Next to God we are indebted to women, first for life itself, and then for making it worth living.
— Mary McLeod Bethune
STING: TO BE A MAN, TREAT WOMEN WELL
Musician-activist Sting believes in gender equality. Interviewed about the meaning of manhood at the Printer’s Row Lit Fest June 8 at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, he said the following…
I think in older societies, or so-called primitive societies, they had a very ritualized form of a rite of passage where a boy would go through some ordeal…go into the woods or the forest and survive or climb a mountain….
We don’t have that in modern society. It’s much more vague for men. How do we go from being boys to men? I don’t think it’s overnight.
For me, becoming a man, paradoxically, is about the nature of how you relate to women. I think you’re really a man when you treat women well.
When you integrate the elements of your psyche that were bequeathed to you by your mother—compassion, care, intuition, creativity—then you’re a man.
You’ve got a lot of other ways [to be a man]…you can buy a gun, build your muscles up, join the army, wear a uniform—[it] doesn’t mean much.
But to treat women well—in the way society treats women well—will tell us whether we are a grown-up society or not. Any society that doesn’t treat women well will never grow up. So for me to become a man is to treat women as they should be treated—as equals.
Look at the societies, cultures, countrys, regimes, nationalities, religions, races, and people around the world, how they treat their women, shows how far in civilization they have moved forward.