Asking for What I Want – guest post from Erin Brandt

Ladies … we want men to get involved so that “women’s issues” are more accurately cared for as “everyone’s issues.” 

What I want to see is mutuality. And that we take action where we can, expecting them, inspiring them to do the same. That we all live our full range of strength and grace, boundaries and compassion. 

I want women to fight for men. 

And I want men to fight for women. 

So that NEITHER lets the other be put down, made fun of, or disrespected.

We know that many moms and dads, and our Western culture in the past … and in many places even now … did not/ do not allow boys to feel or express their natural range of human emotion.  And yet, then those boys grew up and their female partners faulted them for not having facility with their inner world. 

I want women to be champions for men’s FULL range of human emotions … from tender vulnerability to anger. From hope to disappointment. From bewilderment to shock, through bitterness, and back to tender hope again. All the way to the fierce, powerful love and dedication that I see at men’s core.

I want men to listen more deeply to women, to the intuition-wisdom under women’s feelings, AND to train themselves to automatically respect/ believe what a woman says. 

I want us all to LOOK for the good intentions in the other. And if we can’t see it, I want us to assume it exists, and to ask: 

“Hey, what did you mean by X behavior? I interpreted it as this ________ [something negative], but I want to check with you. What did you intend?”

I am often the only woman in a group of women, offering the idea of potential good intentions for men’s behavior… and NOT allowing men to be verbally bashed (the same way I would sure as fuck not allow women to be bashed in a group of men). 

I would like more company. 

I want us to be champions for them, the way we want them to be champions for us. 


And I get it … 

You might not have enough energy to do that, because you got wounded by men too recently. Take your time. (I took mine!) Heal. And as part of your healing, listen for how one of them … and then … that some/ many of them … are our champions. Look for the good in them as a salve for your heart. 

When I was first healing from my wounds caused by wounded men, I was taught empowerment, in my voice and with the energy in my gut, so I could set boundaries. And so that I could demand, both with them and inside myself, that they take accountability for their actions. I’m SO grateful for that beginning. It was utterly crucial.

However, I *wish* someone had told me that my end goal was not JUST accountability. That there were more steps to my healing. That I would finally be, and feel, much closer to “healed” when I could feel compassion for both sides, when I could feel curiosity about what moved them to act in such a way, and when I could take action on behalf of both of us.  When I could approach the relationship between us from a perspective of, and sometimes a fierce commitment to, compassion for both of us. 

I help men understand women’s feelings, and listen better. I help support them in their healing their past wounds with women, so they come to you, my sisters, with more hope, and can be more present with you, NOW, vs. with the echoes of their mothers/ sisters/ girls who made fun of them in high school. 


I’d like us to try the most effective technique for building up humanity … 

Social science research has been showing for decades that it’s good parenting, and good partnering, to “catch” the other person doing something right, and to praise them. It’s far more effective in the long term than “catching” what’s wrong.

What if we lived our lives this way? Specifically, what if we related this way with our co-genders?

Building each other up is a profound opportunity we have as human partners. And humans who feel good and healthy and powerful… do more good things in the world. 


Recognizing our responsibility is our opportunity …

Seeking understanding of each other from a place of compassion is just. so. crucial … for us to heal the wounds we have caused in each other. 

There is no way ANY of us can get through life without hurting others, without being perpetrators. I consider it my sacred duty and opportunity for growth to look for, and ask for feedback from others about, the ways I *am* causing harm. Then I apologize. I get curious about why I might have done that. I ask for input about how I can do it better. Then I practice. And fuck up. And apologize. And fuck up again. 

I have been a perpetrator, and a victim. And I will be so again. It is up to me to plan my humility, and my repair with them. I can’t always control who or when I hurt. But I can PROMISE that I will do my best to act in their best interest, and… I will ALWAYS repair. 

Simultaneously, it is up to me to EXPECT that others will perpetrate against me, that I will feel hurt. It’s a shitty truth, but a truth. 

When I comfort myself, hold them accountable, try to understand what caused them to act that way, see if I had any part in it that I can take responsibility for, and then see if there are any lessons in this that I can use to help others… then I know I will be mining my own experiences for maximum growth, healing and integration. 


So for the ladies … 

I’d love to ask you to start *LOOKING* for men doing things in service, “catching” men being good, showing you that they ARE good men (even if we don’t see it all the time) … 

– trying to make you happy 

– being generous 

– being helpful and kind 

– being protective (because it is in their nature, not because they think we are not capable)

– being capable and strong

– enjoying being helpful and capable and powerful

– being clear about their boundaries (even if it is with you) 

– expressing their feelings (even if you don’t like those particular feelings).


Please communicate to them when you feel appreciation for them and their efforts… in whatever way *they* can hear best (Google: 5 Love Languages). 

I see these efforts ALL AROUND ME. I feel safer in the world, because I am surrounded by predominantly healthy men. And that makes me want to help them. 

In addition to working with men’s groups full time, I also create fundraisers for them. I would love to invite women to directly contribute to the betterment of men… that THEY are initiating on their own! Please support your man in a men’s group. It is the most powerful tool I can recommend for men having support from similar beings to learn their inner worlds. If you’d like to financially ensure that more men in this world get to welcome their own natural, wider, deeper range of emotions, just google the ManKind Project or Evryman networks of men’s groups, and ask how to donate. 

For all of us, we could consider an experiment … could we *choose* to ONLY see the good in each other, for one week. Train yourself to *look* for their good intentions. Be each other’s champions, for one week. Don’t complain or generalize… try a one week diet of appreciation of your co-genders. 

Sisters … I want to invite you to take your healing further. 

And fight for men. And WITH them. 

Look for ways to appreciate them. 

To bring out even more of the best in them. (And so that they feel good!)

For the benefit of all of us.  


I’d love to hear how your experiment goes… What new ways have you found the best in men that I did not mention above? Comment below or email me:   erintherapy  (at)  gmail.




Author: erinbrandt

Erin Brandt has been a "Man-Coach" for over nine years. She is on a mission to work with as many men’s groups as possible, all around North America. For the past 4 years, she’s been traveling full time to teach classes for men (and couples) about communication, building secure attachment together, and focusing on compassionately working with the differences between the genders. You can find out more about what Erin does at her website. Background: Transformational Coaching & Leadership Training, Female Coach at Authentic Man Program, PAX Programs, MS, Exercise Science and Health Promotion: InjuryPrevention and Performance Enhancement, California University of Pennsylvania, 1900 hours training in Massage Therapy; Nationally & CA Certified; NYS Licensed, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), BA, Psychology, University of Binghamton.

Share This Post On