A new operating system

This video talks about how our behavior can be seen as similar to an operating system, like the one on a smartphone. It discusses ideas about masculinity in society, suggesting that we should rethink traditional views and switch to a new "operating system." This new system would focus on things like mutual respect, emotional understanding, and shared responsibility, all to improve relationships and personal development.

A man speaks:

What sort of phone do you have? How does your phone operate? How does it store information? Different phones have different operating systems. Most of us wouldn't even begin to understand how they operate unless... you're a bit of a geek. But without the operating system, our phones would not work. In some ways, we are the same. 

Like many men you will have been shaped by an operating system, and the family you grew up in, to behave in certain ways. Once we understand the limits and bias of the operating system, we can decide whether it is still fit for purpose. You would have heard the word "hacks". Hacks are workarounds that are sometimes used to make something operate more effectively. We think the operating system that many men have been conned into, doesn't work so well. Listen to some of the ideas that come from the old operating system around what it means to be a man. 

Men are biologically superior to women and so better at activities using physical strength. Men's thinking is rational and logical, and superior to women's thinking, which is too emotional and illogical. A man's image is based upon being powerful, fiercely competitive, dominant, and controlling. Masculinity rather than femininity is a more valued gender identity to have. Work and career success are the marks of a man. Self-esteem is established through achievement, competence, and success. A natural order exists whereby men are expected to assume control over others, especially family, children and environments. 

A man who needs help to deal with issues or problems is weak, vulnerable, and incompetent. This is the myth of... 'I must do this all on my own'. Expression of soft emotions is un-masculine, a sign of weakness, little and big boys don't cry. Communications based on sharing feelings, intuitions, and physical non-sexual contact, are to be avoided. Sexuality is performance and goal-oriented. Intimacy and sensuality are of lesser importance. Intimacy and sharing with other men means either homosexuality or that other men will take advantage in competitive settings. 

It is acceptable for men to use their power, dominance, and violence... to keep control inside and outside the home. Real men are tireless, invincible, and keep working regardless of their personal or health risk. In reality real men die early of heart attacks, lung cancer, alcoholism, and strokes... so maybe we're not so invincible. 

A new operating system based on relating safely with others is very different in that it is based on being powerful alongside others, not at the expense of others. It embodies recognising what you and others have to offer, giving equal weight to each of these contributions. A new operating system would look something like this: Strength means different things to different people. Strength is defined as knowing yourself, your abilities, your needs, and sorting these out in a respectful way. Both men and women can be strong in physical, emotional, and verbal ways. Well-made decisions use a range of styles including rationality, logic, intuition, and emotion. Each style has a valuable contribution to make and no one style is more important than the other. 

Real men are powerful, but not at the expense of others. Real men have an understanding that power is not a finite commodity, but something that is to be shared. Power is used to increase, not decrease, the opportunities of others. Masculine and feminine attributes are of equal importance. Men are not more important than women. And women are not more important than men. It is essential to value the differences and the similarities. Work and career are part of our lives. Other roles such as being a good father, partner, and friend are of equal importance. 

A new operating system says that men don't duck out of their social and emotional responsibilities. They balance their lives with a range of activities that enhance positive self-esteem. Self-esteem is established through knowing ourselves, being respected and respectful, and honest about who we are. Men and women work in partnership to create a better situation for everyone. Entitlements are negotiated between people, not given. 

It takes strength, energy, and courage to seek out help when problems arise. Real men acknowledge difficulties and deal with them directly in ways that are not abusive to others. Real men are in touch with their emotions and are able to identify and express them. Men are genuine and honest in letting others know how they feel. The only weakness is hiding yourself from yourself. Real men communicate by sharing feelings, intuitions, and using physical, non-sexual contact. Intimacy and sharing are the most important parts of sexuality. This requires men to be present, physically, emotionally, and verbally during this time. 

Real men are able to feel comfortable enough to risk being honest with other men and respect other men's need to share with them. It is unacceptable for men to use power, dominance, and violence, to keep control inside and outside the home. Real men see the ultimate cost of this behaviour and take steps to ensure that they act respectively towards others. Real men take care of their physical and emotional health balancing the demand of work, home, and recreation. Your challenge is to decide on what operating system is going to serve you best as you move forward in your life.