Foil for “Maleisms”

Nicole Silverberg’s “28 Ways Men Can Treat Women Better” (Spring 2018) is good primer about our systemic maleisms. The last item, “Don’t read a list like this and think that most of these don’t apply to you.” is a gem. I did note that the significant majority of items were “Don’ts” of some variety. Later in the magazine, Dan Miller poses the question, “If We’re Against Toxic Masculinity, Guys, What Are We For?” His article does an amiable job of framing the question. Perhaps future articles could frame the question more thoroughly and lead to more answers which Miller’s article only begins to scratch the surface of!”

Stephen Courtney
Boston, Mass.

Letters from Child Brides

Our organization promotes equality, protection, and empowerment for marginalized groups, especially women. We recently completed a film, Letters from Child Brides, based on testimonies from girls living in Lebanon, who share their experiences with child marriage.The story line features a collection of verbatim narratives from interviews with Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian child brides all under the age of 18. Although their experiences are unique, the film sheds light on the collective experiences they shared with violence. You can see this animated film on our website, media-5b6967e1907680-27899558.

Saja Michael
Gender & Diversity Technical Advisor
Beirut, Lebanon

Books to Help Raise Healthy Boys

Be Boy Buzz book coverSparkle Boy book coverI wanted to share news about an aspect of our “Developing Healthy Boys” training for early childhood educators. Besides learning about the process of male socialization and the ways it is harmful to boys and the men they become, it also teaches perspectives and skills for changing the way we raise boys, including introducing children and educators to new books. That’s why we launched the MERGE Children’s Book Campaign to stimulate classroom conversations and parent interactions aimed at disrupting harmful gender norms and stereotypes. The current books in the our campaign include: Be Boy Buzz, by bell hooks, illustrated by Chris Rashka; Drum Dream Girl, by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rapael Lopez; Sparkle Boy, by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Maria Mola, and Made by Raffi, by Craig Pomranz, illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain. To learn more, visit

John Engel
MERGE for Equality
Florence, Mass.