The cultural revolution of the 1960s brought about many dramatic changes in the way we think about men, masculinity, and the role that each should play in society. In the more progressive corners of the postmodern world, the rough-and-tumble “John Wayne” archetype began to give way to one of a more sensitive man—spiritually interested, in touch with his feminine side, and not afraid to shed the occasional tear. But in the wake of this change, many men started noticing that they’d lost touch with their “authentic masculinity” and were beginning to feel adrift in a culture that was more and more devoid of traditional male role models.
In the early 1980s, a small group of men founded the Mankind Project to help men rediscover the strength and leadership of their masculine side without losing the sensitivity that they had embraced during the sixties. In this Unbound interview, WIE’s Carter Phipps and Joel Pitney speak with George Daranyi, chairman of the Mankind Project, about how this now international organization has helped more than 40,000 men to “awaken their warrior spirits” over the past twenty-five years. The Mankind Project, which has active centers in more than forty cities around the world, hosts training retreats that draw on a blend of Native American spirituality, Robert Bly’s “Iron John” movement, African tribal initiation rites, Jungian shadow work, Arthurian legend, and Gestalt therapy to create a transformative experience for men. In the interview, Daranyi describes the combination of strength and sensitivity that the Mankind Project cultivates in its “new warriors” and explains why he thinks Barack Obama represents the new face of authentic masculinity in our culture today.