The world today is expecting a lot from men, however, there is no one more confused than men on how to go about it. "If something is wrong, we want to solve it. But we don’t need to problem solve first – we need to be present to hear people - to be present with what they’re sharing," says entrepreneur Andrew Horn. 'Junto', a movement started by him can be described as a retreat that helps men break up with patriarchy.
He aims to provide a bridge for men that wanted to take action
Inspired by a club of the same names started by none other than Benjamin Franklin, who also had a desire that all men improve themselves and their communities, the modern Junto too seeks to do the same, asking men "What stories are we telling ourselves?" From thinking intentionally to writing letters to themselves about living an authentic life, the Junto men are encouraged to question patriarchy as something that not only impacts women but men too. Raised in Hawaii, founder Horn was forced to discuss modern masculinity in the wake of #MeToo Movement and said, "I just wanted to provide a bridge for men that wanted to take action, build an equitable world, and inspire different options for men to help." He began on a journey that would help men work towards serving their families and their community at large. One attendee revealed that he felt more rooted in himself after the retreat; Horn helps fellow men deal with painful issues of the part like bad relationships and absentee fathers.
"We want to pop the cork of suppressed emotions."
More importantly, Junto as a movement ensures men do not belittle their own feelings and punch it out à la "Fight Club", but rather embrace them. This experience will assist them in their various roles as fathers, sons, husbands, leaders, friends, colleagues and more. Evryman, a modern masculinity organization started by Dan Doty, truly inspired Horn. "We want to pop the cork of suppressed emotions. Let the guy get in there. Men, generally speaking, don’t emote with each other," said Doty. There's a long-standing myth that men will turn into women if they get in touch with their emotional side, however, men like Doty and Horn are simply working towards a "baseline of emotional health." One developmental psychologist said, "Boys are taught to be dominant pursuers, and they aren’t even given a vocabulary to discuss emotions like sadness and fear. How can we not expect many boys to struggle with these things when they become men? They have to retrain their entire development."
Image credit: Andrew Horn