Boys in Chairs – Navigating our Sex, Sexuality and Sex Appeal in Attendant Care Programs

17 Dec

The other day I had a friend over for dinner.  Seeing as my 30th birthday is fast approaching (5 more days, what debauchery can I do while still under the guise of my 20s?) he brought over a cheeky birthday card (quite literally, a guy with nice bum cheeks on the front).  It’s awesome that all my friends are so accepting of my delicious dirtiness – I am honoured to be THAT friend…HAHAHAHAHAHA!   After we had laughed at it, he asked me where he should put it.  He wanted to leave it out, but didn’t want me to ‘get in trouble’ with my attendants.  We both reasoned that I am an adult, and should be able to do what I want.  While this is true, I couldn’t help feeling awkward about it when it came to my attendants.

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A Community of Black Dads

15 Dec

The great folks at Colorlines are currently running an extensive, brilliant and insightful series on Black Men: Life Cycles of Inequity. The current topic is Black fatherhood. Please view the related articles ‘The Untold Story of Black Fatherhood’ and ‘A New Image of Black Fatherhood’. Today’s re-blog is a video introduced by Kai Wright, produced by André Robert Lee and edited by Elizabeth Rao. It first appeared on Colorlines on November 19th 2014.

In the video above, our series’ filmmaker André Robert Lee speaks with a pastor in New Haven, Conn., whose life reveals one of the many things about black family that gets overlooked in the constant handwringing about a crisis of black fathers. For centuries, black families have had a tradition of communal parenting. This tradition stretches back to our West African roots and it was among the cultural tools we used to survive slavery in the Americas and the terrorism of 20th century segregation—both of which actively sought to destroy black family units. The tradition continues to buttress black families navigating today’s endemic poverty and the abuses of the criminal justice system. Father Mathis and the men for whom he has been a surrogate father share their stories with Colorlines, and we thank them.

A New Image of Black Fatherhood

8 Dec

All photos by Marcus Franklin.

The great folks at Colorlines are currently running an extensive, brilliant and insightful series on Black Men. This months installments focus on Black fatherhood. Please read the first essay ‘The Untold Story of Black Fatherhood’ by Stacia L. Brown here. Today’s re-blog is a photo essay by Marcus Franklin who refocuses the distorting lens of mainstream media with intimate portraits of black dads and their kids. It first appeared on on November 19 2014.

In June of 2013 I started photographing black men and their children and created The Fatherhood Project, the online home for photos that capture them in ordinary moments. A single dad helping his daughter with math homework during a break at work. A dad teaching his daughter how to walk as they wait to see a doctor. A father and son chilling on a stoop.

Why photograph black men and their children? What’s extraordinary about these subjects?

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Irish Men Talking Drugs – Alcohol, Puke and the Twelve Pubs

3 Dec
From Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

People talk about drugs all the time, most often unbeknownst to themselves.   I’d wager however that if you were to ask a random person, whether they think they talk about drugs very often, they would most likely reply “no” or “not much”. My generalization is based on my own professional experiences delivering drug education and prevention programs with young people and adults. I talk to people on a daily basis about drugs, all types of drugs. In Ireland, as in many other places, illicit drug use carries huge stigma. When I begin a drug conversation, no matter whether it is with a young person or adult, invariably when I say drug … they think illicit. This reveals much about drug(s) as a social construct, and as word that is hugely value laden. Drug talk in Ireland is taboo, especially when talking about personal drug use or family drug use, and even more so when such drug use is illicit.

However, Irish people generally have no problem talking about a stranger’s illicit drug use. Nor for that matter do they have any difficulty in talking about alcohol, in fact many revel in it. It’s a regular occurrence to hear Irish people talk about being on a night out and how much alcohol they drank, and how drunk they were. Irish people have an exhaustive list of weird and wonderful words and phrases for being drunk – “hammered”, “squiffy”, “pissed”, “blotto-ed”, “skuttered”, “gee-eyed”, “bo-jangled”, “twisted”, “bolloxed”, “three sheets to the wind”, “langered”, “ossafied”, “lamped” and the list goes on! This is drug talk, yet very few Irish would consider it as such. This is because very few Irish would include alcohol in their construct of a drug.

My own PhD research is interested in Irish men’s views on men’s recreational use of illicit drugs, and how illicit recreational drug use contributes to the construction, display or maintenance of specific masculinities.

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The Rape Culture Problem at UVA

1 Dec

University-of-Virginia-RotundaIf you haven’t read the Rolling Stone article entitled “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA,” do so. The story outlines the horrifying gang rape of a freshman, Jackie, at the University of Virginia in 2012 and the response of the University following her rape. It’s a heartbreaking, yet necessary read, and points out some major flaws in how universities in the United States handle rape and sexual assault.

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Men in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

26 Nov

Nearly 15 years ago, in September of 2000, all of the United Nations (UN) member nations and 23 international organizations committed to a set of 8 goals, now known as the Millennium Development Goals, which were understood to be a blueprint for a better world.  Each goal included a number of targets and benchmarks for the measurement of success, but all were intended to be reached by 2015.  Since 2000 the goals have served as a powerful, perhaps even the most powerful, guiding force for policy-making as well as public and private funding for international aid and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The third goal, “to promote gender equality and empower women,” failed to take into account the role that men and boys can play in addressing inequality.  Indeed, the international development community has, until recently, largely overlooked the roles men can play as both sites and agents of change.  A lot has changed in the last 15 years. Continue reading

The Untold Story of Black Fatherhood

24 Nov

Photo by Matthew Brown

The great folks at Colorlines are currently running an extensive, brilliant and insightful series on Black Men: Life Cycles of Inequity. This week’s re-blogged article by Stacia L. Brown focuses on Black fatherhood. It first appeared on on November 18 2014.

Thirty-five-year-old Tyrone Hopkins is like any number of black men I’ve known growing up in Baltimore. Sit down with him for a few minutes and he’ll talk to you like he’s known you forever. Everyone who lives in Baltimore says it’s like a big town, rather than a major urban city. “Smalltimore,” residents sometimes call it, because you can’t go far without finding a link to someone you’ve never met—a shared acquaintance, a common experience or a neighborhood connection. It’s like that with Hopkins, too. Ask him something personal and, if he’s cool with you, he’ll be candid, funny and cordial—even if it’s a difficult topic to discuss, like the ups and downs of life as a single black father.

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International Men’s Day!

19 Nov

Today, November 19th, is International Men’s Day.  Feminists, Men’s Rights Activists, and everyone in between seem to have their own take on if and how the day should be celebrated.  We have compiled a few of our favorite takes on International Men’s Day here for you to consider:

Talking Masculinity on International Men’s Day – Cliff Leek

International Men’s Day – What are we celebrating? – Michael Kimmel

Today is International Men’s Day.  It can be a great feminist cause. – Ashwin Murthy

People Only Care About International Men’s Day on International Women’s Day – Frankie Goodway

International Men’s Day: When 35 Days Just Aren’t Enough – Michael Kaufman and Gary Barker

What do you think?  Should we celebrate?  And, if so, how?


autonomy & the subject

17 Nov

discussion about such abstractions as masculinities or femininities, must always invite the question of autonomy. with autonomy, or agency, comes responsibility and accountability. does what works for the individual necessarily work or benefit the whole? how do our individual moves shape, benefit, and harm theories and practices of everyday life?

let’s move on. follow me – this will get tricky. space/place interact in such a way as to compose a post-modern geography wherein liminality can be positioned as a location of disembodied identification – the liminal imaginary – a productive standpoint of the Othered. Continue reading

Only 1 week left to send in your Proposals for the 2015 International Conference on Masculinities

13 Nov


Proposals for Presentations are due on November 20th 2014. You can read the call for proposals here.

The Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities (CSMM) will host the International Conference on Masculinities: Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality, in New York City. The Conference will take place from March 5th to March 8th 2015, immediately preceding the meeting of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, a touchstone in the generations-long struggle for gender equality. Those twenty years have also witnessed unprecedented efforts to engage men around gender equality. The International Conference on Masculinities will bring together hundreds of activists, practitioners, and academic researchers from around the world who are working to engage men and boys in fulfilling the Platform for Action adopted by the CSW in Beijing.

Please read the full conference announcement here

And visit the conference website here.

Proposals for Presentations are due on November 20th 2014. You can read the call for proposals here.


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