“Showing Up” by Ray AratA
In the spirit of books like Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, and Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Anti-Racist, Ray Arata’s new work serves as both a set of informed perceptual observations, and said observations usage literarily being a rallying cry for social change. The title of his book is the simple but effective Showing Up, complete with the subtitle How Men Can Become Effective Allies in the Workplace. In effect, Arata shows simply and concisely how to unpack toxic male privilege and toxic masculinity in personal and professional settings, highlighting the symbiotic relationship both aforementioned environments share with respect to the individual. The entire concept of what it is to be a man in the twenty-first century is getting something of a facelift, he writes.
ABPUT THE AUTHOR: https://www.rayarata.com/about
There’s a systemic shakeup of power and power installation within workplace hierarchies, complete with a shifting attitude about what gender, strength, and representation really mean within a progressive, post-modernist framework. Arata expertly highlights how meeting such milestones is crucial for everyone. Everyone wins in effect when equality reigns supreme, because no aspect of one’s enterprise lags or is subject to question. People are able to be mutually invested in a shared outcome, not colored by their own feelings of being prejudiced against, or denied certain privileges that are warranted by their position and level of expertise. “Anyone and everyone can be an ally. Men can be allies to women, white people can be allies to people of color, heteronormative people can be allies to nonheteronormative people, and so on,” Arata writes. “With that said, we all need to acknowledge our differences in order to better understand the challenges others face in just being themselves. When we own our stuff, we make it safe for others to bring their full selves to work.”
BETTER MAN CONFERENCE: https://bettermanconference.com/ray-arata
Stepping outside of Showing Up’s literary presence on its own, you can clearly see Arata is an example of putting the money where his mouth is. Aside from his work as a nonfiction author, Arata is the founder of the Better Man Conference, a branch of the overall organization titled Better Man Leadership Group, from which he operates as consultant, leadership coach, and keynote speaker. A proponent of what he calls ‘healthy masculinity,’ part of Arata’s appeal is his unwillingness to throw the baby out with the bathwater. He approaches real issues with a sense of informed delicacy, never resorting to cheap rhetoric or promises he isn’t able to fulfill. People like him are examples of the kind of change everyone has been hungry to see for the last five years.
A call to action that began with the expose of Harvey Weinstein and the decades-old Hollywood Casting Couch culture, and ending with a paradigm shift no one saw coming. Part of Arata’s argument is there are many good people, particularly men, who need a wakeup call. Who do not deserve to suffer a blanket demonization because of their outdated views on themselves, what it is to be leader, and what it is ultimately to be a man.
By steering the conversation in a way that never prematurely inflames or bristles, Arata does a service both to his own gender peer group, and to the world at large. He’s an active part of the conversation, in a manner that is as humble as it is genuine.