Author: Rob Okun

Audio Stories Spark Shift in Men

By Usha Rai Nitesh Verma, 33, a tailor in a village in Rajasthan’s Bundi district, is married and has a daughter, seven, and a son, two. Every morning when he woke up, his wife would be waiting with a steaming cup of hot tea for him, before busying herself with other household chores. He never offered any assistance. One night he heard “Dulhan ki batein,” an audio story on his mobile phone that talked about gender issues in a way that got him thinking. It was part of the Kishor Varta education program being implemented in 30 senior and...

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Crying: A Man’s Most Courageous Act?

By Benjamin Perry Crying is a courageous act. That might sound paradoxical, but juxtaposed against the expectation of male stoicism, tears are subversive and powerful. And, at long last, more and more men are casting aside toxic masculinity’s restrictive norms to live into healthier male identities. Two recent political moments, to me, embody this movement and all its attendant challenges and triumphs. The first happened not long ago: In a speech decrying Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees from seven nations, New York Senator Chuck Schumer— surrounded by refugees—choked up. His eyes filled with tears as he labeled the...

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Nelson Mandela’s Evolving Masculinity

By Raymond Suttner In these times of widespread violence perpetrated by men, we may learn from Nelson Mandela’s model of masculinity. The main biographies of Nelson Mandela do not consider him as a gendered subject. Yet Mandela’s evolving masculinity shows the type of man he represented. He changed a lot over the years—he changed as a man and as a human being. His identity as a man cannot be reduced to one single, enduring quality. Men have always dominated the African National Congress (ANC) at a formal political level. The discourse of the organization has reflected masculine idioms. Mandela...

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Transforming Gender Norms

By MenEngage Alliance On September 25, 2015, governments around the world adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Major goals included: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and everyday citizens. The MenEngage Alliance recommends a gendertransformative framework...

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Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment

By MenEngage Alliance In advance of the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work” and its concurrent theme addressing the challenges and achievements in implementing the millennium development goals for women and girls, the MenEngage Alliance, with support from Rutgers University’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, wrote a statement of support with recommendations for governments to follow. Among the contributors to drafting the statement was MenEngage Alliance global coordinator Joni van de Sand, who contributed this edited excerpt. Women’s economic empowerment has...

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Magazine Issues

Fall 2017


Voice Male: the Book