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A Manfully Alive

Manhood is a wonderful creation, as is womanhood. The masculine is magnificent as much as the feminine is fabulous. Men and women are gloriously different. It is only those who are obsessed with the ideology of gender androgyny who refuse to accept the facts.

Dr John Gray, the author of Men are From Mars – Women are from Venus has sold over 50 million copies of this revolutionary book. It became the best selling non-fiction book of the 90’s. Men are From Mars – Women are from Venus also became a series and one of the best selling non-fiction book series of all time.

Dr John Gray personally told me that he hardly received any positive reviews of his book from media and academic sources. This is of course because, in those worlds, it is a sin to say that men and women are different. The thought processes of these disciplines are controlled by the high priests of gender androgyny. Thankfully the book-buying public are wiser. They know that men and women are different and that mankind and womankind should celebrate the differences, not try to explain them away.

To quote Wikipedia:
Gray writes that men and women each monitor the amount of give and take in relationships, and if the balance shifts, with one person feeling they have given more than they have received, resentment can develop; that is a time when communication is very important in helping to bring the relationship back into balance.

He further states that men and women view giving and receiving love differently, as regards the “tallying” of individual acts of love. According to Gray, women and men are often surprised to find that their partners “keep score” at all, or that their scoring methods are different…

Another major idea put forth in Gray’s book regards the difference in the way the genders react to stress. Gray states that when men’s tolerance to stressful situations is exceeded, they withdraw temporarily, “retreating into their cave”, so to speak. Often, they literally retreat: for example, to the garage, or to go spend time with friends. In their “caves”, men (writes Gray) are not necessarily focussed on the problem at hand; the “time-out” lets them distance themselves from the problem and relax, allowing them to re-examine the problem later with a fresh perspective.

Gray holds that retreating into the cave has historically been hard for women to understand, because when they become unduly stressed, their natural reaction is to talk with someone close about it (even if talking doesn’t provide a solution to the problem at hand). That leads to a natural dynamic where the man retreats as the woman tries to grow closer, which becomes a major source of conflict between them.

The “wave” is a term Gray uses to describe a natural dynamic that is centred around a woman’s ability to give to other people. He writes that when she feels full of love and energy to give to others, her wave is stable. When she gives of herself, but doesn’t receive adequate love and attention in return, her wave becomes unbalanced, cresting and eventually crashing.

Then, a woman needs the attention, listening, understanding, and reassurance of those around her—as well as self-love. Gray holds that once she is rejuvenated by getting the support she needs, her wave is able to build and rise once again, with abundant love and energy to give. Men, advises Gray, should support that natural cycle by not being threatened by it or telling her why she should not feel that way.

On Saturday 31 May 2014 Australia celebrated the National Day of Thanksgiving. Dads4Kids sponsored a major Facebook promotion for the day because we believe that relationships are core to life. Saying ‘thank you’ helps build bridges of love and renews relationships.

Facebook showed an amazing difference in how men and women respond to messages of thanksgiving and how they perceive family differently. As of several days ago we had achieved 1,000 Likes, had 7,000 people talking about thanksgiving and had achieved the impressive number of 588,983 unique impressions by Facebook users.

Interestingly we had by far the greatest impact among 18-24 young men or women, which was nearly 2 to 3 times greater than its nearest cohort, 25-36 year olds. The ratio of unique impressions was approximately 50-50 between men and women at the start of the campaign. But it was how men and women responded to and shared the message that was interesting. Women were approximately twice as likely to ‘like the page’ than men. Women were approximately 6 times more likely to ‘talk about’ our Facebook Thanksgiving page than men. In other words roughly equal amounts of young men and women came in contact with our Thanksgiving Facebook site but their responses were radically different because men and women are radically different.

Our most popular post had 60,256 unique impressions and showed a picture of a young toddler with the words, “Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble, because that reason can be taken away from you”. Our engagement was skewed towards women 93.5% women and 6.5% men.

On our second most popular post (42,633 views) showed a man walking along a beach with his children and wife with the words, “Family isn’t an important thing. It’s the only thing.” This gave an outstanding reversal of the female skew and showed that men care deeply about family. The organic shares, likes and comments were low (as expected from the male of the species who enjoys the quietness of his cave) but the actual engagement amongst men was 70% and women 30%. This just goes to show that men do think and feel deeply about the issues that matter. Sharing does not come easy. That is one of the reasons men and women need each other so much. Conversantly children need both a mother and a father in their lives to become all they need to be.


St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is a man fully alive” and of course this can equally refer to woman. Men and women are gloriously different but gloriously beautiful all at the same time.

The reconciliation of these differences produces children. It is in the middle of the ongoing reconciliation conducted in the furnace of love, called marriage, that children are best raised.

Keep loving, keep living and work hard on being fully alive as a man, because your wife and children will have a great example to follow.

Yours for more men fully alive
Warwick Marsh

PS. This week we start our ‘Help the Children Appeal’. Thank you for your support as we come towards the End of the Financial Year.

The best way to empower and help children is to invest in turning the tide of fatherlessness. If you would like to make a Tax Deductible Donation in the leadup to the end of the financial year on 30 June, please click here.

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