’s Rib: The New Science of Gender-Specific Medicine and How It Can Save Your Life, Why Men Die First: How to Lengthen Your Lifespan, and Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget.
- Rebecca Costa is an American sociobiologist and futurist. She is the preeminent global expert on the subject of “fast adaptation” and recipient of the prestigious Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Award. Retiring at the zenith of her career in Silicon Valley, Costa spent six years researching and writing the international bestseller The Watchman’s Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse.
Unhealed Men Harm Themselves and Others
Often women have uniquely perceptive insights into the problems that unhealed men cause themselves and others. Comedian Elayne Boosler observed:
When women get depressed, the eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.
We also know from numerous studies that the suicide rate for males is 3 to 18 times higher than it is for females and increases dramatically as males age. Men die at higher rates than women from 9 of the top 10 causes of death and are the victims of over 92% of workplace deaths. Domestic violence causes harm to women and men are also both the perpetrators and victims of community violence.
We know that heart disease is still the biggest killer of males, but disconnection and isolation may be the underlying causes.
“All the usual risk factors for heart disease—smoking, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and a high-fat diet—account for only half of all cases of heart disease,”
says heart expert Dr. Dean Ornish.
“Every so-called lifestyle risk factor laid at the door of cardiovascular illness by the medical community has less to do with someone having a heart attack than does simple isolation—from other people, from our own feelings and from a higher power.”
Males have much smaller social networks than women do. Men and boys also have fewer, less intimate friendships, and they are less likely to have a close confidant, particularly someone other than a spouse. Men with the lowest levels of social support are two to three times more likely to die than men with the highest levels of social support. Men’s social isolation significantly decreases their chance of survival of heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
“Many of my male friends are also struggling with loneliness—and I have struggled with it at many points in my life. But it’s not something we often talk about,”
says Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., who served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. In his book, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, Dr. Murthy says,
“Quite simply, human relationship is an essential to our well-bring as food and water. Just as hunger and thirst are our body’s ways of telling us we need to eat and drink, loneliness is the natural signal that reminds us when we need to connect with other people.”
Now is the Time for Change
When I began working in the field of men’s mental, emotional, and relational health in 1969 following the birth of our first son, Jemal, there were few people working to improve the lives of men. It wasn’t much better in 1972 when our daughter, Angela, was born. But now there are literally thousands of organizations doing excellent work to heal men and their families.
Our Moonshot Mission for Mankind and Humanity will bring together individual men and women as well as organizations who are committed to healing. There is much we can do together to improve the lives of men, women, and the community of life with whom we share this beautiful world.
If you’d like to join us or would like to learn more, come visit us here: https://menalive.com/about/my-moonshot-mission/ or drop me a note to Jed@MenAlive.com and put “Moonshot for Mankind” in the subject line.
The post Long Live Men! Our Moonshot Mission for Mankind and Humanity appeared first on MenAlive.