Andrew Horn couldn't remember the last time he released his anger.
The 32-year-old founder of Tribute.co, a video montage platform recently dubbed by the New Yorker as "Hallmark 2.0," recalled throwing things and slamming doors – but never actually expressing his anger. So, one of the attendees in his men's-only meeting group handed him a pillow while the others encouraged him to scream into it. He let out a guttural release of primal rage.
"I felt a lot better," he explained.
Horn says the key to unlocking his emotions has been discovering "modern masculinity," a movement of men exploring their emotions in small group settings.
Instead of fighting it out "Fight Club"-style, men are sitting in small group circles weekly in office spaces and during outdoor retreats to talk through their feelings, allowing themselves to grow more vulnerable, and, yes, to cry together. By getting in touch with themselves, they believe they can be better employees, leaders, partners and parents – and avoid the toxic behavior that has allow previous generations to treat women as second-class citizens.
There's a renewed emphasis among some men, particularly those that lead media and technology businesses or reach large audiences through their work, to communicate with more emotional intelligence, said Horn, who founded the modern masculinity group Junto this year as a response to MeToo. The examples of what not to do are plentiful, but there's not a clear mainstream answer for what men should become, he said.
"I think there are lots of men out there thinking, 'In the wake of MeToo, what the f--- do I do?" Horn, said. "If I'm not doing any of these violent things myself, what do I do? What do I do if I see others that I'm working with do something?"