Category Archives: humor

Sh*t men say to men who say sh*t to women on the streets

Check out this video about men addressing other men about inappropriate comments in public. Find out more about street harassment and what to do about it at Stop Street Harassment.


Have you seen Tom Matlack’s mangina?

I frequently link to content on The Good Men Project. I often agree with their vision and appreciate their transparency about their journey in discovering what it means to be a good man. I appreciate their willingness to struggle with this concept while doing what most of us do. They try and be the best friend, father, partner, brother, son, and coworker they know how to be while always aware that they could be better. They struggle with being a good man, a real man, and a strong man. They make mistakes, learn and try again. The important piece to me is that they are willing to celebrate their successes and share their struggles.

However, I also love it when we can inject some humor and satire into this discussion. A common knee-jerk reaction to men who aren’t willing to swallow society’s definition of a real man and who are willing and able to criticize and reflect on these concepts, is to label them a misandrist traitor. This is why I loved Tom Matlack’s piece entitled Have you Seen My Mangina?

It was a perfect illustration of gender policing and many of the ridiculous restrictions that are placed on men. I love the way Tom described his confusion during his journey to decipher the meaning of the term and whether or not he is a mangina or has a mangina? The examples that he solicited from his friends and colleagues were hilarious. It was great to see his eventual reclamation of the word and feeling of pride in being a man who was comfortable being himself. That flexibility, humor and compassion is a great example to set for other men and boys. I still cringe at the term mangina and all of the potential negative connotations about the inferiority of females and femininity. That term is not what I like about this piece. In fact, that term is what I abhor about this piece.

I’m advocating for more examples of men who embrace attitudes, behaviors and other men who perform in ways that are not often appreciated or tolerated by society. If more men could move past feeling ashamed and being shamed by others because of constantly failing rigid, impossible and arbitrary rules of manood, we would have a lot more healthier and happier men.

It would be nice to live in a world where individuals were not bombarded with derogatory and hateful words when they step outside of the socially constructed box. Until then, I hope that more individuals can reframe these words and celebrate the diversity and flexibility that allows them to define who they are.


A how-to video for manhugs during the holidays

With the holidays season rapidly approaching, you may want to take a look at the video below for the appropriate manhug protocol. Holiday dinners and family gatherings create countless potential manhugging opportunities. Review the video below to learn how to overcome the awkwardness and get down to hugging!


Street Harassment event

I don’t have a lot of time this morning, but I just wanted to put up a quick post about the Stop Street Harassment event last night with Holly Kearl at The University of Iowa. Despite some technical difficulties, the event went really well and we had pretty good attendance. I am so grateful that Holly was able to stop by and share her expertise about street harassment. She was wonderful to work with and I hope we can continue building on what we accomplished last night. Here is an article about the event in The Daily Iowan.

Holly introduced me to this cartoon last night. What a great illustration about the incorrect assumption that street harassment is just a compliment, which minimizes the negative impact on the recipient. The artist is Barry Deutsch. You can find this work and more by him, here. Please consider supporting his work. He is someone who is trying to raise awareness about these issues through his art.

I’ll post a more thorough review about last night’s event and compile some resources about street harassment in a longer post later this weekend. In the meantime, stop by Holly’s blog www.stopstreetharassment.com to learn more.

 


How to be a man?

A clip went out over the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity listserv the other day. It is a video by Levni Yilmaz from his YouTube channel Tales of Mere Existence. I had never seen any of Yilmaz’s material before and was really impressed by the quality and content of the clips. He has a great style that involves deadpan humor mixed with existential issues. I found several clips that would be great discussion starters when working with or teaching about men’s issues and masculinities. Of the few clips I have watched, Yilmaz addressed being a boyfriend, the evolution of his relationship with his father, the grief and loss that follows a breakup, how he learned about girls, and messages about masculinity.

The particular clip that went out over the listserv was his How to be a man? clip below. Two lines from the clip that struck me are:

  • A real should be able to close one eye, look at the position of the sun and be able to tell you what time it is
  • So far being a man doesn’t feel much different from being an old kid

Click Read More for more clips from Tales of Mere Existence and a brief exercise about societal definitions about masculinity.

Continue reading


Bystander intervention bulletin board materials

MAC wanted to create a packet of material for our RAs to display on bulletin boards in the dorms. Our Rape Victim Advocacy Program has had a lot of success with this approach so we decided to create some materials about bystander interventions and violence prevention.

The problem was that I couldn’t find any existing product to use as a model or template. There wasn’t a single available pdf or powerpoint to modify into a bulletin board. I even visited online repositories of RA bulletin boards. There were hundreds of bulletin board examples, ideas, and templates. There was everything from Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse to Ramen Noodle Recipes but nothing about violence prevention.

So we created one. We took an example on a trifold foam board to the RA fair and had over half of our RAs on campus sign up. We color coded the categories (Things to know, How to help, and Who to call) for easy assembly and mailed each RA a packet. All they had to do was hang it up. RAs are responsible for changing their bulletin board twice a year so this material could be displayed on bulletin boards across campus for an entire semester.

Feel free to use and modify the pdf below to meet the needs of your group. If your group has created any materials that you would be willing to share with others, send them to us and we’ll post them on the site with your information attached.



Do you travel with a cuddle bunny?

It’s nice to have a break from discussing violence, sexism, and the negative impact of societal gender role expectations and report on something light and fun for a change.

For example, British hotel chain Travelodge recently reported an interesting statistic. Apparently, stuffed animals are being abandoned in their hotel rooms at alarming rates. Over the past twelve months, in over 450 locations, there were over 75,000 stuffed animals left in Travelodge hotel rooms. Travelodge wanted to learn more about their visitors’ furry friends so they surveyed over 6,000 guests.

25% of adult men admitted to bringing a stuffed animal along with them when they were away from home on business. That’s just the ones that admitted it! Also, 1 in 10 guys admitted that they hid their teddy bear when their girlfriends stayed over.

The guys cited numerous reasons why they brought along a cuddly companion when they traveled.

  • they found cuddling with their stuffed animal comforting
  • they felt calmed and believed that it reduced their stress after a hard day
  • it reminded them of home and the family or partner that was waiting there for them

Say what you want about being a tough guy, sucking it up and keeping a stiff upper lip, but couldn’t everyone use a good bear hug after a long, tough day on the road? Some of you might think that teddy bear in the corner looks cool, tough and you may be intrigued by his bad boy reputation. However, I’ll take Mr. Snuggles any day.

Mr. Snuggles


Drinks a man should never order…

Thanks to feministing.com for linking to a post from Sociological Images about alcoholic drinks that men should never order. I’m glad that I found this post because on the infrequent occasion that I order a drink, I’ve apparently been doing it all wrong. I’ve been ordering drinks that I think taste good and that I enjoy. I’m used to talking about subtle, covert gender policing and sexism, so I am not really sure what commentary I can add to these rules.

See the slideshow below for one random guy who used to own a bar and his opinion about drinks men should never order. Thanks WPLG Miami for covering this hard hitting piece of news and providing me with something to mock this afternoon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


You know what, I do have some commentary to add because these rules are incomplete and confusing. Click the link to see how I clarify this mess.

Continue reading


How to tell people they sound racist

If you’ve never heard of Jay Smooth, I think you should start with his clip How to tell people they sound racist. Jay has released some incredible clips on everything from Roman Polanski to the phrase no homo. Check out his YouTube channel here. You can check out a recent interview with Jay on Feminsting.com called The Feministing Five: Jay Smooth.

Last week, I facilitated two, 2-hour long discussions with some groups of first year students starting at our university this fall. We watched and discussed five video clips about diversity. The point of the exercise was to identify personal assumptions, biases, and reactions to these issues and discuss potential responses when the language, behavior, or stereotypes are encountered. We had great discussions and based on my experience with these two groups, it looks like we are welcoming some bright, active and vocal activists into our first year class.

Like any discussion of inappropriate, offensive, harmful, or potentially violent behaviors and language, the question that all bystanders ask got asked “Yeah, but what can I say/do?” For that reason, I included one of Jay’s videos below. I know all comments, behaviors and situations do not deal with race and ethnicity. However, the content of the clip below is a great place to start. The central message of the clip is to address and discuss the actual behavior or language used. If you start by making assumptions or inferences about who they are as a person, you set up a situation where they make be able to deny accountability for their actions. I love his thief analogy at the end!


Challenge or clarify offensive language!

I’m not encouraging you to out or label your friendly neighborhood dorks. (However, I imagine that anyone engaged in a public debate about the superiority of LOTR versus Harry Potter, while in full costume, would probably proudly endorse that label.) I am encouraging you to challenge or clarify the incorrect, offensive and often confusing use of words like fag, gay, whore, rape, pussy, etc. These words are often used to police gender, sexual activity and sexual orientation behaviors. My experience intervening has taught me that the minority of people are intentionally malicious. Most use these words automatically, without questioning the intent, meaning or impact. If people are truly unaware about the impact of their words and behaviors on those around them, it may take an intervention to create change. If they are malicious, your intervention may not change their behavior, but it teaches them that they do not speak for you or your community.

Has anyone had any particular successes or barriers to challenging offensive language? Do you want more resources or examples about how to intervene? MAC presents an entire workshop about bystander interventions if you need any resources.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 59 other followers