Yesterday I was lucky to be interviewed because of The Modern Manhood Podcast by Metro News. They asked me a bunch of questions about the pod, and I’m very happy in how the article turned out. If you want to read more about how and why MMP was made, and what makes it special check out the article below:
Our guest for this episode is the mind of Tyler Waye. Tyler is a man on a mission trying to re energize the working structure of the modern world, and engage with people to understand what makes them drive and what makes them do their best work. Tyler is also a university football coach, and a fiery presenter for youth and adult alike. Tyler was also in Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40.
But all of this doesn’t encapsulate all of Tyler, as he is a man with passion for positive change and before I talked to him, he asked me if I could specifically mention and discuss the gender wage gap, a topic he has a lot of ideas about. He also heads up the We Stand conference for young leaders which he has taken to Edmonton and China. We’re going to hear all of that in his own articulate words.
I’m so happy to share with you the interview I had with writer, father, and thinker of cool thoughts, Micheal Hingston. Micheal is an author and journalist, with articles written in The Guardian, The Walrus, Salon, The National Post, Wired, etc etc etc.
Mike is also one of the guests that was referred to me by another guest because he wanted to really expand his thoughts on fatherhood, and wanted to share a specific topic. I have to say, I love when both of those things happen, when a guest is referred by another guest, and when they come by with something specific they want to discuss. In this case it was of the nurturing value of a father kissing his son, and how and why he believes it’s important for every father to kiss their son. Between all that, we chat about what it is to raise a son and daughter, what’s it like to be conflicted about a sport you love, and his views about his father.
You can see what Micheal has been up to, and read his articles at his website
You can also buy his book The Dilettantes in Amazon or his other project, The Short Story Advent Calendar. Michael also mentioned a series of books he’s been reading called The Neapolitan Novels and they are done by Elena Ferrante. And last but not least, give Michael a follow on Twitter and tell him how much you liked hearing his voice
On this week’s show we talk to podcast host, theater producer and director, and all-around awesome human being, Taylor Chadwick. He recently finished directing a play that was featured in the Fringe in Edmonton, called Nighthawk Rules. Nighthawk Rules revolves around two guys who take upon themselves to solve their conflict through a drinking game they have grown to do. Taylor will go through the process of directing that play, and how his own version of masculinity and relationships helped steer the work that he has done. We will also talk about the concept of saying “I Love you” to another man, and how that is. I hope you enjoy
Send him a line, or send me a line on Twitter @modernmanpod or on Instagram @modernmanpod.
Also, I’m always taking donations, if you want to support the Modern Manhood Podcast and it’s research in doing this podcast, please do so at gofundme.com/modernmanpod
Songs are from Blank and Kytt and from Broke For Free
Last week, Jesse Lipscombe was filming a piece about his love of the downtown area of Edmonton when a couple of males shouted at him and his crew “The N***** are coming!” This mirrored the event that Bashir Mohamed faced when he was cycling down a busy street and a man shouted the same racial slur at him. This prompted the mayor of Edmonton, Don Iveson along with Lipscombe to start the #makeitawkward campaign.
But these two incidents are not just isolated incidents in Edmonton, and people of color face these forms of racism far more than they should. This was the theme of three of our past episodes (Robin Mazumder, Jason Garcia, and David Shepherd), and you will hear that it was a theme on today’s episode with Omar Mouallem. This is just to show how much farther we need to go as a city and as a society.
Omar Mouallem is an acclaimed writer and editor of The Yards magazine, and has written for publications like Rolling Stones, WIRED, and The Walrus. He’s also a teacher, a thinker, and a man with a high degree of curiosity. All of which made this a very fascinating chat.
We will delve into the Wilson brothers, feminism, MRA’s, his own culture, and what he fears about the tides of race today
Robin Mazumder’s first winter in Edmonton was a tough one for him because he was suffering through a state of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a mental health concern that also triggered something he has been dealing with for a long time, depression. Robin took this opportunity not only to help himself with getting a light to help his SAD, but to acquire funding to add more lights in the Public Library for people to use. For that and trying to brighten up winter in Edmonton, he was named one of Avenue’s magazine’s Top 40 person under 40 in 2014.
But most importantly, he was a keen interest in the realm of masculinity, and men’s health. He is dedicated about spaces, how to connect generations, and male mentors. All of which we got a chance to chat about. Listen below:
Robin mentioned two books, the ones that he read on his journey to understand his own manhood: Iron John by Robert Bly and Fire and in the Belly by Sam Keen. Two books I recommend for you to read, they are classics in the study of masculinity and in how men and people shape themselves. I also recommend you reading psychologist Robert Garfield’s “Breaking The Male Code”, which I mentioned during the talk with Robin.
Robin’s blog which I mentioned a lot, is located at robinmazumder.com
If you like the Modern Manhood Podcast, leave a review on your favorite podcast network, that helps me a lot in getting some visibility. You can hit me up on twitter @modernmanpod or on Facebook and Instagram @modernmanpod.
Late in my twenties, I had a crisis of identity. One that revolved less around who I was, and more around who I was hanging out with. More specifically, it revolved around the question, “If I were to get married today, who would be my groomsmen?” Even though I have seen other wedding parties that threw gender narratives out the window, there was a strong inclination in my head that these people needed to be male. I started thinking about the criteria these men would have: intelligent, mature, loyal, funny, relaxed, and what I came later to understand as vulnerable (at that time, I just called it “chill”).
I looked at the males around me, and none of them fit the bill.
The funny thing was that these ideas of a male group dynamic came before I started any research or any work in the human services. This was an innate feeling, one that came naturally and strongly. Now, please don’t mistake this as a form of hegemonic masculinity, claiming that all men need this or want this. Masculinity is fluid, intersectional, and different for all males. I can’t also be certain that these intense feelings I had were a result of watching movies like Fight Club or The Sandlot. But the feeling was there, that there was something I missed and something I craved. This want of a brotherhood.
I believe if you talk to a lot of men, they will identify a theme revolving around true, real, male friendships. In fact, it’s one of the most common themes in the males I have spoken to in the podcast. Many of them have talked about their own personal relationships with friends they have gone into business with (Mike Payne), friends that were their best men (Spencer Clarke), or finding a lack of friendship when they became a dad (Chris Corley). Not only that, it is a researched fact that an abundance of male friendships has been shown to increase our mental health, and a lack decreases it. Not with friends that were just hang out friends. The friends had to be people you could open up to. This want of brotherhood seems to be internal and almost necessary to achieve your full potential as a man.
The males that I identified who had a strong male cohort had the advantage that they either grew up with these guys or found them by other means (eg. Boy Scouts, band camp, sports, etc.). In other words, forms of intention create brotherhoods, specifically in groups we engage with as young boys. These brotherhoods have similar features:
- Males engaged in shared, goal orientated activities
- Presence of a mentor or mentors (regardless of gender)
- Initiation, or point of entry
- Codes of conduct/honor
Now, keep in mind that the same features found in healthy brotherhoods can be found in things like drug gangs or other unhealthy gatherings (the Klu Klux Klan, for instance). Not only that, if you miss out on these forms of brotherhood when you are younger (either from lack of access, finances, or even want), it is much harder to engage in them when you’re an adult. More barriers appear when you step out of organized social places, like school or college, places where connection is made easier and like minded groups appear without much trying.
As for me, when I was in college or university I didn’t try hard to be a part of a like-minded group. I had my friends, I had my girlfriend, and I thought I was set. However, my social situation changed when my girlfriend and I broke up. I felt like I had lost important friends, and my only avenue for connection was the people at my work – the aforementioned males that didn’t fit the bill.
Brotherhood can come in a lot of shapes and sizes, but the way you come upon that brotherhood is the most important.
Brotherhood can come in a lot of shapes and sizes, but the way you come upon that brotherhood is the most important. The first step is to find out more about yourself:
- What are your interests? Are they flexible? Are you learning them, or are you an expert?
- What are your points of entry for friendship? Is going for a coffee or a beer something that you like? Or do you want your friendships to be active?
- What are your non-negotiables, the ideas, the values that you have that will not be bent or broken? Basically, what are your boundaries?
The next step is the hardest: get yourself out there. Look at websites or places where people hang out and see what’s happening in your area. Is there a Meet Up for something you’re loving? Is there a book club? Is there a sports league? Video game tournament?
If there isn’t one in your area or town, why not start one yourself? Invite five of the males you want to commit more time to and ask them all to do something unique, active and engaging. For example, ask them to go for a hike. Ask them to go camping or on a canoe trip. Ask them to play in a mini soccer tournament, or go for a bike ride. Start a book club, or a movie club. Commit to it, and ask others to commit as well. One person can decide the activity and everyone else can be on board, then the next month another person can decide. Be committed and be intentional, with the goal to have fun and connect.
The goal here is entry into friendship, because brotherhood doesn’t just come from shared interests. It comes from a state of comfort and a feeling of being valued by a person or people. Real connections are made when we shed the identity that people say we have, and embrace the identity that we have within ourselves. Not only that, but also by embracing the identities that other males share with you, however flawed they may be. Real connections are made in the moments between what you’re supposed to be doing, not in the activity itself.