Finding the ‘Dude’ in My Disability: How being both Queer and Crippled has Re-constructed my Maleness and Masculinity

20 Oct

Everybody thinks they know what it means to be a man.   We all think we know that being a man means being strong, powerful and having an unforgiving sensuality that just won’t quit.   We all know that being a man means you are the provider, the breadwinner, and you are self-reliant and sufficient, right?   (I mean, c’mon, hasn’t every action/romantic comedy male lead been written this way for the past 50 years?   Also, if I were to see a man like that in real-life, I would automatically fall to my knees. Do with that image what you like.)   Imagine that, try as hard as you might, you were unable to meet the male milestones? How then would this shape who you are, and who everyone else thinks you should be?

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NUDIES

17 Oct

DESCRIPTION: Nudies is a compilation of found footage that represents one’s intuitive relationship to gender over time. By looking at what we were looking at, we start to define our relationships to larger systems as reactive and changing. Through this metamorphosis, the subconscious mind reflects most honestly the inner struggles and accomplishments that can’t be defined or pinpointed by waves.

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BIO: Meredith Degyansky, often under the alias of The Work Intern, is an artist/administrative aide that creates systems for paying off our debt, systems for redefining and valuing our labor, and systems that connect us to one another usually through food and conversations about sadness. www.theworkintern.org

Childcare is Key to Workplace Equality

15 Oct

The benefit of paternity leave is more than a few weeks time off.

[This article first appeared at MARC - Men Advocating Real Change]

Image by Catalin Bogdan (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

On August 14th, National Public Radio’s popular news show, All Things Considered, dedicated a significant portion of their airtime to a discussion of paternity leave. They argued that a growing number of fathers desire, or even expect, to be given time off of work to spend with a new child. The vast majority of working fathers already do take time off, but the amount of time that they take off, and at what cost, varies widely. Chief among the various forces determining the amount of paternity leave men utilize is the support, or lack thereof, from their employers. And, while at first glance paternity leave may appear to be a burden to employers, there are numerous benefits that are certainly worth discussing.

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A Positionality: Feminism and the ‘man (outside)’

13 Oct

feminism and standpoint

the most striking categories or patterns to emerge from my reading in feminist standpoint, lately, are the concepts of dualism and the Self. the reason i choose to focus, here, on two of these is because they are inexplicably interlocked and, as Sandra Harding states in her introduction to The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader, “claims of any sort only have meaning in some particular cultural context – that is, relative to some set of cultural practices through which the meaning of the claim is learned and subsequently understood. claims thus have meaning ‘relative’ to that context of practices” (Harding, 2004). what is the Self, if not a claim to being – a grand declaration? if, as Harding states, all claims are “necessarily socially located…and thus permeated by local values and interests” (Harding, 2004), then the Self, for females (and males), is always already located within a hetero-patriarchal framework that doesn’t allow for an “adequate representation of the world from the standpoint of women [or men]” (Allison Jaggar, 1983). Continue reading

Deadline Extended! – International Conference on Masculinities

9 Oct

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The deadline for submissions to the International Conference on Masculinities has been extended to November 20th!

Click here for the updated Call for Papers!

Women/Men: The Next Conversation

8 Oct

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the annual Women’s Power Conference at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. The theme of this year’s conference was “Women/Men: The Next Conversation.” Combing through the roster of speakers prior to attending, I found a handful of familiar names—Carlos Andrés Gómez, Tony Porter, Michael Kimmel, Ted Turner—but the conference’s title still left me intrigued. What exactly would we be talking about? This was a women’s leadership event, yet men were being introduced to the conversation. “Sure,” I told Masculinities 101, “I’ll write about it.”

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Criminals, Victims and the Black Men Left Behind

6 Oct

Photo: Carla Murphy

The great folks at Colorlines are currently running an extensive, brilliant and insightful series on Black Men: Life Cycles of Inequity. Today’s re-post addresses the issue of violence in Black communities, first published at Colorlines.com on August 04 2014, by Carla Murphy.

The first time Jeremy Berry got shot it was late March 2012 and he called himself trying to help a homey from his block. Berry, about 5’9”, slim in build, lives in the Roseland section of Chicago’s South Side. He jumped into a fistfight, first with his hands and then throwing a brick. When Berry missed his target, the guy “upped a gun” and shot him. He spent a week in the hospital and three months recovering at his aunt’s house. The bullet remains in his right butt cheek. The second time Berry got shot…

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The Men Who Stare at Beer

1 Oct
by ClayDarcy

by ClayDarcy

Train-watching (aka ‘railfanning’) men and plane-watching men are synonymous with England, men who (allegedly) stare at goats synonymous with America; however, in Ireland if one looks in the right places you can find the men who stare at beer! I recently witnessed an animated conversation between two men that sparked my attention and got me thinking about these beer gazers. The conversation I witnessed brought to my mind a quintessential image associated with old Irish pubs: a lone man sitting at the bar or small table staring into a cold pint of beer or stout.   Usually this man is silent and still, occasionally he might throw a comment or two to the bar man or fellow beer gazer … if he feels obliged or inclined.

The conversation I witnessed went a little like this:

First Man (FM): Why didn’t you go out the other night?
Second Man (SM): Because I had no one to go out with.
FM: What do you mean?
SM: It would have been too late by the time I got to the pub and there wouldn’t have been anyone there I would have known.
FM: Could you not have rang someone and said “Hey are you coming down for a pint?” Or what about ya man Andy? Would he not have been there?
SM: It was too late. It would have been last orders by the time I got there.
FM: Are you telling me that you wouldn’t go into a pub by yourself for a pint?
SM: No, I wouldn’t go into a pub by myself, I would have to meet people there. You can’t just go in by yourself … on your own … I’d have to be meeting others, you know?
FM: WHAT? [total disbelief]… A real man can walk into a pub by himself get a pint and read a paper or just sit at the bar or whatever – A REAL MAN!

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Stop the Victim Blame. #HelpFindHannahGraham

29 Sep

enhanced-buzz-5927-1411599764-13Hannah Graham, a second-year attending the University of Virginia, went missing in the early hours of September 13, 2014. She is 5 feet, 11 inches tall with a slender build, blue eyes, light brown hair, and fair skin. Hannah Graham has been missing for 16 days. She was last seen on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville. There is a lot of victim blame being thrown around.

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Week in Review 9/21-9/27

27 Sep

This week at Masculinities 101, we featured a two part post by frequent contributor, Peter Rauch. He gave us the history and current controversy surrounding what is being called Gamer Gate. For some reason, the post struck a nerve, and several people wrote nasty comments.* After sharing the blog post on my Facebook page, the same thing happened there. (You know you’re on to something when people come out of the woodwork for an attack.) We’d love to hear people’s actual thoughts (not just nasty emotional reactions) on this piece, so please share!

*On a side note, these comments forced us to evaluate our commenting policy—if you have nothing constructive to say, your comment won’t go up. Now, that is not to say you can’t be critical of the post, or that you have to agree with our politics at Masculinities 101. But if you are commenting simply to insult the writer or the blog, with nothing intelligent to offer on the topic at hand, well, we’re not going to stand for that.

And, unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard that Emma Watson gave a speech on men and feminism at the UN for the launch of the HeForShe campaign. We’re thrilled to see this topic getting international attention! Her speech has sparked conversations in traditional and social media forums, and it is worth sharing some of the feedback.
First, immediately after the speech, Watson was threatened with the release of nude photos. The threat turned out to be a hoax. Nevertheless, my guess is that, before finding out it wasn’t real, Watson experienced some distress. On that note, here are a few posts about the real meaning of these leaked photos (spoiler alert: SEXISM)…here, here, and here.

Far and wide, Watson was lauded for bringing feminism back into public discourse, and for defending it against claims that feminists “hate men.” But not all responses were so favorable. Here’s an important critique of the HeForShe campaign by Mia McKenzie from Black Girl Dangerous. Important points here include: the dangers of equating men’s experiences under patriarchy to women’s and the complete erasure of genderqueer folks from HeForShe. Her analogies to anti-racist and anti-homophobic activism really drive her points home.

Finally, from the Center for the Study of Men & Masculinities, Michael Kimmel wrote about Watson’s talk for Ms. Magazine.

Obviously, the Men’s Rights groups were (predictably) in an uproar about the speech, but I don’t feel like going into more than to say their responses were fairly typical. Feel free to google for those.

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