My best friend in UCD is a serial-hugger. He hugs indiscriminately – men, women, children, dogs, senior lecturers and even heads of state! Sometimes there’s a bit of cheek kissing, other times not. With men he meets it’s usually a big strong hug; one arm over your shoulder, the other under the opposite arm pit. It’s diagonal in composition, and allows for good gripping and a deep intimate embrace. Occasionally there is a little bit of backslapping. Sometimes there are two hugs in the space of a short meeting, one as a greeting, one as a farewell. I’ve become accustomed to his embraces, which by Irish standards are pretty lengthy. Recently, I’ve been paying attention to men’s reactions when they receive one of my buddy’s hugs; and I must admit from a masculinities perspective it’s extremely interesting (and at times very amusing).
The International Conference on Masculinities: Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality. Call for Proposals8 Sep
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The International Conference on Masculinities:
Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality
On March 6-8, 2015, 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 is timed to immediately precede the meeting of the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations,
Twenty years after the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, the CSW will hold its annual two-week meeting, March 9-27, 2015, in New York. Thousands of participants from UN agencies, NGOs and national governments will discuss the progress made towards greater gender equality over the past two decades.
Those twenty years have also witnessed unprecedented efforts to engage men around gender equality. The CSMM conference aims to bring together more than 500 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. It will review the success of programs to engage men and boys, share research-in-progress, discuss new and possible policy initiatives, and chart research needs for the future.
The Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities was established at Stony Brook University (SUNY) in 2013. The Center is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on boys, men, masculinities and gender. Its mission is to bring together researchers with practitioners and activists to develop and enhance social reform projects focusing on boys and men.
For this conference, CSMM has partnered with the American Men’s Studies Association, and the MenEngage Network, to build opportunities for dialogue, critique and inspiration across three days of presentations, panels, workshops, and trainings. The twin goals of the conference are: (1) To infuse men’s activism in support of gender justice with the rigor and insights of the most up-to-date research; (2) to increase cooperation and ties between academic researchers who address various gender issues, and feminist activists, practitioners, and advocates.
CSMM invites all those committed to engaging boys and men in these global efforts to promote gender equality to share their ideas, programs, projects, and research.
Some basic themes of the conference will include:
– boys’ healthy development and education;
– involved fatherhood;
– balancing work and family life;
– men’s friendships;
– promoting men’s health, reducing health risks and HIV, and supporting women’s reproductive health and rights;
– joining the global struggle against men’s violence against women, sexual assault, trafficking, and harmful traditional practices;
– engaging men in policies to promote gender equality in education, employment, social life, and the political arena.
Some specific issues might include: transforming fatherhood; working with boys and young men; challenges of reaching men in post-conflict settings; preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS; men and aging, disability, impairment, and illness; diverse masculinities; multi-cultural coalition building; challenging homophobia; understanding and preventing gang-rapes and mass-murders by boys and men; engaging religious authorities; boys’ education; challenging bullying, harassment, and domestic abuse; working with abusive & violent men; men and child-custody issues; campus programs for preventing sexual violence; men in prisons; men and the military; men and prostitution; gender-linked alcohol and drug abuse; men’s depression and suicide, and other topics.
Presentations can cover research, policy, interventions, and activist work. Presentation formats may include: 3 -5 person panels, short one-person talks (with Q-&-A), workshops, films, art, poster presentations, informal roundtable discussions, music, and performances. We will accept formal academic papers but at the conference we will ask that presenters not read papers but to be more informal and interactive, within the context of language possibilities. The premium at each session will be on discussion.
The working language will be English. Sessions completely in Spanish, French, Arabic, and Chinese may be accepted but the conference unfortunately cannot provide the resources for translation.
Conference costs will be kept low to enable widespread participation, and some limited financial support may be available to those in need, especially from the Global South.
The deadline for proposal submission is October 31st, 2014.
Please visit the Conference Website.
Tristan is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. Tristan researches and blogs on issues related to gender, sexuality, inequality, and space at Inequality by (Interior) Design and Feminist Reflections, the newest Community Page at The Society Pages. We discuss Tristan’s recently published article “A Very ”Gay” Straight?: Hybrid Masculinities, Sexual Aesthetics, and the Changing Relationship between Masculinity and Homophobia,” that is part of his larger book project tentatively entitled “Othering Other Men: Transformations in Gender and Politics among Men.”
You can list to the podcast on the Office Hours website.
This call for papers has been updated and the updated version may be found here.
In the news…
Jack Burkman, a Washington lobbyist, wants to propose legislation that would ban gays from playing in the NFL. He believes that such a bill is needed to protect the field, locker room, and our national character. Michael Sam, an openly gay NFL player, responded by suggesting he’d need a time machine, not a Congressional bill, if he wanted to keep gays out of sports. Also in sports news, the first openly gay NBA player Jason Collins was recently signed to the Nets, and fans showed overwhelming support, buying his jersey in record numbers.
Other homophobic legislation continues to spring up around the nation, but not without outspoken opposition. Legislatures in Kansas, Idaho, Missouri, Arizona, Tennessee and Georgia have all recently been grappling with bills that would make discrimination against LGBT people legal, under the guise of protecting religious freedom. Ostensibly, it is a violation of religious freedom for proprietors of various businesses to be forced to serve or deal with openly gay customers. Many have compared these bills to Jim Crow era discrimination against African Americans. Arizona’s bill made it the furthest, but was vetoed by the Governor. See the histories and statuses of these bills (and others around the country) here.
Mounting racial tensions at the University of Michigan recently came to a head, with the university’s Black Student Union protesting low (and steadily decreasing) minority enrollment. Recent studies have shown that racism and racial isolation are big problems at many of the nation’s leading universities.
Finally, last week’s verdict in the Michael Dunn case continues to spark debate. Dunn was convicted of three counts of attempted second degree murder for shooting at an SUV full of black teenagers, but not convicted of the actual murder of 17 year old Jordan Davis, who died as a result of the shooting. For many in Florida and around the country, this incident is eerily familiar, recalling the death of Trayvon Martin. In this op-ed, Travis Gosa explains these recent tragedies by looking at a crisis in white masculinity.
The February issue of Gender & Society has an incredible array of articles on men and masculinities, and the sex/gender system.
A Duke University student outs herself as a porn actress online here. Her post is brave, eloquent, and insightful. She discusses her (rewarding and empowering) relationship with pornography as well as the bullying she’s experienced from other students after having her secret revealed. And although she doesn’t theorize masculinities, her post offers a lot of things for masculinities scholars to consider.
There were some interesting posts on Feministing: Perez Hilton appropriates black femininity, and yes, it’s about white male privilege. And apparently, holding a door open for a man makes him feel less manly…patriarchy just never lets up! And a great one at Jezebel covering the Men’s Rights Movement.
(Find interesting articles, videos, blogposts related to masculinities? Send them our way and we’ll try to include them in our next Week in Review)
Several weeks ago, the editors of Masculinities 101, all graduate students at Stony Brook University, raised an eyebrow when we received a mass email from our university president, informing us that the director of the athletics department, Jim Fiore, was leaving his post and an interim director was taking his place. Within a few days, we became even more suspicious when a fellow graduate student sent around an article from the local newspaper, Newsday, stating that Fiore was not only leaving, but would be paid out his $800,000 contract. Later that week, no one was surprised when allegations of sexual harassment emerged as the primary reason for Fiore’s departure from Stony Brook University.
Every year, since 2009, the men of England’s Warwick University’s Rowing Team pose nude together in a series of photos that can be purchased individually or collectively as a calendar. The sales from this calendar go toward supporting their team and to raise awareness about bullying and homophobia among youth. This year, however, the team received international attention (prompting the development of a twitter account, awebsite, and a store to sell the photos and other team paraphernalia—like their 2013 film, “Brokeback Boathouse”). At first glance it may seem surprising that (presumably) straight men would pose naked with one another to raise money. But, when looking at other straight, young, white men’s stances on homophobia it becomes clear that, ironically, part of what is happening here is a shoring up of a particular form of heterosexual masculinity. Indeed the Warwick Women’s Rowing Team produced a similar calendar without the same amount of media attention (significantly, however, the attention they did receive was more often condemnatory). Continue reading