I started listening to The Highlevel Showdown, a local politics show with two guys, Elliott Tanti and Michael Vecchio, from opposite sides of the political view talk about what the heck is going on in the world of politics. Now, lucky for me they also were curious about questions of manhood, and questions in how masculinity works in politics as much as I did. Even more lucky for me, they were curious about their own masculinity, and how their lives intertwined as immigrants, first generation Canadians (like they are), and most importantly as long time friends.
Now because I had a lot to ask of them and the conversation was flowing I decided to split this into two parts. The first part you’ll hear right now is Elliott, Michael, and myself talking about what was going on with the intersection of politics and masculinity which involves, yep, Donald Trump. But we also talk local politics and specifically the struggles that women have to get into politics, be heard, and the harassment they face.
For today’s episode, I wanted to speak directly about men’s mental health and how men have problems getting the help they need either through the system that creates barriers or the society that sees them in a different light. This ties hand in hand with Men’s mental Health Awareness Day on June 13.
So for this, I wanted to speak to a front line worker here in Edmonton that deals directly with people with mental health disorders and problems. Jessica Craig has been helping kids and adults with mental health problems for years now, and is now an intake worker for a prominent place in Alberta. Lucky for me, she’s got a keen particular interest in men’s mental health, and also is a good friend of mine. I was lucky to share a bowl of pho with her, and sat down on her couch with her dog Zoe to speak about the issues that she sees in the front line.
In early May, Modern Manhood Podcast celebrated one year of life. In the last 12 months we have had an awesome collection of interviews and guests, each providing a unique spin on what they call manhood. In the first of many different clip shows, I’m going to be providing some feedback on my favorite parts of these interviews, as well as try to parse them in a way which is relevant to the study of masculinity.
He also created the Five Stages of Masculinity model, which is used to view a person’s understandings of masculinity. This model is the basis of the Masculinity Research organization directed by Joseph Gelfer which offers ” insight into men and masculinity in three key areas: Market research for products and services, Social research for non-profit and governmental policymakers [and] People and culture development for businesses and organizations.”
The five stages, which you can find here, are briefly described as such: The stages are 1: Unconscious Masculinity
1: Unconscious Masculinity
2: Conscious Masculinity
3: Critical Masculinities
4: Multiple Masculinities
5: Beyond Masculinities
And to learn these would be an important primer to the conversation that we’ll be talking about today, which delves a lot into how we as people who talk about masculinities. We talk about the current problems of the discourse involving masculinities and how we can move beyond just talking about the opposite of “toxic masculinities” and how we as a society are stuck in stage 3 of masculinites.
Dr. Gelfer has written these books:
Numen, Old Men: Contemporary Masculine Spiritualities and the Problem of Patriarchy (Equinox Publishers, 2009)
The Best of Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality (Gorgias Press, 2010)
Today we’re going to talk about the law. Not the law in regards to masculinity or how it affects males, but the law profession. How it affects the notions of self-care, and how the law profession is heavily run by males, and what the effect of that dynamic can be. We’re going to talk to law student Ian Moore from Vancouver about this, plus I wanted to ask about his own life and what stories might he have over how he views his masculinity. Including an interesting story in which he gets mugged.
If you haven’t done so already, please check out The Ferdinand’s new story by Derek Nadeau titled “Coping.” In which Derek goes through his journey into finding coping skills to take care of his own mental health, which took a drastic toll.
One of the coolest things of being a part of a growing city like Edmonton, and being in a media savvy and upcoming media such as podcasting, is the chance to connect with other cool people in the city who are just as passionate about how the city changes and looks. There’s a lot of people who are engage to make the city more vibrant, happy, and just a cool place to be.
Adam Rozenhart is one of those people, his love for media messages and passion for standing up for the underdogs has led him to start some of the most successful ideas in Edmonton. This includes websites like No Homophobes.com which tracks how many times a homophobic slur is used on twitter, to his collaboration on the OilersNation website, bringing Nerd Nite to Edmonton, and his partnership to bring Pride Tape to hockey. Timely considering that the NHL is starting it’s own Hockey is for Everyone campaign to bring inclusivity to the NHL.
Along with many other things in between, Adam is also a successful podcaster with two shows on the go, one being the popular Ex-Pats which he talks to people who have lived outside of Edmonton.
Adam was a natural for this conversation, just because of his ideas about how to bring people together, inclusivity, his sensitive and cheerful good nature.
Your support, which can be as little as 2 bucks a month, will also help me provide you with answers, delve into research, improve the podcast, and help the guys that want to be a part of this community.
Sometimes, stress and anxiety lead people to addiction and the feeling that you are isolated, especially dealing with your ideas of masculinity. The feeling that you cannot talk to another guy because they might not understand, or push you away, or make you feel awkward. This brings me to the guest in this week’s episode: Tyler Bentley, an Edmonton man, who contacted me and we sat down in the bowels of MacEwan University (that’s why you hear a little background noise) and asked me to help him share his story, one that involves these themes of disconnection, addiction, introspection, anxiety, and recuperation. And in the end, the revelation of his own masculinity and his own soul.
As always, reach me by emailing me at email@example.com if you want to be on the show. Also if you want to leave me some feedback, do it @modernmanpod on Twitter and Instagram.
Last month, I got a chance to meet the makers of number 1 rated podcast in Vue Weekly’s best of, the Awesome Hour. And as it turns out they are just laid back, chill guys who love to gab and have a tight brotherhood together. I really wanted to dive deep in what made their friendship tick, and also how they view things like fatherhood and masculinity in general. I also just wanted to hang out with genuinely cool guys. So we decided to do something a little special and a little different, we mixed the two shows up. There’s a lot of Awesome Hour in this episode, so you’ll get to hear a lot more chatting about fun stuff, and also try to bring a little MMP to Awesome Hour. It was super fun and Alec, Ivan, and Corbo treated me like family.
So we decided to collab on this and put this on both of our channels and hopefully we can do this again because it was a blast. After this episode, check out The Awesome Hour on Soundcloud/theawesomehour or on iTunes. Or on GRadio.ca. You might even see some of the stickers in an around town. As always you can reach me at modernmanpod on twitter and Instagram. And all of the episodes are on itunes and on modernmanhoodpodcast.com.
Next week we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programs with great interviews. I just wanted to share this with you the same time the Awesome Hour did.
Today on this show, we have PhD student from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo Ontario, Harrison Oakes. Harrison studies the roles of threat and defense in prejudice (e.g., masculinity threat and subsequent homophobic behavior/cognition) and the interaction of power and status with anxiety in shaping cognition and emotion. He has also written two nationally-disseminated teacher’s guides for bullying awareness. Harrison is a gay male, and I had the pleasure of recording him for the show twice. The first time though, the audio was lost. But Harrison graciously agreed to do it again, and we had a great chat that was filled with information and theory and just great stories that I had to split it into two shows. So next week, you’ll get a bonus MMP with the second part of this convo, lucky you!
As always, reach me via email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be on the show. Also if you want to leave me some feedback, do it @modernmanpod on Twitter and Instagram.
The music has been brought to you by Adam Johen from Night Vision. He’s the guy who made the new intro song, and the teacher at the Night Vision Music Acadamy. If you want to learn more about DJ’ng and producing from someone who’s already making some amazing stuff, sign yourself up for their Winter classes.
Before I get to the interview I have some homework for you to do, go check out Jeremy Loveday’s 3 min poem called “Masks Off.” which I posted before. It’s a powerful statement to how we affect each other, and how we can support each other and especially women during the White Ribbon campaign. Now I had the pleasure and honor to chat with this award-winning slam poet, turned Victoria B.C. city counselor. Jeremy tells us why he wanted to share his passion to change his culture around him, growing up as a sensitive child, how his father has been his role model, and of course we get to talking about Donald Trump. Because we unfortunately cannot avoid THAT any longer. So in his own words, we’ll find out the views of manhood in the eyes of Jeremy Loveday:
Jeremy talks about social isolation which coincidentally is a subject in review right here in Edmonton. Check out what Edmonton is doing in regards to mental health and isolation especially during the winter month. Or as Jeremy said, find out who is your one friend who you can reach out to.
Night Vision is an Edmonton-based collective of producers, DJs, and artists trying to make electronic music awesome and relevant here in the YEG. They are one of the many amazing people trying to make Edmonton dance. Night Vision has graciously allowed me to use their tunes as music for the show, which includes the opener and the background music. The music that you heard from this episode was from a band called Dunmore Park.
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