It’s easy to say that the concept of martial arts and masculinity run in very close circles. I’m very curious about things like the rise of the UFC, or the portrayal of a violent form of conduct like martial arts in movies have an effect of how men view their masculinity.
Jaredd Wilson is a black belt Aikedo specialist who runs a podcast called Martial Thoughts out of Nashville Tennessee. He took on the challenge of trying to guide through my ignorance around martial arts and think about how he views his own masculinity through martial arts.
In the second part of my conversation with Jeff Perera we speak about the aspects of shame. And how shame colors the barriers of men to truly engage in the conversation of anti-violence and masculine liberation. To be able to confront those actions of our past, and to flex what Jeff calls “those empathy muscles.” In this conversation, we also get a chance to bond over one of our favorite bands: The Beastie Boys and I also get a chance to reflect on International Men’s Day.
You can find Jeff Perera on Twitter and Instagram at Jeffperera. And you can check out his work through Higher Unlearning. Clip in the episode is from the movie “The Punk Singer” about Kathleen Hanna
I reached out to Jeff Perera, activist and public speaker out in Toronto that has been working for anti-violence projects out there for at least 10 years now. We talked about reconciliation for men, and we also connected on how we came to do the work we do, along with stories about his father, safe spaces, and the tragedy of December 6th. I had such an awesome convo with Jeff, actually felt lighter afterwards to be honest, that I’m splitting this up into two! Stay tuned for part 2 next episode
You can find Jeff Perera on Twitter and Instagram at Jeffperera. In this episode we also talked a lot about Next Gen Men, an organization that are doing some big and awesome things down in Calgary and in Toronto. You can find them at nextgenmen.ca
When the media, schools, and society at large speak the issues of body image and how it affects your self-esteem, we usually hear about from a female lens. We don’t think of this as a male issue, but I can tell you honestly that the majority of men face body issue problems. And I think men of all sexual orientation have a specific relationship with their penis.
UK artist and photographer, Laura Dodsworth started a project to help women deal with body issues called Bare Reality in which she invited 100 women to bare their breasts for a photo book, and then have them share their stories around body image. She then asked, why can’t I do this for men? So she created Manhood: A Bare Reality in which she asked 100 men to bare their penises (NSFW pic) (Picture is Copyright of Laura Dodsworth). This was all in an effort to normalize the way we look at penises, and especially for men to show us a real version of what a penis looks like. We had an awesome chat about the process and the privilage of asking 100 men about their penis.
You can order Manhood: The Bare Reality from Amazon in Canada right now and if you get a chance take a look at this blog post about the process that Laura has gone into to making this book. Along with all the press she has done for the project.
Do we have a problem when politicians such as Justin Trudeau and Theresa May call themselves feminist? Especially if they back policies which in their root cause are anti-feminist? And the other big one, does feminism truly lead to a liberation of traditional masculinity? Or does it just critique? And if it just critiques, where does that lead the men who want to find their own masculinity?
Ally Fogg, writer for The Guardian and many other publications, has been asking these questions for years. And not only that has worked to push the UK government for a more gender inclusive language when they talk about issues like violence. We spoke in the summer a little after the many terrorist attacks in the UK, which we get a chance to speak about, and we also talk about the dangers of labels, especially on politicians.
I would encourage you to check out Ally’s fight with the UK government in the role of mislabelling male victims of abuse over at his blog. I would also encourage you to check out one of his latest posts about stopping men being violent through the lens of Raewyn Connell. Asking instead the question “why does society value violent men?” which makes it hard for men to walk away from violence.
This episode of Modern Manhood is brought to you by the Edmonton Community Foundation which is host to the Well Endowed Podcast, check out their new episode with the one and only, George Takei
I will also be speaking at the upcoming Rad Dad’s event called The Summit. Check out Rad Dads on Instagram and Twitter if you want to come.
All of those times I changed my career path, they really gnawed at my question of identity. What was I supposed to be? What am I supposed to give out to the world? And it also answered the question that the path for a career, even for yourself was never in a straight line. We’re lucky if that happens.
Andrew Paul faced the same questions of identity. But Andrew is quick to say that his story is not singular, and it is actually helped along with the many fantastic powerful women in his life. We also ask what kind of man am I if I’m not doing my passion? Who shapes our passions? And who questions them?
Kristian Basaraba grew up on punk rock, and his idols were punk rock singers. But he didn’t play or he didn’t sing, but he still wanted to do something punk rock. Being a dad he saw didn’t look punk rock, so Kristian has injected a bit of it to the Dad movement.
He paired up with a local designer (Nigel Hood)and created a skull and hearts logo to make Rad Dads, a chapter of a group down in the states of positive, active fathers wanting to create a network of empowered dads in the community. Why did he want to do it though? What brought him to a place of saying I want to build something cool for my son and for other little kids? And why dads?
Well his story has heartbreak and lessons learned, and his story should be heard.