Seen and Heard Edmonton Interview

I was super proud and happy to be interviewed by Karen Unland of Seen and Heard Edmonton. She’s a wonderful promoter of all media types in Edmonton, and a lover of all local things. Promoting this passion project of mine was super encouraging and I’m happy to do it for you.

Take a listen to the interview below:

Episode 47: German Villegas

Also check out the recommendations of the podcasts and blogs that I mentioned on the episode:

If you want to donate or help out The Modern Manhood Podcast, please check out my go fund me page at http://www.gofundme.com/modernmanpod

Information Session 1: Alberta Men’s Survey/What Does it Mean to be a Man?

In the first bonus episode dedicated to information about masculinity, we talk to Veronika Illich who is diving deep into the Alberta Men’s Survey done in 2015. Specifically looking into the question: “What does it mean to be a man?” Find out what Veronika noticed.

Also at the end I’m going to share some feedback received from one of our guests’ father after listening to the show:

You can check out the Alberta Men’s Survey at albertamen.com and you can check out Men Edmonton at menedmonton.org

Also email me at modernmanhoodpodcast@gmail.com and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast fix!

Episode 8: David Shepherd

A couple of weeks ago I emailed the offices of David Shepherd, the MLA for Edmonton-Center, the reason being was that he recently made a speech during the Black Lives Matter rally held on July 8th, giving a voice to People of Color in Edmonton and throughout Canada. His speech was interesting and thought provoking, but I knew that he also spoken out about his struggle and barriers surrounding his own mental health, something that might be seen as weak for a politician, but in his words they are as liberating and strength giving as anything he could hope for.

Mr. Shepherd was happy to sit down with me and talk about his identity, politics, mental health and race.

Stick around after the interview because we’ll have some exciting news about The Modern Manhood Podcast, and other ways you will be able to be informed and enlightened.

You can tweet at David Shepherd @DShepYEG

Tweet at me @modernmanpod or on the instagram @modernmanpod

Email me at modernmanhoodpodcast@gmail.com if you want to be a part of the show.

 

The Barrier of Men as Allies

**This article also ran in The Good Men Project, which you can find here**

“Paradoxically, those most likely to be shamed by this kind of Feminism were not the boorish, violent and openly prejudiced members of society; but rather many more mild-tempered characters who were very keen not to offend, and yet could see that some of their impulses might, if admitted to freely, cause sudden unwitting offense to the people whose friendships and respect they sought.”

On my last post I promised that I would talk about concepts and strategy instead of rhetoric and sensationalism. This is my attempt to fulfill that promise, because what the quote above me explains is the trap that most men fall into.

I found the clearest explanation through the Book of Life’s article  Beyond Feminism (where all the quotes come from). A lot of men, as allies, as friends, and as lovers of women want to embrace the call of Feminism and empower the females in our lives. Yet when we do, the many theories, and think pieces lay the blame squarely at our feet.

The first time this blame shift happens, as an allied male it can feel a bit annoying and a little patronizing. Maybe you think about it for a bit in a little bubble of grief, or you want to speak out with sentences that begin with “But…” or “What if…” The rationale being that  you want to help, you’re not the one oppressing women. Not only that, you want to empathize with women’s struggles with our pain, forgetting that we have never really felt a women’s true pain. So women tell you this when you bring up male related issues, and in many cases you feel silenced. This can feel infuriating.  Now if you don’t follow the next few steps, this might get a lot harder for you, and maybe you’ll fall into the clutches of Men Rights Activist groups which in my eyes fall in the same spectrum as the All Lives Matter people. The me-first ideals that is reactionary to social movement.

(Remember, no one started All Lives Matter before Black Lives Matter. No one started MRA groups before modern feminism came along. This is all reactionary and amoral).

The barrier becomes, how do we separate our feelings of guilt, blame, and selfishness to help the women that are around us? How do we remove that part inside of you taking it personal, and be an energy of positivity? How do we stop this anger brewing at the people that are blaming you? You, of all people who want to help.

The first step is to be thankful.

The work that wonderful women and the people who support them have done since the 60’s and even before that has given males a sliver of release of the masculine strangle hold that has be prevalent for a long, long time. Because of feminism, we’re now allowed to think about our masculinity, and question it. The concept that men have to be providers-the bacon bringers, muscular, confident, silent, stiff upper lip person lest someone thinks you’re a woman or a homosexual (That masculinity also taught us to think that women and homosexuals were something less that males). The man who only cries when his father dies, or because his favorite sports team lost. The man who teaches his son to be dominant in the playground, lest he be mistaken for a weakling. The man who was told that sex and relationships are two different things, and something not be talked about in a meaningful way. Those concepts of manliness are all being taken to task.

Even though, a lot of people want some so called manly values back, in half-hearted ways to reach back to our primitive selves.

(I believe it’s to mainly want their beards and their leather, and their outdoors back. Listen, I like all those things too. Raw denim jeans, plaid, outdoorsy hiking, with the whiskey, and the craft beer. Getting dirty, and building something with your bare hands. All those things appeal to me. But are they purely manly things?)

It is a good time to say “That’s not me, and I’m fine with that.” Feminism allowed that. Be thankful.

I understand the part of taking offense, I was there too. I had conversations with many people complaining that I don’t feel included in the conversation. Even though I want to be. My advice is don’t take it personal and don’t interject. Women don’t need to hear your thoughts, yet. Not yet. Wait til they ask for it. The reason why this is a tough pill to swallow is because as men we’re not used to this. Masculinity has told us to be confident men with all the answers. Answers that should be given without hesitation, lest other men think you don’t know anything. Men though, should be able to talk about what they know, the problem is that we don’t know about our concept of manhood, so this is a good time to reflect and think about your own concept of what being a man is like, for you.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do you do certain ‘manly’ things? (eg. sports, drink, fight etc.)
  • Who told you to do that?
  • Who allowed you to be a ‘man’?
  • Who in your life was allowed to be angry?
  • What do other males do that make you upset? And why?

One of the main concepts of Feminism is that it’s not JUST about the advancement of women in modern society. It’s about everyone being KIND to each other. Kindness is the key.

“Though it may seem as if its concerns have been the rights and the position of women, Feminism has in its very essence arguably always been focused on a prior and much grander goal: Kindness.”

How does Feminism accomplish this? Understand and recognize that we haven’t been so kind to women in a long, long, time. Therefore we haven’t been kind to each other, including other males. Women are the teachers of feminism and the men are the ones been given the lesson and to spread it to other males. A flip of what is the traditional norm, which makes a lot of males uncomfortable, hence why you see the backlash. But know that it’s not the most important facet of feminism. Kindness is, and in all forms. That is the goal.

Trust me, it takes time and meditation, and self-care. I know I have work to do myself on this, but maybe we can chat about it. I’m all ears.

 

Information v/s Preaching (Including an announcement!)

I have to confess something, along with all my experience being a person in the human service field, I only know a small percentage of everything human service related. Now while reading that last statement, it might sound like a humble brag, “yes of course you don’t know anything, but you’re just striving to be the best, and blah blah blah.” When I hear this it sounds disingenuous and something you might have heard a lot of other people in the know (of any know) to say. But in this case, it’s totally real and not for lack of trying. In the case of masculinity, there’s not a lot out there. What has been said has been regurgitated in so many different forms and blog posts (including this one), that it’s becoming tiring.

If you’re a reader of healthy masculinity, then you’ve most likely encountered the same type of ideas

If you’re a reader of healthy masculinity, then you’ve most likely encountered the same type of ideas:

  • The social construct has allowed males to act in a way in which they feel owed,
  • This social construct has made it so rape culture is a prevalent norm,
  • That the most important thing males can do is to call each other out when we’re engaging in toxic masculinity.

There’s only been a handful of posts that I have found something different that moved me. What annoys me (and sometimes I see it in myself) is that these type of talks and these type of posts there is a prevalent air of superiority, and simple mindedness. The feeling that once these ideas are out in the world, people can just take them and run with it. This allows the helpers to pat themselves on the back and say “There, I have solved the world of toxic masculinity! Yay!”

I have witnessed this type of superiority in many conferences and panels. People who are much smarter than me have ideas but no approach. Allowed to get an applause for saying things like “we need to call males out more often” but not realize or understand how tough that might be in a social construct where that form of talk is abnormal. Therefore, this turns into preaching.

Realize or understand how tough that might be in a social construct where that form of talk is abnormal.

One of the main reasons why I started this podcast was to help other males have a conversation for themselves about their manhood, and what that really means. The approach part: how to have those conversations is just as important. The questions of why is it difficult, what are the barriers, what are the struggles are valid and allowed to take shape. Because it’s not easy, especially now in a world full of rhetoric and sensationalism. I know that I don’t know the answer and I want to be humble enough to say that there isn’t one main answer. That’s why I bring men of all types to have that conversation, and I hope when you hear the podcast to understand that there isn’t one solid unified answer. I don’t think there ever will be.

The other aspect to this, is the lack of research revolving around male gender studies. There is a lot of research about female genders and the struggles they endure, as well as the LGBTQ community, and there should be; It’s been high time where we pay attention to those communities and how to help them. But the problem of toxic masculinity which has a lot of roots in feminist theory and queer studies, is barely represented. As a person heavily involved in this, I don’t want to do anymore preaching. This allows the people who are on the fringes to fall to the toxic side, to be defensive, and to lose their empathy for the side that’s hurting. I’m going to do my best in bringing the most accurate and important information I have during the podcast without judgement, and with more of an approach level. My goal is to have the show go weekly instead of bi-weekly, and for the shows in between the interviews are information based.  This will include the best people that I know, telling you things that hopefully you don’t know, or if you do, then enhance your view. This will also allow people of all genders to participate in the program.

[Preaching] allows the people who are on the fringes to fall to the toxic side, to be defensive, and to lose their empathy for the side that’s hurting.

Instagram

My wonderful friend Megan has a blog about health, and as the awesome millennial she is, has a very cool Instagram account. I thought before about adding an Instagram for the pod, and at the start it didn’t make sense to me, “how can I put a visual to something that is mostly audio?” Megan showed me that it’s all about inspiration and hashtags. In the Instagram account, the purpose will be vision quests in your journey to a healthy manhood. Hopefully this will bring more people to subscribe to the pod, be part of the show, or just think and live their own healthy manhood. Ideas and inspiration, and the people that bring them.

Join me through Instagram @modernmanpod, on Twitter @modernmanpod, or on Facebook @modernmanpod.

Easy peasy, right?

Episode 7: Chris Corley

On this episode we’ll talk to father, educator, and awesome person in general, Chris Corley about his journey on understanding on what being a man is really about. Also talk about his barriers in being a stay at home dad. Stay tuned as we’ll also talk a little Pokemon Go at the end.

If you want to be a part of the show, please email me at modernmanhoodpodcast@gmail.com

Or you can check the webpage at modernmanhoodpodcast.com

Please subscribe and rate on itunes, Stitcher, and anywhere you get your pod fix!

Episode 6: Mike Payne

On today’s show I wanted to explore an area where men I feel are less likely to show their vulnerable side, that’s the cutthroat world of business and finance. Join me as I talk to Mike Payne who is the co-founder of Fancy (thisisfancy.ca), a company that helps startups brand and market in Saskatoon and in Calgary.

He’s helped many start-ups get off the ground with his work in marketing, and also found a home for them to work under. He’s a young millennial with a good heart, strong values, and as you will hear, a general quote machine. He’s been a speaker at countless of places, most notably TedX in Saskatoon, and I was lucky to speak with Mike not just about the business world, and their views on vulnerability, but his own views on gender stereotypes, brotherhood, and his father. Listen below:

Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes and in Google Play!

If you want to be on the podcast, email me at modernmanhoodpodcast@gmail.com