#32 Men’s Mental Health Matters Too with Gretchen Hernandez

It’s possible to empower both genders. We want to change the gender stereotypes for women and that women can do anything, when are we going to stand by our men that are now doing other gender roles?

When a woman joins a department at work that’s full of men, she’s celebrated as diversity. When a woman prioritises her career over starting a family, she’s defined as independent. Or when she juggles family life with work, she’s considered strong. When a woman embraces her flaws and is comfortable in her own body, she’s looked up to as an example of self-love. But as soon as a man tries to step away from gender roles and redefine his masculinity for himself, people dismiss his efforts because of the notion that men are collectively “too privileged” to be celebrated.

Whilst it’s true that patriarchy dominates societal structures on a global scale, very few of us take out the time to understand the type of masculinity that shapes society, which is the toxic, egoistic masculinity. Very few of us realise that men that don’t conform to the traditional masculine image have been suppressed as long as their female counterparts.

Gretchen aims to change that narrative through giving a platform to men willing to break out from gender norms and instead strive for authenticity, as well as providing a space where men can share their journeys of healing with other men. Gender equality can only be established when everyone is included and gender stereotypes are abandoned to ensure those that weren’t being heard are able to amplify their voices when they are ready.

Episode Structure:

  • Gretchen’s journey from being in a STEM-based career to a mindset coach
  • Her struggles with mental health problems whilst aiding those experiencing similar things in life
  • Gretchen’s specialisation in men’s mental health after realising that not enough professional help is available for men
  • The role of My Freedom Grove podcast in enabling men to come forward with their stories
  • Focus on community and building a safe environment for men through the Unshakable Facebook ground
  • Three themes for her podcast that resonate with men: being your authentic self, relationships and living your purpose
  • Importance of encouraging men to talk about their purpose, especially using their voices to help other men in similar situations
  • The ways in which Gretchen helps members be comfortable in vulnerability
  • In depth discussion on the impact of environmental issues/disasters on mental health with examples of California wildfires and victimising the public for environmental problems
  • The problem of job-shaming the labour force whilst expecting men to be equipped with DIY skills naturally
  • Toxicity of male-bashing and prohibiting men from prioritising their mental health with the belief that they are being too selfish or not “manly enough”
  • Problems single dads face due to stereotypes
  • Importance of timing and consideration when listening to your partner’s problems whilst explaining your own
  • The importance of women seeking advice on supporting men close to them
  • Need to shift the narrative from toxic masculinity to authentic, compassionate men putting their mental health before their ego

Check out Gretchen’s website here.

Thanks for listening!

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