Monday, June 9, 2008

Understanding Boys, Understanding Masculinity

I found an old feature from a 1987 issue of The New Internationalist. Its somewhat universalizing, but i definitely appreciate the places that they went to with the pressures and issues boys grow up with, and how that feeds into adult masculinities. I also like the quaint 80's illustration style, though it would have been nice to have a teeny bit more ethnic inclusivity :)

Reading this feature has me nodding my head, I remember the pressures to excel in sports, to have sex, dealing with bullies and more. Some of these issues I will actually be performing in the upcoming event, The Men's Story Project. Stay tuned for more, have a great week...

(* also, its probably worth mentioning the Dads And Daughters link here again, if this post intrigues you)


Anonymous said...

I have to ask, because the Dad's and Daughters thing kind of got me thinking. How would this play, for example, with a lesbian couple raising a daughter? Or how about a single mother?

I understand that having a father around is seen as essential to how a girl is raised, but what if -like in the case of a lesbian couple- there is not father and two loving "mothers"?

Just a couple things to make you (and me really since I'm still thinking this through) think.

richard said...

hey uncensoredfeminista!

thanks for your recent involvement on my blog!

in response to you, your inquires are not lost on me. i should be clear, in putting the Dads And Daughters link out there, it is not to invisibilize all the various combinations of parenting that occur, or to say that the parenting is invalidated if a man isn't present. As a man concerned with positive masculinities and anti-sexism, my intentions for posting that link were so that men can look at it and basically learn how to be male allies to their daughters, instead of reproducing patriarchy in the house. I don't think that is a way of thinking that is out there enough, and i feel that a lot of my work is to work with other men and boys.

i also think that this site can be of interest to anyone, because it also deals with adult daughters and how they relate to their dads, whether they are absent or not. there are also activities one can do with a daughter that doesn't require one to be a specific gender. for instance, a very dominant culture thing to do is to encourage boys by telling them how strong the are, and encourage girls by telling them how cute they are. girls sometimes get told they are smart more too. An easy tip is tell ALL children they are strong, smart, and beautiful. feelin me?

also, if you are interested, check out my resources links, there are sites like Feminist Moms and Hip Mama.

hollaback at me, wanna hear where you are at! :)

richard said...

my bad, Feminist Moms is in my blogroll. and now, so are you!

Anonymous said...

I'll definitely check them out as a sorta mom (custodial stepmom, aka MOM, but that's a debate for another time) I'm sure the links will come in handy, especially raising a tween boy.

v said...

I think this kind of pressure exists, because, by and large, there is a breed of heterosexual male that *is* like this. I'm like you: never understood it, never fed into it, and I'm a dj too :) but this kind of socialization exists because in large part a lot of men *are* like this. We just happen to be apart from the breed ...

richard said...

hey V

thanks for contributing to my blog! i see we also blogged about McCain around the same time, we have similar concerns....

i hesitate to separate myself completely from men who exhibit more traditional or hyper-masculine forms of masculinity, because i did grow up in societies that upheld a handful of masculinities to be the norm, to be acceptable. Some of the conditioning never took on me, and some of it did. some of the conditioning i unlearned, some is still in me. some of that conditioning is helpful, some is not.

i would consider it dangerous for myself to think that i have say, completely unlearned sexism and homophobia. much in the same way that i don't feel too happy around white folks who feel like they have finished their work around all the racism they were injected with.

BUT... i appreciate the "compliment", around us being hetero men (djs!) that aren't the cookie cutter images, and thinking critically about these issues. :)

so uh, can i check out your invitation only blog? :)