Category: 2013 Summer

Reports of Feminism’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

“I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists. Maybe some women just don’t care. But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word?” —Ellen Page, actor   “If the word ‘feminist’ has negative connotations, running away from the word won’t fix that. Whatever new word you come up with will eventually take on the same negative connotations. Because the problem isn’t with feminists; it’s with those who demonize feminism.” —Rebecca Cohen, cartoonist   With such an onslaught of pressing issues facing those...

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Summer 2013 Edition

The End Days of Wayne LaPierre The White Maleness of Mass Shootings Invasive Procedures: Chasing High Tech Babies FEATURES  E. Ethelbert Miller, Shira Tarrant, and Stephen McArthur Is There a Future for “Man Up?” From time to time Voice Male has asked contributing editors, national advisory board members, and other colleagues to submit short essays. In Fall 2012, a number responded to the question “What Is Healthy Masculinity?” In the three pieces that follow, two advisory board members and a longtime contributor weigh in on the question “What comes up for you when you hear the phrase ‘Man up’?”...

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Protected: Poetry

The Taste of a Little Boy’s Trust By Richard Jeffrey Newman   Snow still falling this late, when each house framed by the window above my desk is dark, and even my wife’s breathing has grown indistinguishable from the quiet, snow still falling as a truck rolls by, big-cat-svelte on eighteen wheels, orange running lights spreading up and down my block a Halloween glow in mid-December, like a space vessel landing, bringing me the boy I was standing in the courtyard, searching the descending whiteness for the shapes of ships I longed to fly away on, snow still falling...

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Protected: Books

Hard to Get: 20-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom   By Leslie C. Bell University of California Press, 2013 262 pages, hardcover, $29.95   “We could have had it all,” Adele muses on her album 21, which she recorded at just that age. Can young women? For more than a generation, young women have been talking about the difficulties of trying to construct love, relationships, and sex, but few have listened to them. Feminist sociologist and psychotherapist Leslie C. Bell has now given them voice in her new book, Hard to Get: 20-Something Women and the Paradox...

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Protected: Film

Flirting with Danger: Power & Choice in Heterosexual Relationships   Media Education Foundation, 2012 52 minutes; colleges and universities: $250, nonprofits: $150. Produced, directed and edited by Sut Jhally and Andrew Killoy. Based on the book of the same name and featuring its author, Dr. Lynn Phillips.   Long before the town of Steubenville, Ohio, became synonymous with males raping females, the question of how young women need to think—and act—in navigating their sexual lives, especially in college, was underexamined. For straight women, as a new film shows, not asking can have dangerous results. In Flirting with Danger: Power...

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Protected: Notes from Survivors

Knowing Your Offender: Navigating Your Healing By Randy Ellison   What is the most complicated and least understood aspect of child sex abuse? That 90 percent of all perpetrators are known to the victims (www.childhelp-usa.com/pages/statistics). Only 10 percent are strangers. And as if that weren’t enough, 30 to 40 percent come from the victim’s immediate family. The other 50 to 60 percent of perpetrators include older kids, babysitters, teachers, ministers, coaches, and leaders in youth-serving programs. So to state the obvious: in most cases victims usually know their offenders and are related in some way before the abuse starts....

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Masculinity & Race

Why Every Black Man Should Wear Number 42 By E. Ethelbert Miller   I was born a few years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line in baseball. By the time I was gripping and throwing a ball, Robinson’s career was over. It was as if I were a black person being born one or two years after Emancipation. I would grow up never knowing the tip of the lash. I was taught about Jackie Robinson in the same manner I was told to associate peanuts with George Washington Carver. History has a sorry way of reducing events and...

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Protected: OutLines

Coming Out on the Court of History By Michael Kimmel   When the NBA’s Jason Collins became the first currently active professional male athlete in a major team sport to come out as gay at the end of April, the big story was, well…that the story was not really so big, argues Voice Male contributing editor Michael Kimmel. “First,” the sociologist and author of a number of books about men and masculinity says, “look at all the qualifiers in that description—‘currently active’ and ‘professional,’” noting that there are many athletes, professional and otherwise, who have come out after their...

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Protected: Men & Health

Under Armor: From Power and Control to Letting Go   I’m lying facedown on my chiropractor’s table. Soothing music wafts above me. Soft lighting lulls me. My chiropractor is doing her magic, helping my body reset. My spine has become more pliant under her hands; still, on her last pass we find a spot that remains clenched. She lightly touches one, two places mid-back. My breath deepens. She steps away. Like glass defrosting, something clears throughout my body; an armoring I wasn’t even aware of dissolves. My eyes moisten. I feel absolved, returned home. At the start of the...

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Protected: 2013 Summer: Men @ Work

Shedding Tears for the Decline of Men? Is the labor market in such bad shape that it’s deflating men’s chances of marrying—and causing a further fraying of the social fabric of the American family? Longtime business and economics columnist at The Washington Post Robert J. Samuelson thinks so. With nearly a half million people having left the labor force in the last six years, Samuelson believes the problem is only going to get worse: Even before the Great Recession, men who had only graduated high school faced lower wages and a harder time securing a job and as a...

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Protected: Letters

Mail Bonding   Mom Museum’s Male Voices When the Museum of Motherhood of Motherhood (www.mommuseum.org) hosted a gathering on Valentine’s Day as part of One Billion Rising!, the largest global action in history to end violence against women and girls, we wanted Voice Male to be a part of the day. As a museum and teaching facility that focuses on women, mothers and families, we’ve been handing out copies of the magazine for some time to visitors who find our space on the upper East Side of New York. Editor Rob Okun was kind enough to speak at our...

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Floyd Dell

Backwards Glance: Feminism for Men in 1914   Floyd Dell was an American novelist, playwright, poet, and literary critic born a century and a quarter ago in 1887. His influence was felt in the literature of major American writers working in the first half of the 20th century including Theodore Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson, and Carl Sandburg. In 1913 Dell became managing editor of The Masses, a socialist magazine founded in New York City. Dell was considered one of the leaders of the bohemian community in Greenwich Village before the outbreak of World War I. Despite his literary acclaim, including...

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Protected: Miriam Zoll

One Egg, Please, and Make It Easy The Pursuit of High Tech Babies   I am an official member of the Late Boomer Generation. We grew up after the Pill and the Baby Boomers, in the socially transformative 1970s and ’80s, watching with wide eyes while millions of American women—some with children and some not—infiltrated formerly closed-to-females professions like medicine, law, and politics. This exodus from the kitchen into the boardroom created a thrilling, radical shift in home and office politics, in the economy, and in relations between the sexes. “Shoot for the stars,” some of the more thoughtful...

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Charlotte and Harriet Childress

Why White Men Keep Mum about the White Maleness of Mass Shootings   The national conversation about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects shows again how important it is to continue to write about the effects of white male culture on violence (see Voice Male Winter 2013), say Charlotte and Harriet Childress, researchers on social and political issues. Despite the Tsarnav brothers being immersed in U.S. white male culture for 10 years, virtually all discussion about their actions focused on their religion. The suspects were clearly white men of European descent. Nevertheless, the overwhelming response to what happened dismissed their...

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Protected: Gregory Jaquet

Breaking the Mold: Working with Violent Machistas in Costa Rica   David is 32. He was a policeman. Then he went to jail for committing domestic violence. “I experienced true solitude. The prison had become my world. I stayed in my cell 23 hours a day for nine months. At the end, I was afraid to go out,” he recalls. Now a free man, David speaks to 70 men who listen to his confession in the sitting room of the Instituto WEM in San Pedro, a neighborhood east of San José, Costa Rica (www.institutowemcr.org). The institute provides counseling to...

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E. Ethelbert Miller, Shira Tarrant, and Stephen McArthur

Is There a Future for “Man Up”   From time to time Voice Male has asked contributing editors, national advisory board members, and other colleagues to submit short essays. In Fall 2012, a number responded to the question “What Is Healthy Masculinity?” In the three pieces that follow, two advisory board members and a longtime contributor weigh in on the question “What comes up for you when you hear the phrase ‘Man up’?”   Man Down I seldom use the term “man up” in conversation. I do recall my wife saying it to me after a silly argument earlier...

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The End Days of Wayne LaPierre

I suggest putting a teacher in every gun store. —Jef Johnson The National Rifle Association’s public face, Wayne LaPierre, woke me up the other night. No, it wasn’t a midnight phone call; it was a dream. He wanted to know what I’d thought of “the speech.” You know, the insensitive one he delivered last December 21, just seven days after Adam Lanza shot his mother in her bed and then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered 20 first graders and six school staff before turning one of the weapons in his mother’s arsenal on himself. In the...

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Men @ Work

Penn State Pledges to Combat Sexual Violence Too little, too late? Smart politically? Whatever the reason, a glimmer of light is coming out of State College, PA. Penn State has pledged $1.5 million to prevent sexual violence. The beleaguered university is collaborating with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) which will share their expertise and resources with Penn State in a three-year partnership. “We value [the university’s] pledge to support efforts in prevention, advocacy, education, and treatment,” said Delilah Rumburg, chief executive officer of both PCAR and NSVRC. “This is a...

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Letters

Mail Bonding   Celebrating Different Roads to Changing Men I find much to agree with and celebrate in Frederick Marx’s essay “Defining Masculinity in Our Own Terms,” (Fall 2011) especially with my “movement” lenses on. He finds that feminist men who are doing the important work of standing against the domination of and violence against women too often “end up speaking to only half of why we as men should join these worthy battles.” This seems right to me. Many more males will join in the transformation of gender relations when they know by example and from experience that...

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Jackson Katz

Sports & Hypermasculinity Violence, Male Culture and the Jovan Belcher Case   An Interview with Daryl Fort, senior trainer, Mentors in Violence Prevention         Just two weeks before the Newtown massacre, another high-profile murder-suicide dominated the 24/7 news cycle and—briefly—captured the public’s imagination. On December 1 last year the news broke that 25-year-old Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher had murdered his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then drove to Arrowhead Stadium where he committed suicide in front of his coach and other Chiefs staff. Until Newtown pushed that story off the front pages, there had...

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I’m Mad as Hell at Conventional Manhood

By Rob Okun There are too many damn tragic anniversaries of men killing women. Pick any month and you’ll find them. Take December 6th— it was the 23rd anniversary of the Montréal Massacre. A man stormed into the city’s École Polytechnique on that date in 1989 and murdered 14 women and wounded 10 others. The mass-murderer who then killed himself, was Marc Lépine, 25—same age as Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who murdered his girlfriend and himself December 1st. Most of us expressed horror at this latest tragedy, but distracted ourselves with cries of “Gun control now!” “Reform violent sports culture” or “Shame...

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