A New Boys Magazine Anyone?
I found Voice Male when I was initially looking for a magazine for my young son—a magazine that gives young boys positive examples of male and female leadership; age appropriate social and environmental justice; and that presents positive ways of being a male beyond being tough, sporty, violent, or into cars. There are some great kids magazines out there such as Chirp, but I have yet to find one that directly or indirectly deals with gender issues and social/enviro justice from a feminist perspective directed at and to support young boys, or even both boys and girls. I have not yet had such luck. I was pleased, however, to find your publication and book and thought that my spouse would appreciate it; I’m interested in reading it too. I would like to see it in our local library.
Editor’s note: Melinda is interested in learning if readers are aware of a publication for young boys. One that covers, she says, topics like “skateboarding and crafts, stories about animals learning about consent or cooperation, female protagonists teaching fun science, male protagonists showing how to make your own pink tie dye t-shirt, water quality test kit, or protest placards…” If Voice Male readers have ideas or suggestions for Melinda, they are encouraged to write her at mzytaruk [at] gmail.com.
An Intersectional Approach to Equality
I’m grateful for the work you all do and I always look forward to the next issue of Voice Male. For several years my work has been with young folks as a gender-based violence prevention educator. To do this requires that I continually seek out fresh perspectives and approaches to renovate attitudes about gender, especially for young men, to embrace healing, compassion and nurturance. Voice Male has proven to be a valuable resource in this regard. Specifically, I welcome the consistent recognition that so many struggles for equality and freedom are inextricably linked. The Summer issue was a perfect example of this intersectional approach, with writings that challenge sexism as an element (if not a foundation) of racism, body shaming, transphobia, xenophobia, homophobia and even Islamophobia. It is so refreshing and inspiring to see these reminders of how we’re all connected. It’s also crucial for me as I work with young people in so many different settings with vastly different life experiences. Trust is built when we can see that trauma is trauma, no matter what form it takes, and that healing isn’t a zero-sum game.
St. Louis, Mo.
Holding Up a Mirror to Black Men
I was particularity moved by the article “Black Men as Anti-Rape Activists” in the Summer issue. I, too, find myself in spaces with other black men and we often ask ourselves: are we providing emotional and physical safety to black women? What can we do? We realize that we do have the power to change our environment, but feel like something deep is holding us back from showing black women that we will protect them from all harm (even if it is from us). Is it shame? Lack of self-esteem? What? I think the article did a great job of holding up the mirror to black men and asking them to take a look and decide if they like what they see. Are we involved in our communities? Are we providing a positive example to young boys of color? Are we just a passive observer? My hope is that this article disrupts spectatorship.
Albert Pless, Jr.
Men’s Health League
Public Health Department