Men on bikes, talking

men on bikes

The following is a re-post from my business website that you might enjoy …

For the last few months I’ve been getting up at 5am and going for a walk around my neighbourhood before dawn. Many days, and particularly on weekends, I see men on bikes riding by. They’re always in groups – pairs, fours, fives as I saw this morning – and dressed in matching lycra outfits. I hear them long before I see them because sound travels far in the pre-dawn and because THEY’RE ALWAYS TALKING. And they continue talking even when they’re out of their seats exerting themselves to get up a hill.

Often as they flash past I hear a snatch of conversation. This morning I heard one man say to the other, “Sometimes I reflect on my weekend …”

Many years ago, I used to have the view that men were kind of emotional retards, that they were incapable of expressing themselves. And then one day, it dawned on me that most of my favourite novels, novels I dearly loved for their exquisiteness of expression, were written by men. That was a big chink in the wall. Later, I participated in a group program, a kind of Socratic dialogue that lasted three days in which participants examined their lives, and again, I was stunned to see that it was the men who were lining up to speak of their deepest feelings.

Nowadays, I realise how blind and also arrogant I was about men years ago. I see how firmly I bought into the social agreement that men, and particularly Australian men, don’t like talking or don’t talk about feelings, the kind of story that continues to be dragged out when the subjects of male suicide or terrible domestic violence cases are raised.

And this convenient social agreement – it must be convenient for someone – is, like all social agreements, just not reality. Most mornings when the bike riders pass by,  I realise it afresh.

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