Men's Groups and Men's Work in the United Kingdom

Sometimes it takes balls to start a men’s group and stick with it.

This is an inspiring story of a 20 year old guy in England who just wanted to start a men’s group to explore what it means to be a man. He put up fliers asking “Do you have balls?” to attract men interested in personal development and men’s groups.

Not too long after the fliers were up, he began to receive some intense feedback by women’s groups and other folks.

I don’t think anyone will argue that historically men have wreaked havoc on people, the planet and women. When we men get together, especially if alcohol is involved, we can act like a bunch of childish morons and great harm has been caused by “group think” when groups of men get together from hazing, bullying, crime, gang rape, to extreme violence.

However, as Alex Linsley, founder of the Man Collective, Oxford, reports

“I want to create this forum for men, so men can learn from each other and discuss these issues and make a positive step forward.”

And that is threatening because????

He continues,

“There is so much conflicting information for men. There is massive confusion as to what being a man means, and how to be a good man. Should you be the sensitive all-caring, perhaps the ‘feminized’ man? Or should you be the hard, take no crap from anybody kind of figure?

“Neither of those are particularly useful paradigms. But there’s perhaps things we could learn from both perspectives”.

According to their website, the Man Collective-Oxford believes:

That masculinity should not be a source of shame.  Masculinity should be honed as an alliance between attitudes of purpose and integrity. Men do and should aspire to greatness and that this can be achieved through sharing in the wisdom of great teachers and experiencing the support and challenge other men can offer.

The intention of MC-O is to bring together men on this basis to drag, persuade and inspire each other to become the best versions of themselves in an atmosphere of  respect, support and integrity.

Sounds pretty awesome to me!!!

Listen to Alex get interviewed by my bro Tripp Lanier on the New Man Podcast here.

If you live in the UK, get in touch with 27 year old Marc Quinn and 20 year old Alex Linsley if you want to step up your game and be held accountable by other courageous, soulful men wanting to explore what it means to be a man in 2010. Here’s the link to their gathering this coming weekend.

http://www.mancollective.co.uk/home/gathering/

And if you don’t live in the UK but find yourselves making excuses about why you have yet to start of find a good men’s group, sac up, take a note from these two guys and get in the game!

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Here are other related links if you want to dive into the whole story:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/25/mens-group-feminist-student-union

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/nov/23/men-students-support-groups-universities

He has also been on BBC TV News but the sound is a bit dodgy:

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