On this episode we speak again to Matthew Hodges a little more deeply on his own foundations around masculinity, and his father and his family. And we also end on an inspiring note about equal rights that is threaded all over r/MensLib
I have long been a fan of Reddit’s MensLib subreddit just for things like their confidant and direct approach to tackling men’s issues in an intersectional way, their constant and hardworking mods team, and the daily discussion on all things guys but in a way that’s inclusive, educated, and not made to vilify others.
So I was so happy to have Matthew Hodges, the founder of MensLib on Modern Manhood to have a long discussion about why he wanted to start MenLib, the values and foundations of that community, and his own personal life. And as usual, we talked a lot so this will be in two parts.
“What are the words you think of when we hear the words ‘masculinity’?”
These are some of the fundamental basic starting questions on your journey to this thing I like to call “exploring your own identity and gender.” Which kinda leads to critiquing societies idea of gender, which I hope leads to critiquing your ideas around gender. I am noticing more and more a lot of guys asking themselves that very basic but enlightening question. Tim Wenger is one of those guys, and he decided to start a project (The Man Effect) when he was questioning his own version of masculinity, asking people If you were to describe what it means to be a man in one word, what would it be and why?
Well I wanted to find out more about his project, and what he has learned from it.
This is part two of our conversation with Michael Rowley who is a filmmaker from Dallas Texas, who also made a film about Palestinian youths, specifically who do parkour. The movie is called Hurdle (Hurdlefilm.com). Now the reason why I wanted to split this into two is to highlight the very vulnerable and very honest way in which Michael approaches identity, either his own or of the people around him, including his subjects. Michael also hands out some amazing advice that mirrors David Ogle’s and that actually began from a conversation that he and another past guest, Remoy, had.
Michael Rowley is a filmmaker from Dallas Texas, who made a film about Palestinian youths, specifically who do parkour. The movie is called Hurdle (Hurdlefilm.com).
Now what is interesting to me, is not so much that last sentence (even though that last sentence can be unpacked in so many ways), what’s interesting is the man, Michael Rowley. Michael, born in Texas, a place as idealistic as I can find living outside of it, a place that screams guns, catholicism and trucks (not so different than Alberta to be honest), Michael went on to film a movie about one of the most divisive areas in the world, Palestine.
Remember in Episode 55 where we spoke to Boys Group and Men’s Group facilitator Jermal Alleyne? Remember when I said that we’re going to come back to him to talk about masculinity, well here we are. The reason why I wanted to split this into two and make sure we get Jermal’s takes on masculinity right now is because he mentions a lot of key advice and ideas that have not been mentioned a whole lot lately, mainly about community and how men in general need to not only critique what goes around them (in a respectful way), but have the openness to be wrong. Critiquing is not a bad thing when done in an open manner, arguing for argument’s sake…well that’s a different story. We might get stuck. You know what, let’s hear Jermal speak to this.
You can also find anything to do with NextGenMen at nextgenmen.ca including Modern Manhood. Also if you’re in Calgary or Toronto, check out Wolf Pack
I was honored to talk about this and the research that Chataleine’s Editor at Large’s Rachel Giese has done to write the book “Boys: What It Means to Become A Man.” She has taken the time to look at what is going on in Canada in regards to the toxic forms of traditional western masculinity, interested in groups like WiseGuyz down in Calgary, and speakers like once and future guest Jeff Perera. We speak about her motivations for the books, what surprised her the most, complicity and the danger of “otherisms” in regards to #MeToo, and her call not only to the isolation of some men, but also to step back and think of the victims of violence.