Robert K. Merton, “Foreword to a Preface for an Introduction to a Prolegomenon to a Discourse on a Certain Subject

“There can be no doubt, I think, that the subject we are about to consider is one of the profound importance to us all. Indeed, this hardly needs to be said. Surely, the significance of the issues we are to examine here is almost self-evident. And yet, there are indications from time to time that … Continue reading Robert K. Merton, “Foreword to a Preface for an Introduction to a Prolegomenon to a Discourse on a Certain Subject

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The Irresponsibility of Guilt

“Change and learning occur most readily when you (a) recognize that an error has occurred and (b) develop a strategy for correcting the problem. An attitude of self-love and relaxation facilitates this, whereas guilt often interferes. . . .”

Men at Bay: The ‘Men’s Movement’ and Its Newest Best-Sellers

“Therapy of course has value for dealing with situations of crisis and despair. In less dramatic situations it often helps with sheer survival. But to transform emotional relationships, and a complex emotional structure like ‘masculinity,’ is inherently a collective project not an individual one. It must involve large numbers of people; it must deal with … Continue reading Men at Bay: The ‘Men’s Movement’ and Its Newest Best-Sellers

Feminist Masculinity

Philosophical Fragments

Feminist masculinity presupposes that it is enough for males to have value, that they do not have to “do,” to “perform,” to be affirmed and loved. Rather than defining strength as “power over,” feminist masculinity defines strength as one’s capacity to be responsible for self and others. This strength is a trait males and females need to possess. In The Courage to Raise Good Men, Olga Silverstein stresses the need to redefine male sex roles in ways that break with sexist norms. Currently, sexist definitions of male roles insist on defining maleness in relationship to winning, one-upmanship, domination: “Until we are willing to question many of the specifics of the male sex role, including most of the seven norms and stereotypes that psychologist Robert Levant names in a listing of its chief constituents–’avoiding femininity, restrictive emotionality, seeking achievement and status, self-reliance…

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Combatting Toxic Masculinity In Our Schools – Un-Teaching Gender Stereotypes For Boys

"All of this matters. All of these subtle and not-so-subtle messages are how we teach masculinity and femininity to children. It is important to remember that there is no biological reason why boys should not play with dolls or wear dresses. There is no biological reason for boys to like cars or diggers. There is … Continue reading Combatting Toxic Masculinity In Our Schools – Un-Teaching Gender Stereotypes For Boys

The Language of Gender Violence, Jackson Katz

“[Men and masculinity] have been rendered invisible in much of the discourse. Dominant groups often go unchallenged in society, and their power and privilege goes unexamined. [Gender violence issues] affect women at every level, but I am here to say that the very fact of just calling these issues ‘women’s issues’ is in itself part of … Continue reading The Language of Gender Violence, Jackson Katz

Mike Riggs on “Real Men”

“Some thoughts on macho talk regarding the Montana incident. The idea that real men occasionally hit, and that real men hit back, is bad for men. I say this as someone who was much bigger than other humans starting at around age five, and who used his fist from an early age. I spent many … Continue reading Mike Riggs on “Real Men”

Imposter Syndrome

“I just look at all these people, and I think, what the heck am I doing here? They’ve made amazing things. I just went where I was sent.” And I said, “Yes. But you were the first man on the moon. I think that counts for something.” And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil … Continue reading Imposter Syndrome

Boys and Their Toys

Contemporary self-making often requires dramatic reinvention. Left: A shy midwesterner, Marion Michael Morrison, transformed himself into John Wayne, the most readily identifiable masculine icon of the decades following World War II. (Publicity photography) Bottom: And President George W. Bush, son and grandson of aristocratic New England bluebloods, who repped at Andover, graduated from Yale and … Continue reading Boys and Their Toys

Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest

“His voice quavering, the young man stammered something [...] about how women can be as insensitive and hurtful as guys. He sounded like a victim himself. But afterward, when I asked him if he had reached out to any of his guy friends for advice or solace, he stared at me, incredulous, his irises two … Continue reading Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest