Thursday, January 30, 2014

masculinity zine - role models

I'm working on a zine about masculinity, changing patriarchal masculinity.
A lot of us know someone who somehow challenged the stereotype of patriarchal masculinity, even if they didn't challenge it in every way. I'm looking for stories – you don't have to be able to really even tell a story, and you don't have to write a story – because I know that most people don't have the time to really sit down and write. What I'm thinking is I could interview people.

You could answer one or more of these questions:

  1. Did you, as a child or teen, have anyone in your life who challenged patriarchal masculinity in any way – for example, wasn't afraid to cry or show affection. (even if they were patriarchal in other ways)
  2. Did/do you have a male role model, either a real person in your life or a public/artistic figure. What aspects of that person inspires you.
  3. Describe an event or moment when you realized you had to cut off some aspect of yourself in order to conform with social or family expectations of what it meant to “be a man” (or, if they did not see you as male, a time when you had to suppress your true self in order to fit as not a man)
  4. Describe a time or event when you defied social expectations of what it means to be “a man.” This could be one moment or a whole life shift.
Options for how the story would be told:
  1. You could write it
  2. I could interview you (in person or over the phone or web chat) and then transcribe the interview word for word.
  3. I could interview you (in person or over the phone or web chat) and then create a written story from the information, which you then would have the chance to look over and change or approve.
Also, if you are doing the role model question and have any images of the person, I'd love to have a copy to reprint.

I know it can be strangely scary to think about these things, but we really need to begin to articulate a vision of positive masculinity.

“The crisis facing men is not the crisis of masculinity, it is the crisis of patriarchal masculinity. Until we make this distinction clear, men will continue to fear that any critique of patriarchy represents a threat...”
– bell hooks

6 comments:

Vulpesvulpes said...

I have someone in mind. How do I go about connecting you? Is there an email address I can give him?

Vulpesvulpes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andria Alefhi said...

awesome! will post link on my zine's page, We'll Never Have Paris right now.

Josh Rollins said...

I might have a story for you.

Dave Ferner said...

Id like to talk if youd like.

sashi said...

my beautifully male partner shared this with me. i wanted to share it with you.
"The New Male Manifesto." in As Above So Below. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher Inc., (1993).
THE NEW MALE MANIFESTO
I. Men are beautiful. Masculinity is life affirming and life supporting. Male
sexuality generates life. The male body needs and deserves to be nurtured and
protected.
II. A man’s value is not measured by what he produces. We are not merely our
professions. We need to be valued for who we are. We make money to support
life. Our real challenge, and the adventure that makes life full, is making soul.
III. Men are not flawed by nature. We become destructive when our masculinity is
damaged. Violence springs from desperation and fear rather than from authentic
manhood.
IV. A man doesn’t have to live up to any narrow, societal image of manhood. There
are many ancient images of men as healers, protectors, lovers, and partners with
women, men and nature. This is how we are in our depths: celebrators of life,
ethical and strong.
V. Men do not need to become more like women in order to reconnect with soul.
Women can help by giving men room to change, grow, and recover masculine
depth. Women also support men’s healing by seeking out and affirming the good
in them.
VI. Masculinity does not require the denial of deep feeling. Men have the right to
express all their feelings. In our society this takes courage and the support of
others. We start to die when we are afraid to say or act upon what we feel.
VII. Men are not only competitors. Men are also brothers. It is natural for us to
cooperate and support each other. We find strength and healing through telling
the truth to one another—man to man.
VIII. Men deserve the same rights as women for custody of children, economic
support, government aid, education, health care, and protection from abuse.
Fathers are equal to mothers in ability to raise children. Fatherhood is honorable.
IX. Men and women can be equal partners. As men learn to treat women more fairly
they also want women to work toward a vision of partnership that does not
require men to become less than who they authentically are.
Sometimes we have the right to be wrong, irresponsible, unpredictable, silly, inconsistent,
afraid, indecisive, experimental, insecure, visionary, lustful, lazy, fat, bald, old, playful,
fierce, sad, irreverent, magical, wild, impractical, unconventional, and other things we’re
not supposed to be in a culture that circumscribes our lives with rigid rules.