Category: 2016 Summer

Donald Trump and the Crisis in Masculinity

The crisis in masculinity and the presidential election got hitched in an October surprise unintentionally engineered by Donald Trump. While a vast majority of men—the 2016 election season’s silent majority—reject Mr. Trump’s “locker room” ideas about manhood, many are reluctant to publicly say so. That may be changing. Mr. Trump’s vile description of how he treats women, and his subsequent disingenuous “apologies” may have encouraged men to speak out as the question of American masculinity took center stage in the campaign. Ironically, the Republican candidate’s attempt to downplay his behavior as locker room banter had the opposite effect, highlighting...

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Summer 2016 Edition

Dads Don’t Babysit; It’s Called Parenting Men, Masculinities and Climate Change Transgender Rights Under Attack An Apology for Sixties Anti-War Sexism Black Men as Anti-Rape Activists Features Finally…A Bill of Rights for Rape Survivors By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo Shaheen’s Sexual Assault Survivors Act would offer states small grants to help them share information with victims about their rights when they first step into a hospital or police station. A Men’s Apology for Sexism in the Sixties Anti-War Movement By Tom Gardner Our email occurred as planning was under way for the first reunion of the antiwar movement. It would...

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PEACE BEGINS IN THE GROUND

Peace begins in the ground. Softer than breathing. More lasting than bones. The long future. The long past. We are touching it now. In shadows of birds on silver-black water. Cloudlight. Starlight. Her lips to mine. Its music already playing beneath branches forming archways through which the whole sky falls. Without ending peace begins in shredded cloth and rubble. In streams of pain. In shattered words. The children learning to read our faces. Dawn blooms as mothers and fathers mourn. In the silence of salt. In a teardrop. We are tasting it now. Its singular ocean. Its ongoing wave....

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A Poet’s Long Journey from Domestic Violence

By María Luisa Arroyo Poet María Luisa Arroyo was the featured speaker at the 40th anniversary celebration of the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition, one of the oldest domestic and sexual violence prevention organizations in the region, serving north-western Massachusetts. What follows is an edited version of her remarks. I am the daughter of hard working Boricua or Puerto Rican factory and foundry workers, who, before they met and fell in love in a club in Springfield, Massachu-setts, moved from Puerto Rico to find better-paying jobs, to help support their large, finan-cially struggling families. In each...

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Post-Traumatic Growth

By Randy Ellison For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction. —Cynthia Occelli We’ve all heard of post-traumatic stress disorder. It refers to changes in the brain and our functioning after an experience of extreme trauma. It can actually change our genes and the wiring of our brains. Military veterans and survivors of physical and sexual assault are common victims of PTSD. The new buzz phrase is “trauma informed treatment” for survivors...

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How to Respond to Sexist Remarks

By Alan Berkowitz Much progress has been made in addressing sexism in American culture. While the profeminist men’s movement has contributed to this evolution, it is undeniable that there is much more to be accomplished. Many of us can attest that remarks and behaviors that would have seemed inoffensive or “normal” some years ago are now correctly labeled as sexist, inappropriate, and in need of a response. In the language of bystander intervention theory and research now, more than in the past, we “notice the event,” “interpret it as a problem,” and “feel responsible for responding to it.” The...

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Men Attacking Pakistan’s New Domestic Violence Law

By Aysha Khan Even though Pakistan has finally taken a positive step forward to foster gender equality, some men still believe the mistreatment of women is their God-given right. The backlash began when the Pakistani government introduced the Protection of Women Against Violence Bill, which effectively criminalizes violence against women in Punjab, the country’s most populous region. Before the law was officially enacted on March 1, diehard extremists attempted to block the legislation, saying it would “destroy the family system in Pakistan” and “add to the miseries of women.” In denouncing the law, some right-wing Islamist leaders say it...

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An African Approach to Global Health

Leave No One Behind By Chibuike Alagboso Sustainable development goals are a “Plan of Action for People, Planet and Prosperity,” says Chibuike Alagboso, that African nations are working toward over the next 15 years. The goals include strengthening efforts to advance universal peace, eradi-cating poverty, and ensuring no one is left behind. What does the goal of ensuring healthy lives for all at all ages mean in practice, and how can it be turned from a catchphrase into action? “That,” Alagboso writes, “still need[s] to be worked out….” Around the world, organizations, individuals and governments have made commitments and...

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Men, Masculinities and Climate Change

In a revealing new examination of gender and climate, a group of activists and researchers aim to establish a rationale for under-standing boys’ and men’s multiple roles in climate change. Men, Masculinities and Climate Change presents—and analyzes—key areas for further exploration of masculinities (the characteristics associated with what it means to be a man) in patriarchal systems that play a contributing role in perpetuating climate change. As a concept paper, Men, Masculinities and Climate Change explores opportunities to engage men and boys as agents of positive change, alongside women and girls, and further strengthens the call for social, economic...

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A Response to Concerns

Several people who read the article in the new issue of Voice Male (Summer 2016) entitled “Is the Ideology of the Transgender Movement Open to Debate?” were upset—angry—conveying their feelings that the article invalidated transgender people and allies. Sitting in a circle recently with a group of people who had raised these concerns, I felt vulnerable, sad, and open to hearing their experiences. I also felt privileged to listen to brave people speaking their truth. Here is a link to the article in question so you can understand more about their concerns: voicemalemagazine.org/is-the-ideology-of-the-transgender-movement-open-to-debate/ Two other articles in the issue...

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Breakthrough Needed to End Violence Against Women

Mallika Dutt and Sonali Khan have an ambitious goal: to mobilize an entire generation to put an end to violence against women—and men are at the heart of their campaign. Their organization Breakthrough works in the United States and India, deploying a mix of social media, pop culture and multimedia campaigns to challenge the deeply held cultural norms they see as the root of the problem. The scale of the issue they are trying to address is huge: one in three women will experience sexual or physical violence, and in some countries the figure is as high as 70...

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Dads Don’t Babysit; It’s Called Parenting

“Aww, it’s so nice of you to babysit and give mom a break.” “I guess you got stuck with the kids today.” “You’ve got a good helper here!” Comments like those above are just some of the things that have been said to dads who have been looking after their children, according to testimonies on Reddit, where the topic sparked a flurry of conversation after a father shared an image of a T-shirt bearing the slogan: “Dads don’t babysit, it’s called parenting.” The man in the picture modeling the T-shirt is Al Ferguson from The Dad Network (thedadnetwork.co.uk). He...

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The State of Fatherhood in the U.S.

There is a tale of two fatherhoods in the United States. High-income dads are championed for playing active roles in their children’s lives and they’re getting head-lines, while low-income, many nonresident, dads are often either valued or stigmatized simply by their ability to pay their way. The U.S. is in urgent need of policies and support so that all fathers can realize their roles as fully engaged, fully equal caregivers, argues the first ever report on fatherhood in the U.S. Fathers in the United States are more involved than ever before, but gender equality, child development, and the wealth...

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A Men’s Apology for Sexism in the Sixties Anti-War Movement

By Tom Gardner Imagine the scene: A rally in connection with antiwar protests at President Nixon’s inau-guration in 1969. Activist Marilyn Webb, then 26, on stage giving her first speech to a large crowd. What were described as “movement men” shouted her down, saying things like, “Take her off the stage and fuck her.” What had she been doing? Trying to raise “women’s issues” within the antiwar movement. But the group of men near the stage was having none of it. She told me later that fistfights broke out in the crowd in front of the stage and that...

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Equal Protection for All Under the Law?

By Allison Steinberg Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in America face discrimination in their daily lives. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), currently, 17 states plus DC ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and an additional five states provide incomplete statewide nondiscrimination protections. There are a number of bills in state legislatures across the country and in Congress; some that would protect LGBT people from discrimination, and others that would roll back existing protections or open the door to discrimination against gay and transgender people....

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Finally…A Bill of Rights for Rape Survivors

By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo A woman in California shows up at a hospital for a sexual assault examination. Hospital workers delay because they don’t know that she has a right to get the exam, whether or not she reports the crime to police. By the time they examine her, it’s too late to detect certain “date-rape” drugs that she believes were in her system. A woman in Minnesota is erroneously billed by the hospital for her rape kit. She spends two years fighting for the compensation she’s due. A woman in Massachusetts has to jump through bureaucratic hoops every...

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Black Men as Anti-Rape Activists

By Ahmad Greene-Hayes In the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, I often wonder where are the black men mobilizing against sexual violence against black women? Have we hidden—like the biblical David—away from the eyes of our communities because we are secretly invested in rape culture? Are we afraid because we do not actually know what sexual violence looks like? Or are we worried that we may look in the mirror and face the fact that we may also be harm-doers? In July 2015, a group of about 10 black men joined together in the living room of...

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Summer 2016: Men @ Work

It’s on Us to Stop Street Harassment Catcalls, sexist comments, public masturbation, groping, stalking, and assault: genderbased street harassment makes public places unfriendly and even scary for many girls, women, and LGBQT people. It limits their access to public spaces. Meet Us On the Street, a program of Stop Street Harassment (www.stopstreetharassment.org), works to raise awareness about the insidious nature of street harassment. They have a simple message: it’s not okay. And they have straightforward approaches to working to stop it, among them: International AntiStreet Harassment Week ,held in April, was the sixth annual week of awareness. Groups and...

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Mail Bonding

A Godmother’s Gift In my sometimes frustrating attempt to get many people to read Voice Male, there is nothing to match getting a gem like the note below to give one heart. My godson, Michael, just graduated high school and while there had been the head of the Democratic Club—fairly significant given that he lives in Tyler, Texas. He wrote: “I would like to thank you for investing in me. When I first started receiving Voice Male I was around 13–14 and I took it for just a nice magazine that my godmother in New York was sending me....

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Fear vs. Safety in North Carolina

No cities or states that have passed legislation supporting transgender rights have witnessed increases in sexual assaults in public restrooms after the laws have gone into effect. Raising the specter of the sexual predator in debates around transgender rights should be unmasked for the multiple ways it can perpetuate gender inequality. Under the guise of “protecting” women, critics reproduce ideas about their weakness, depict males as assail-ants, and work to deny rights to transgender people. Moreover, they suggest that there should be a hierarchy of rights in which cisgender women and children are more deserving of protections than transgender...

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Is the Ideology of the Transgender Movement Open to Debate?

A Response to Concerns by Voice Male Editor Rob Okun By Robert Jensen Longtime gender justice activist, author, journalism professor, and VoiceMale contributing editor Robert Jensen doesn’t shy away from controversy. As an observer of how the transgender movement relates to the larger question of challenging patriarchy, in in the essay below, Jensen raises important questions, spotlights challenges and expresses concerns about the ideology of the trans movement. A few weeks after I had published online a critique of the ideology of the trans movement, I was at lunch with a friend who has long been part of various...

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