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
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.
How we as men here in Canada, especially in Alberta, view hockey players is right at the top of the masculinity hierarchy. This has been ingrained to us since we’re kids. And I can say even as adults we admire these players to what they can be, and look to them to be examples of leaders, to show us perseverance, resiliency, and humbleness. So hockey players have a distinct role to play in how Canadian men act and behave, so the question then becomes, are these men doing a good job?To try to answer these questions, I invited Carl
To try to answer these questions, I invited Carl Landra who runs The 4th Line Podcast and also part of the Alberta Podcast Network. And we take some time to talk about issues like LGBTQ representation in the NHL, Domestic Violence with players, and questions like does the NHL care about players being idols to kids.
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.
Allen Featherstone has gone through his own journey of understanding how to be a proper man and human being. And it took him a long struggle with addictions, with hard drugs, then alcohol to understand what he has to do.
In this interview, you can see that he is still on this journey, one that he is willing to share with anyone who will listen. You can hear that he is working to better himself, and some days he wins and some days he loses. You can tell he wants to be more at peace with himself, with his wife, and with his daughter.
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)