Category: 2014 Fall

Caring Men in Bangladesh

By Sohela Nozeen The Center for Gender and Social Transformation (CGST) based at BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, at BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh, organized a unique photo exhibit, “Caring Men Images,” this past summer at the Dhaka Art Center. The exhibition offers a vision of men that is not commonly seen—men engaged in looking after their family members by providing childcare and care to the elderly and disabled. The photos on display were generated from a competition among 21 professional and amateur Bangladeshi photographers and included 97 images and two video stories. —Sohela Nozeen Thanks to Marufa...

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A Celebration of Black and Latino Males

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. —Martin Luther King, Jr. At a daylong summit on healthy masculinity for men and boys in western Massachusetts, three newly graduated high school students read their award winning essays addressing the question, “What Can Institutions, Society, and I Do to Positively Influence the Plight of Black and Latino Males?” The oratory competition they’d entered was sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Since its founding in 1906, Alpha Phi has supplied voice and...

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Fall 2014 Edition

A Worldview Is Hard to Crack Allan G. Johnson By their nature, worldviews are difficult to change, writes Allan Johnson, author of The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy, a new edition of which came out this fall. “We tend not to be aware they even exist or how complex they are. Expose one part to scrutiny and doubt and you cannot help but bring others into question, from who you think you are to childhood heroes to feeling safe to national identity and pride.   A Celebration of Black and Latino Males Essays by Hector Toledo, Raekwon Wheeler,...

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Final Curtain

Nonviolent Men: The Silent Majority That Needs to Make Some Noise By Rob Okun “Women want a men’s movement. We are literally dying for it. —Gloria Steinem It’s way past time to put on the pads, guys. We’ve got to put our shoulders to the wheel of change if we’re going to stop domestic and sexual violence. Are you ready to suit up for the big game? Except, of course, it ain’t no game; the lives of our daughters and sisters, wives and mothers are on the line. No need to recount the abominable behavior of any particular football...

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2014 Fall: Men @ Work

              “It’s On Us” to Stop Sexual Violence Earlier this fall, the Obama administration launched the “It’s On Us” initiative, an awareness campaign to help put an end to sexual assault on college campuses. It’s On Us asks men, women, everyone across America, to personally commit to be part of the solution to ending campus sexual assault. “An estimated one in five women has been sexually assaulted during her college years—one in five,” President Obama noted. “Of those assaults, only 12 percent are reported, and of those reported assaults, only a fraction of...

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An Ambassador To Men

By Zach Wahls Many people first encountered Zach Wahls in 2011, when as a 19-year-old college student his stirring testimony at a public hearing before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in his state was the most viewed video on YouTube that year. I’m straight and white; in many ways a stereotypically masculine bro-dude guy from Iowa—with one wrinkle: I have lesbian parents. Over the last three and a half years, I’ve advocated for the interests of children and families like mine who have been raised by same-sex parents. My activism’s...

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Letters

Escaping the Man Box After hearing Michael Kimmel speak recently in Cambridge, my daughter sent me a copy of the Voice Male book and a recent issue of your magazine. I’ve since ordered a subscription and I’m almost finished with the book. Because I work in a reentry center (male corrections) here in Maine, all of your material is especially interesting to me. Most of the men in my classes are repeat offenders and are between the ages of 20 and 35. I can’t begin to tell you how eager they are to talk about what it means to...

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The Trials of Being Female in Public

By Laura M. Lippman It happened when I was a brunette, but it seems to happen more now that I am a blonde, even though I am blonde only because I’m older — brown hair is hard to maintain after a certain age. Being older should be a protection against this thing, this condition, yet it isn’t. In fact, it seems to be getting worse all the time. I go to the ballpark, wearing a sensible hat to protect my face from the sun. A beer vendor pokes me in the back and then pokes the brim of the...

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Shameless: Brazilian Students Campaign to Deconstruct Gender

By Vanessa Fonseca Despite advances in gender justice in recent decades, the consequences of gender norms are still relevant in the job market, in violence rates, in the division of household labor and childcare, and in health, to name a few. Women still receive approximately 70 percent of the income earned by men. A comparative study—the International Men and Gender Equality Survey—(IMAGES) which focuses on women and men and was coordinated by Instituto Promundo and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)—revealed that in Brazil 44 percent of men say that their female partners do more household labor...

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Inspired by Nicaraguan Feminists

By Oswaldo Montoya One of the reasons I was drawn to feminism was because its concern is not only with gender equality, but also with changes in all social structures that discriminate against people based on race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, nationality, ability and others. In the end, we are dealing with the same mindset of “power over” in which some think they are superior and therefore entitled to privileges, denied to “the others.” Many have internalized these beliefs, which are constantly reproduced by social institutions. It is not a coincidence that the feminist women in Nicaragua, who...

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Combating Pakistan’s Contagion of Violence

By Zaheer Abbas Maseed The word “contagion” literally means transmitting a disease from one person to another through close contact. I am using this term deliberately to reflect my understanding of violence and how it is spread. This understanding has been developed based on my experience with Cure Violence, a U.S. NGO working on issues of violence in the United States and globally. The Cure Violence model employs a public health approach. Cure Violence considers all forms of violence—psychological, emotional, physical, and sexual—as a kind of contagious disease or epidemic. The organization believes that violence could be effectively prevented...

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Fatherhood, Caregiving, and Love in Brazil

By Marco Aurélio Martins   They arrive one by one; fathers, mothers and childcare workers. They’ve been invited by leaders of the Stella Maris Municipal Daycare to talk about paternity and caregiving with an NGO that at that moment wasn’t very well known to them: Instituto Promundo. Cleber Leonardo Ramos, 35, is one of the fathers who accepts the invitation. Like all participants, he is a resident of Vila Joaniza, one of 700 favelas in Rio de Janeiro that share the same challenges every day: precarious sanitation conditions, violence related to drug trafficking, police raids, and limited access to...

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Building New Men in Swaziland

By Tom Churchyard   I moved to Swaziland in 2010, making a deliberate disconnect from the quiet cloisters of Cambridge University and full of boyish enthusiasm for a country I had never visited and a culture I knew nothing about. The region did not disappoint my naive fantasies of the African wild, and in the last years I have survived closecalls with fire, flood, break-in, break-up and a brace of car accidents. But hiking in South Africa last year, friends and I were suddenly introduced to the true extent of southern Africa’s dangers and I realized, as if I...

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Counseling Abusive Men in South Africa

By Kerryn Rehse   When the World Health Organization (WHO) published its global and regional estimates of the prevalence of violence against women in 2013, the numbers were grim. The findings suggest that on average one in three women will experience physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner. This is even more likely, the WHO reported, in the developing regions such as Africa (36.6 percent), Middle East and Mediterranean (37 percent) and South East Asia (37.7 percent). In addition, it is estimated that 38 percent of all murders of women globally are committed by the victim’s intimate partner....

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Male Sexual Violence Survivors: Newest Activists for Gender Justice?

By Wynne Russell Nearly 40 years after the first World Conference on Women in Mexico in 1975, the figures on sexual and intimate partner violence against women and girls remain staggering. Recent figures found that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. But sexual violence in particular does not affect women and girls alone. Although badly underreported, sexual violence against men and boys is increasingly recognized as pervasive. In peacetime Western societies, males still make up an estimated 5 to 10 percent of adult sexual assault victims, and...

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From “MenEngaged” to Men —and Women—Being Enraged By Gary Barker

Engaging men and boys as allies in gender equality has become the buzz phrase in development circles. Donors are asking for it. The UN is talking about it. Emma Watson caused UN Women’s website to crash from the sheer volume of hits when she endorsed its new He-for-She campaign. And yet, 20 years after the Beijing conference on women, and five years since the first global MenEngage symposium, we run the risk that our once revolutionary cause becomes the next toothless fad. As cofounder and cochair of the global alliance MenEngage, now some 600 NGOs strong, I often hear...

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Five Traits that Drive Men’s Lives

By Charlie Donaldson And Randy Flood Not long ago we were having dinner with friends when the topic turned to the premise of our new book, Mascupathy: Understanding and Healing the Malaise of American Manhood. The turmoil in most men’s lives is a product of a socialized disorder we had dubbed mascupathy, where traits such as aggression and invulnerability are exaggerated, and those of openness and empathy are repressed. Not everyone at the table agreed. Michael said flatly that the turmoil of men’s lives was all about sex. Randy responded that it was all about male socialization: the lessons...

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A Celebration of Black and Latino Males

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. —Martin Luther King, Jr. At a daylong summit on healthy masculinity for men and boys in western Massachusetts, three newly graduated high school students read their awardwinning essays addressing the question, “What Can Institutions,  Society, and I Do to Positively Influence the Plight of Black and Latino Males?” The oratory competition they’d entered was sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Since its founding in 1906, Alpha Phi has supplied voice and vision...

Read More

A Worldview Is Hard to Crack

By their nature, worldviews are difficult to change, writes Allan Johnson, author of The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy, a new edition of which came out this fall. “We tend not to be aware they even exist or how complex they are. Expose one part to scrutiny and doubt and you cannot help but bring others into question, from who you think you are to childhood heroes to feeling safe to national identity and pride. “When I consider why it is so hard to change a worldview—whether someone else’s or my own—I find that it depends on how...

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