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Vanderbilt Women’s Center sponsors “Healthy Masculinities Week”; theme: men are creepy

September 4, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

The message: Eeeewww–men are so masculine!

From Sept. 10-17, the Vanderbilt Women’s Center will sponsor “Healthy Masculinities Week.” But actually, the program is more about how masculinity is essentially unhealthy.

There’s the program’s poster, for example, featuring a sinister black silhouette of a guy with his back turned toward us. A thought balloon issues from his head packed with all those bad man-thoughts: “Don’t Cry, Have Sex, Play Sports, Major in Business, Man Up.”

Then there’s the keynote speaker, Jackson Katz, anti-sexism warrior and author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help. (The title of Katz’s planned speech cleverly modifies this into “Why Some Men Hurt and How All Men Can Help.”) For Katz, the word “macho” means something Very Bad Indeed. Here he is writing for the Huffington Post in 2013:

“My colleagues and I who do this type of work experience an unsettling dichotomy. In one part of our lives, we routinely have intense, in-depth discussions about men’s emotional and relational struggles, and how the bravado about “rugged individualism” in American culture masks the deep yearning for connection that so many men feel, and how the absence or loss of that can quickly turn to pain, despair, and anger. In these discussions, we talk about violence as a gendered phenomenon….

“We talk amongst ourselves about how so many boys and men in our society are conditioned to see violence as a solution to their problems, a resolution of their anxieties, or a means of exacting revenge against those they perceive as taking something from them.”

Posted by Charlotte Allen


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One Comment
  1. Lastango permalink

    After reading Mr. Katz’s comments, I went looking for “Healthy Masculinities” among American men, suitable for discussint this week at the Vanderbilt Women’s Center.

    I found some:

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