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The Radical Notion That Men Are People 

click to enlarge CHARLIE LEMAY
  • Charlie Lemay

Mars stationed direct on May 19, Libra on Monday, after being retrograde since March 1. In modern astrology, Mars is the planet of desire, motivation, drive, impetus, volition, and aggression, named for the Roman god of war.

Our society has Mars issues. We have too many wars. We spend too much money on wars, on police, and on imprisoning people. We also don't know the difference between need and want. We tend to want what hurts us and not want what helps us.

Mars is also about men. We train our men to be warriors, then seem surprised when they act like them.

The Mars retrograde journey has stirred up many questions, rocked the boat of relationships, and shaken up the life orientation of many people I've heard from. Mars retrograde at its best is a study in desire: in getting clear about what you want and why you want it.


During my coverage of Mars retrograde and related gender studies issues, several women have asked me what I have to say to men. But first I have something to say to everyone: men are people.

I say this because men are currently blamed for all of the world's problems. This is so prevalent that it's seemingly an unquestionable truth, perceived to be a fact of nature. Everything bad that happens is allegedly a man's fault. I don't deny the existence of the patriarchy, but it consists of a far more complex set of dynamics than most descriptions you will see.

The shape-shifting Archetypal Bad Man morphs from oil company CEO into the misogynist frat boy to the serial rapist into the emotional or sexual abuser to the womanizer to the psychological infant to the terrorist/active shooter to the deadbeat dad to the guy who will stick it anywhere to the state governor shutting down women's reproductive health services to the human trafficker to the hypocritical preacher, politician or warmonger.

Let's not forget the generic asshole, the jerk of a boss, the drunk, the guy who never puts the toilet seat up (or down), the dude who loves his car more than his girlfriend or children, and your everyday inhabitant of the fragile male ego.

The presence of the Archetypal Bad Man, the one whose values and conduct are so base he's not worth bothering with or acknowledging, or worse, not considered human, is looming everywhere. As a result, everyone with a penis is at least a little suspect.


If you are a man, you may find it extremely difficult not to take on some of this projection. However, I suggest you make a conscious choice of not taking responsibility for what you didn't do, that which is not yours or for who you are not. You don't have to accept the projections of others, especially those that would in any way deprive you of your humanity.

I have some suggestions for men and those people becoming men, which I would offer for all humans in search of their personhood. I offer these as ideas for your consideration, not as necessities or requirements. As ideas, they are focused on facilitating development into what you might describe as a self-actualized state.

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