arnold schwarzenegger – toxic masculinity – the cat in the hat

hi bigmoose blog reader,

your accountability partner role in me writing my book has worked, i have started back writing this week, only 672 words, but 672 more than last week, so thanks.

for those of you who requested a book, they are winging their way toward you as i type this, i hope you enjoy them, this seemed to be a pretty successful plan.

talking of books, i took a trip to london this week with my girls, to see arnold schwarzenneger at the royal albert hall to talk about his new book “be useful: seven tools for life”, which we all really enjoyed, and although i haven’t read his book yet, his talent as a raconteur is top drawer, and had us all laughing at his strict parenting style, among other things, which stirred my lot up to discuss a number of similarities, which looking at how our two girls turned out, seemed to have worked out just fine

this got me thinking in the bigmoose offices when we were discussing our next “life stories” event, which is an event we hold at the bigmoose coffee shop, and consists of three people telling their life story, almost without fail providing inspirational, conversation stimulating, wholesome entertainment.

this month has the theme of mens mental health, and we have three guys who will be speaking about their personal struggles, but how they have come through the other side, once they spoke out, but our ticket sales have been dire, and we were discussing why, and knowing their stories quite well, i know it’s going be really uplifting night.

so we did some looking into some stats, and discovered that our last weeks referrals were 20 men, and 46 women, which got us discussing the suicide ratios in the uk, which are almost 75% men and 25% women, and i think i know some of the reasons, fear of being perceived weak, ridiculed in social groups, reputational risk, etc, and i discussed with our team, that having played ice hockey for twenty years, i had never been a part of a team, or been in a dressing room where anybody has ever talked about mental health or struggles of any nature, such was the aroma of masculinity, so strong it burnt your nostrils, and i have seen bullying in all sorts of ways.

i have played on professional ice hockey teams, national and international, where rookies were initiated, in terrible circumstances, being shaved being the most common, one canadian player being shaved, taped up naked, and put in a hotel lift which was then sent to reception.

passive aggression was aso rife, i remember a team mate that had decided one season to start wearing a trilby to away games, which other players used to hide in all manner of places, riling him up awfully, which only made it worse, until one day returning home from a weekend playing in scotland, we stopped at a motorway service station for sustenance and comfort breaks, and the trilby wearing team mate committed the cardinal sin of leaving his beloved trilby on the seat as he got off the bus.

the first i knew of the dirty deed that had taken place was when i heard the screams “who’s s**t in my hat?” which i’m ashamed to say i joined in with the rest of the team in hysterics, quickly realising what had happened.

i tell you this story not for cheap laughs, but to highlight that some men were, and probably still are subjected to all manner of fear inducing toxic masculinity, in the workplace, in sports teams, and i know for a fact the construction industry has huge problems in this domain.

so what can we do about it?

encourage our men to talk.

encourage our men to reach out.

call out bullying.

call out racism.

call out homophobia.

call out sexism.

we need to change the narrative, and we can all make a difference, we have to.

november is mens mental health month, but let’s not wait until then, there are 1301 of us in this blog community, let’s imagine if we all check in on that brother, father, husband, coworker, school friend etc, that your gut tells you they might be struggling, and they are, and you plug them into our free referral service, and we change their life for good, how cool would that be?

and if you’re in south wales and you want join us at life stories on november 9th here is a link, i guarantee it will be a brilliant night, and maybe bring that friend, hopefully i’ll see you there.

to wrap up todays blog, i just wanted to tell you we had our 28th testimonial that bigmoose saved someone from suicide this week, which we’re all super proud of, and you should be too, thanks for all your support.

blue skies,

jeff

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