Author: Crystal B

Mail Bonding

Holding the Line Against the NFL The NFL Players Association, the union that represents players in the National Football League, is engaging in victim blaming tactics. They are fighting the league’s six game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott for domestic violence. The union is appealing that suspension and they have every right to do so. They do not have the right to blame, shame and attack the victim in the process. If you see any articles related to this in your local media, or national feeds, please speak out about this strategy. My fear is that if we don’t call out the behavior this kind of deflection and attack will continue. We demanded that sports groups respond differently, and the NFL is making progress. We can help shift the culture faster if we address these kind of public attacks on those who report abuse. Rita Smith Denver, Colo. The writer is a senior advisor to the NFL on domestic violence issues, and the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.   Engaged Fathers: More than a Dream Last year I was an intern at the NGO Sonke Gender Justice in Cape Town, South Africa. My research was with children whose fathers had attended the international MenCare program. It opened my eyes; I saw how important the subject of fatherhood was. I saw how important to them, important...

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Ten Must-Read Books About White Masculinity and the Rise of Trump

By Jackson Katz With the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s improbable election at hand, a torrent of books are being published that purport to analyze Trump’s political success and what it signifies and portends for the present and future of American politics. Many of these books appropriately address the “blue-collar billionaire’s” appeal to the ethnic bigotry and white nationalism that has long hidden in the shadows of American politics. But to date, precious few have correctly identified the central role played by gender—specifically white masculinity—in Trump’s rise as a political icon. This exclusion started early. The day after the 2016 election, The New York Times published a list of books to help voters understand Trump’s win. Not one title on the list foregrounded gender; only one, Strangers in Their Own Land (see below), discussed it in any depth whatsoever. If current trends persist, it seems safe to predict that many of the 2016 election books either will fail to discuss gender—outside of reflexive references to the misogyny surrounding Hillary Clinton’s bid to become the first woman president—or will minimize its importance. As a corrective to this systematic exclusion, I have compiled a list that attempts to steer discussions of Trumpism back to a critical analysis not just of whiteness, but of white masculinity. The books briefly summarized here offer an introductory roadmap for anyone—journalists, academics, political science students, armchair...

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Books

Healing My Life from Incest to Joy By Donna Jenson 2017, 383 pages Leveller’s Press Review by Lea Grover With a title like Healing My Life from Incest to Joy, you might think Donna Jenson’s new book would be a heavy, difficult read. But though she is honest and deeply human as she tells her story of childhood incest, what is most striking about this book is the joy. Jenson, a successful community builder and playwright, focuses not on the details of her abuse, but on the steps she took to build a life of meaning and beauty. Through her, we learn techniques of storytelling, therapy, and relationship building. She does not ask the reader to suffer with her, rather inviting the reader to heal with her. With a conversational tone and genuine friendliness, she invites the reader into her life, getting to know and love the friends who support her, the daughter who encourages her, and the diverse and compassionate “Family of Choice” surrounding her. This book is not prescriptive, not a “how-to” guide to overcoming trauma, but it is a detailed account of what helped Jenson, how and why she came to learn new tools for introspection and growth, and where any person could find them, should they have an interest. It’s the kindness of this storytelling that is so striking. Jenson does not pretend to speak...

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Poetry

The Road By Richard Hoffman Mothers with newborns in knotted slings, on their heads impossible towers of things, the old in carts, the children by the hand, these people crossing a cratered land are more than metaphor; but they are also metaphor. We are the truth to one another. Look: don’t wait for some historian’s book to understand this (then it will be too late). This is the unchecked power of the State, the end of empathy, the rise of Mars, the avarice that in the end mars all our laws and medicine and art. Show me one fleeing...

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The Soul Crushing of Boys and Men

By Kali Holloway It is impossible to talk about Donald Trump—his election victory, his personal brand, his public persona—without also discussing toxic masculinity. This is a man who brought up the size of his penis during a political debate, who bragged about using his fame in the service of sexual assault, who recently interrupted a call with another world leader to hit on a nearby female reporter. Trump rode toxic masculinity and racial demagoguery to the White House, and he continues to embody and inflame both as a key strategy of his presidency. But Trump is more than just...

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Fall 2017

Books

Voice Male: the Book