"When we look at love “as the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth,” we begin to see how to better make love happen."
Love is not necessarily a feeling, but an action. Actions have reactions, consequences, the potential for transformation. If we can shift from this romanticized concept of “falling” in love we can move away from the idea that we don’t have any responsibility in the matter, when in truth we’re entirely responsible. We own it. And yes, we can control who we love. We can decide who we want to put our energies into, who we want to express care, affection, respect and trust with.”
The Mask You Live In, a new film that breaks apart traditional notions of masculinity is under development by the creator of Miss Representation.
Be a man. Stop being such a fag. Grow a pair. You’re such a girl. Man up.
Every single boy growing up in the United States has heard these phrases at least once over the course of his life. They are all too common. They are also all too damaging. Most think that “toughening” boys is just a rite of passage, but a growing body of research is showing just how harmful these messages can be.
A new documentary brought to us by MissRepresentation entitled The Mask You Live In will be exploring the systemic societal problems caused by toxic masculinity. The director Jennifer Siebel Newsom interviewed men and boys across the country and what she found was jaw-dropping. She found that although men are dying to speak, they are taught to stay silent. They spend their life wearing a mask that they are taught to never remove. See what happens when they take it off.
Katherine Frank stripped, interviewed her customers and then wrote a thesis about male desire.
"How Do You Get Men to Understand That Feminism Is Important?"
"When men complain about being "creep-shamed" they’re lamenting a culture that allows women to set boundaries."
Clip from Ever Mainard’s standup.
I’m following up on my Lindy West post by mentioning that West published a long article last year on “How to make a rape joke”. Some might have gotten the impression that West was completely against rape jokes in any context — but she concurs that there is a way, as with any subject matter, to do it well:
The world is full of terrible things, including rape, and it is okay to joke about them. But the best comics use their art to call bullshit on those terrible parts of life and make them better, not worse. The key—unless you want to be called a garbage-flavored dick on the internet by me and other humans with souls and brains—is to be a responsible person when you construct your jokes. Since the nuances of personal responsibility seem to escape so many people, let’s go through it. Let’s figure out rape jokes (READ MORE)
She also posts several other examples of rape jokes that don’t make fun of victims, and instead call attention to, say:
- "the absurd and horrific sense of entitlement that accompanies taking over someone else’s body like you’re hungry and it’s a delicious hoagie" (Louis CK)
- “the casual misogyny of a certain set of crusty old anti-Semitic post-Soviet eastern European men in stinky suits.” (Borat)
"Comedians are just people telling stories about the world, and it is okay to laugh at horror and talk candidly about ugliness. This is one of the best "rape jokes" ever, because it’s an honest commentary on our fucked-up cultural climate. The butt of the joke is John Mulaney. The woman running away from John Mulaney is not being mocked. This is a joke about how scary it is to be a woman and how easy it is for men to be oblivious. This joke is helpful."
Patrick Stewart eloquently opens up about his difficult childhood, and passionately charges men to do their part to prevent domestic violence.
"People would say to my mother: "Well, you must have provoked him… it takes two to make an argument. Wrong. Wrong. And even if she had, violence is never, never a choice a man should make."
A mother writes about the troubling implications of boys who destroy her daughter’s block castles, and the way in which the parents excuse it.
"I tried to teach my daughter how to stop this from happening. She asked him politely not to do it. We talked about some things she might do. She moved where she built. She stood in his way. She built a stronger foundation to the castle, so that, if he did get to it, she wouldn’t have to rebuild the whole thing. In the meantime, I imagine his parents thinking, "What red-blooded boy wouldn’t knock it down?"
- She built a beautiful, glittery castle in a public space.
- It was so tempting.
- He just couldn’t control himself and, being a boy, had violent inclinations.
- She had to keep her building safe.
- Her consent didn’t matter. Besides, it’s not like she made a big fuss when he knocked it down. It wasn’t a “legitimate” knocking over if she didn’t throw a tantrum.
- His desire — for power, destruction, control, whatever- - was understandable.
- Maybe she “shouldn’t have gone to preschool” at all. OR, better if she just kept her building activities to home.
I know it’s a lurid metaphor, but I taught my daughter the preschool block precursor of don’t “get raped” and this child, Boy #1, did not learn the preschool equivalent of “don’t rape.”“