Ancestral Dance as Ritual is the Cure to Toxic Masculinity, Insecurity, Intolerance and General Stiffness in Men


A MUST READ FOR MY REVOLUTIONARY BROTHERS AND SISTERS: social justice warriors, equal rights reformists/activists, and anyone who considers themselves a kind and good-hearted global citizen!

Its time to wake up and raise our collective human consciousness to a new level of relatedness and civilized tolerance. The current men’s movement to eradicate toxic masculinity by dropping unhealthy, out-dated, harmful patriarchal stereotypes is a hot topic for debate, but what can we as men do to bring down the intellectualizing of the subject and install it where it belongs – in our heart? We can start by exploring our own instincts, reclaiming our feminine-aspect and tapping into our nurture-side with its energy of relatedness.

As a straight man deeply invested and knowledgeable in Western Psychology and Eastern Philosophy my overall well-being and enjoyment of life has benefitted tremendously from reintegrating the unconscious feminine-aspect into my masculinity. After learning how to be “macho” in the military I lost all my instinct for compassion, empathy and was afraid to ask for help when I needed it fearing I would be perceived as weak.

It is this fear of hyper-masculine insecure macho men that they will be perceived as inferior by other men for showing womanly traits of vulnerability, weakness, and emotion that force men to hide everything inside and make them stiff, and emotionally unavailable.

The feminine aspect within is mutually inclusive to all men, it is our right, not a cultural preference. We possess both qualities masculine and feminine in different proportion and can wield them to our advantage if we reclaim their ownership. I have long stopped caring about how other straight males perceive me or judge me less than them.

I am not a conformist, I do not follow the crowd, I have my own mind to make up what is best for me and I have found much research to back up the efficacy of practices that are considered taboo for straight men. I don’t care how other straight males judge me, or if they think I am gay or less than a man for loving to dance, doing Yoga daily, or doing resistance band workouts.

I consider myself an evolved human being, tolerant to all orientations and am out for the truth and benefits of each of my wellness practices no matter how taboo they are perceived by the entrenched ignorance common with intolerant toxic straight men.

What makes me tough and smart is I am not afraid to realize the benefits of assimilation outweigh the social stigma of outdated gender norms. The world is ready for a change, its time to heal the feminine within the masculine, and Yoga and dance which have both been known to our ancestors as gender-neutral ritual practices to come to the forefront of the healing movement.

Before civilization converged onto living in big cities, we lived in smaller tribes and all tribes had community gathering at which ritual dances were the norm. We need to get back to that and reclaim it before we become more isolated, alone, and divisive.

Before Yoga came to the West and became a female-dominated practice, within the Hindu caste in India only men practices Yoga and as the caste system relaxed women were allowed to practice too. So what we know about Yoga and dance in the West is limited to our current and toxic social norms which makes us a culture of intolerant frigid non-movers.

We, unfortunately, have learned to judge each other by cultural stereotypes regardless of knowledge of the harm it causes to others, or what benefits await us should we choose to lift the weil of our collective ignorance.

What patriarchal heterosexual males don’t get is that there are tremendous spiritual advantages to tolerance. By allowing others to be WHO THEY ARE, I am allowing MYSELF to accept myself AS I AM.

Therefore, by not judging other people’s lifestyles I am able to enjoy whatever I am doing that much more deeply and profoundly. So, for example, when I dance, I don’t have to worry about what others are thinking(their judgments) I just don’t give a fuck, and therefore enjoy the shit out of myself, happy as I can be.

Yes, dancing without giving a F*** absolutely leads to fillings of ecstasy, relief, and joy – every single time. It’s like a natural high, something that cracks the heart wide open and leads to self-forgiveness, compassion, and kindness which are nurturing attributes of rediscovering our inner feminine-aspect.

Unfortunately, most dudes can’t relax long enough to enjoy themselves because of the cultural stigma of being labeled effeminate which is linked to being gay. Guess what, friends?? If you are not gay already, you won’t turn gay, stop projecting! In our power-based, hierarchical culture, straight men threaten the masculinity of another man which is an implicit act of domination, seeking power over another by demeaning their status in other peoples eyes.

Once you realize how toxic doing so is, you can STOP YOURSELF FROM DOING IT and help other straight men rise above this utter nonsense logic.

I have done my research, I know that certain embodiment practices are really good for human beings regardless of gender roles. Dance, for example, was always culturally part of my ancestral tradition.

I am a Ukrainian-American and in Ukraine, we have a tradition of communal folk dancing, singing and presenting of acrobatic skills and other talents without any guilt or shame attached to any of it once so ever.

When I dance now in public and feel the stigmatizing looks of other men or even women, I remind myself not to care because its part of my cultural tradition, and I can be free to express myself because it’s as manly as it gets. Let them stand idly by the sidelines judging(there will always be haters, bro!) as I dance my butt off and live happily.

Even from the scientific perspective, the benefits of dancing on our psychological and spiritual wellbeing cannot be denied. We are 60-80% water people, how the hell did we end up stiff and immobile as if we got sticks up our butts???

How is it we got to a point in human evolution when we are actually regressing, too ashamed to move our bodies in space?! That to me is all types of wrong, stupid, limiting, and idiotic!! So as a “real man” I am supposed to be stoic, unemotional, and strong but not flexible, easy going or effervescent?!

Only one kind of man is acceptable as real, and this kind is all types of intolerant and judgemental??? That is OUR definition of what it means to be a man? A boring ass, narrow-minded, humorless, ballbusting, chauvinist a-hole? Screw that, no thanks!! Never in a million years will I accept this definition of “real masculinity.”

You can be a Warrior AND a good-hearted and loving human being, you don’t have to kill off the part of yourself that has feminine characteristics of nurture to be a masculine dude. Moreover, especially if it brings out the best in a man, more creativity, spontaneity, curiosity, and charisma.

I have noticed what all, “so-called” real men, or macho men, do is constantly try to one-up each other, so-called comparing dicks to see whose is bigger and thus whose Ego can dominate and be more assertive.

These men only want one thing, to hold power over others(perhaps cause they are afraid and insecure of their own fragility), and in the process choke the life out of everyone else around them with their “I am cooler/better/smarter/faster than though” one-track mind. Every time I speak to a group of new straight dudes, the conversation always veers to “validation of masculinity,” trying to prove who is the hardest, baddest, most stoic person in the group.

Instead of discussing interesting topics, issues, and laughing about life, the initial convo must always veer into a dick-measuring contest to establish a hierarchy in the group and bravado to impress each other.

Men have to impress each other with their manhood to fit in, and it always boils down to showing off how competitive, aggressive and powerful we are. Hey, its 21st century, people, let’s move past this neanderthal shit and learn to relate to each other.

Yoga and dance are two related practices that have helped me shed my toxic rigidity and helped me accept myself as I am while having a ton of fun.

To learn more how to sidestep your homophobia and insecurities and get yourself on the dancefloor check out this article by leading researcher in the field of gender studies, Dr. Jamilla Rosdahl.

Sincerely,

Your homeboy in the struggle for equality,
equity, and advocate for a whole lot more fun!

Alexander Litvak

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