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Transcending the ManBox

photo by J. Gaddis

I wrote this for the Good Men Project recently. It generated over 100 comments within a week. Here’s the post in full…

In recent years there has been more and more articles on the state of white, heterosexual men and boys.   These articles peaked in 2009-2010 after male unemployment spiked and women officially outpaced men in the workforce. The general question has been “what is going on with boys and men and why are they struggling so much?” (If you are a gay man or man of color, this post relates to you as well, but I imagine that you are facing much more than just this stuff).

(Check out these older posts for a good backstory on the subject: Start with a funny post–Ode to the White Whipped Male by Mark Morford of SFgate. Then read The End of Men, which essentially explores how the balance of power is shifting toward women. And a superb and confronting follow up by Ann Freidman in the American Prospect called “Not the End of Men” where she cites that gender stereotypes are responsible for the man crisis going on).

Is there truth to these articles?  What is really going on with men now? Are we still suffering? And finally, if there is merit in the press about boys and men, what do we do about it?

A lot of people have weighed in on this subject. Here are a few perspectives followed up with my own.

This year, in a new book called the Demise of Guys author Phil Zimbardo claims that the reason boys and men are flailing so hard is due to arousal addiction, specifically the rampant overuse of video games and

Masculinity Today

For 2 years straight I spend most waking hours trying to change men. My business was called Revolutionary Man. I wanted to inspired a million men to step up and be great men. I wanted us men to move beyond patriarchy,  predatory corporate capitalism, and the other hurtful behavior we seem to employ.

I visioned an Evolving Men’s Conference that brought over 40 leaders from the US, UK and Canada together in Boulder. The goal? For me it was to evolve masculinity.

Shortly after that conference, and after two years of solid work, I let it go. The outcomes of the EMC were not satisfying to me, yet it was freeing in a strange way.  I let go of the need or desire to change men. Ahhhhh.

And, now, over nine months later, Christopher Kyle’s idea (which stemmed in part from the EMC) is coming to fruition—The Ultimate Men’s Summit. And, not surprisingly, there are two more tele-summits on masculinity

Is Men’s Work Dying? Or Does it Just Need an Extreme Makeover?

Marc Quinn, David Chang, & David Cates, post EMC

For me, the term “Men’s work” is dead. For others it’s still alive and well.

WTF? Seriously? C’mon, I just let go of another identity a few months back. Again? Yup, more personal shedding what no longer serves.

This past weekend 40 men’s leaders and 6 women answered the call to be a part of the Evolving Men’s Conference. The context? Some of us thought it was to “evolve masculinity.” For others, the hope was to plan a bigger conference next year. Others didn’t know what the context was.

I visioned this conference with a few very bold expectations (the other men had their own wants as well, some the same, some different. These were just mine).

  1. I wanted to get male leaders to collaborate.
By |September 29th, 2010|leadership|25 Comments|

Evolving Men’s Conference 2010

In September of 2010, 25-50 leaders from various men’s organizations around the world will descend upon Boulder Colorado for what will be the first ever collaborative effort to galvanize the current men’s movement and plan a HUGE Men’s Conference in 2011.

Our purpose statement is:

To bring together leaders of various men’s organizations to brainstorm the development of an Evolving Men’s Conference that galvanizes the men’s movement, promotes collaboration among different men’s organizations, and evolves the consciousness of men around the world.

If you are a men’s organization and would like to come, please send an email to: evolvingmensconference@gmail.com. We also have an invite only facebook group where you can see who’s coming.