Teaching young men emotional intelligence & healthy masculinity
In my work, I get asked many questions about men, what it means to be a man, understanding men, and supporting men.
One that pops up now and again is something like this: “Have you ever thought about working with young men and doing this work in schools? Man, it would be so powerful!”
I agree. It would be.
But I’ve always said and still stick by the point that I work with grown-ass men because, fundamentally, I’m working with me from about 12 years ago. I work with the men who resonate with me and that I get along with.
Legit, if you listen to me, watch my content, follow my stuff and in amongst all of the lessons and ‘SHIT Mike is speaking TO ME!” moments you think “Mike sounds like a dude I could have beers/coffee/laugh with.” it’s because you could.
Which, as a quick aside, might be evidence enough to get your shit moving and start working with me and my team.
Anyway, back to the point – the other thing I say in response to this is this “I don’t think I’m the best man for the job, and I know of wonderful organisations that are doing the work in schools with young men. I am happy to support them and their great work.”
Specifically, two organisations come to mind when I say this. One of them is called Man Cave.
Man Cave is founded by a man called Hunter Johnson. And Hunter is my guest on the podcast this week.
In this Episode:
Hunter and I venture into Man Cave’s remarkable work and have been doing it for some years now.
We explore what he sees in the young men they work with, and what he sees in them that is also perhaps still in many of us. Including, in this, some of Hunter’s personal journey and realisations in even starting the organisation.
We dive into Huner’s take on how we tend to have a crisis management approach to sexual violence and mental health in men and instead look at their proactive, educational, and ultimately, empowering model of not just talking about men or to them but with them. Especially young men who are often incredibly confused at the multiple conflicting and highly important messages coming at them every day.
This was a fun conversation wandering through many aspects of masculinity and working with men both young and those in their mid-life years. Not only that but we hear a phenomenal story from Hunter about meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace and having several meetings with Prince Harry and Meagan about the state of mental health in young men and the work Man Cave is doing to reverse that.
Hunter Johnson is the Founder & CEO of two purpose-driven organisations. Hunter leads The Man Cave, an emotional intelligence charity that has impacted the lives of 20,000 young men across Australia. Hunter also leads STUFF™, an investor-backed, purpose-driven personal care brand for the next generation of men. Alongside his work in the masculinity space, Hunter is an Advisor to The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT), a charity championing young people throughout the Commonwealth alongside Prince Harry, the President of QCT.
Hunter’s work has led him to speak around the world including presenting at the United Nations, Government House, Human Rights Commission, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Town Hall, Graduation Ceremonies and various Universities. Hunter has been recognised as a Finalist for the 2020 Young Australian of the Year Awards (VIC), listed as one of Harper’s Bazaar’s “Visionary Men for 2019”, named a 2018 Queen’s Young Leader by Her Majesty The Queen, and 2018 Winner of the EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Southern Region).
Where to find Hunter:
The Man Cave
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