Men Who Take Baths

Nick Pons

Vancouver, 2017
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I’ve seen my dad cry just as many times as I’ve seen my mom cry, which is why I’m not afraid to cry.

Where does being a man fit into the ‘future is female’ world?

I was actually talking with my girlfriend about this. It’s a funny slogan because it almost feels like there’s a sense of female dominance. I get it, the slogan comes from a place of bringing women up, and it’s not meant to not include men it’s just to be more encouraging and supportive. In general, I think men need to offer more support and it starts with supporting women at home, raising children, doing duties around the house, supporting women in the workforce, giving them more opportunities, raising our children properly and teaching them the importance of equality. Then I think the future is far more balanced in masculine and feminine energy. It’s not the fault of men or the fault of women, it’s just how we've been raised. It’s how our culture teaches us from a young age to be. Men are taught to be dominant and powerful and aggressive and pursue these roles and so we grow up seeking that. I think as we raise our children with more awareness of this, we’ll naturally move into a more balanced world.

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When society tells you to hold back your emotions and be strong, aggressive, and dominant, it creates dysfunctional and unhappy men.

What does being a man mean to you versus what you're told being a man is?

Being a man means being confident in your own skin and authentic to yourself. I think if you always operate in your true authentic self and you’re not trying to be something else, you’ll succeed. You’ll reach your full potential. When society tells you to hold back your emotions and be strong, aggressive, and dominant, it creates dysfunctional and unhappy men. For me as an artist, growing up you almost feel seen as ‘sissy’ to the goons throwing around the pigskin in the backyard. I see the mastery of your craft as masculine. I don’t think holding your emotions back is masculine. I think the pursuit of success is masculine but the pursuit of status is not.

How can we teach children about equality?

I think it starts with teaching them basic respect and honoring their mother. Teaching them how to treat their mother and their siblings well, and teaching them about equality before they go off to school. It’s not that men aren’t emotional. When you teach your kids to understand and own their more feminine aspects, they’ll better understand and appreciate that when they go out into the world. They’ll see the diversity of characteristics that are needed in every walk of life. Teach them more about themselves, teach them to respect and honor their mother, and I think it stems from there.

What was your dad like growing up?

My dad was always encouraging us to explore our emotions. I’ve seen my dad cry just as many times as I’ve seen my mom cry, which is why I’m not afraid to cry. Why wouldn't you want more of that in the world?

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I think the pursuit of success is masculine but the pursuit of status is not.

How can women involve men in the feminist movement?

This, for example. Being more inclusive. Not blaming men or shaming men for the problem. I think giving them more of a voice in this. It’s not just your fight, it’s our fight, together. We need more diversity in politics in the world, everything is so off-balance.

Do you tend to have these types of conversations with the men in your life?

I keep a really small circle. I’m sure I have chauvinistic dude-friends out there but they’re not the guys I choose to hang out with directly, or even really get into deep conversations with. But the guys in my circle, I feel like they are more aware of this shit, and maybe that’s just my impression, but I feel like the people in Vancouver are more spiritual and that spiritual understanding brings more acceptance, love, happiness, and peace. I feel like when you’re unattached with that deeper side of yourself then you hold onto these old negative ways of thinking. My friends are fairly ego-less, or that’s their path anyways. The pursuit of power comes from a place of powerlessness. It’s ego-driven. Just being more in touch with yourself is definitely a start.

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Why did you decide to say yes to this?

It sounded fun. I thought it would be funny.

And is it?

It’s less funny than I thought it would be.

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