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.
One of the first things I hear when I tell people the work we do with anti-violence and masculinity is “Are you in the schools? We need to get them young.” When I mention working in the high schools, most respond with “I think we should start earlier than that. The younger the better.” I agree that encouraging flexible gender role behaviors and providing healthy mentoring should occur during childhood. However, I have never once had anyone ask “Are you involved with the Senior Center? The older the better. It’s never too late.”
I stumbled across an interesting discussion about masculinity and old men in an article called Neighborhood Guys and Manhood. It was published in Living Out East and on the Bay, an online magazine for senior citizens living in Florida!
Picture five guys ranging in age from 50-75 sitting around drinking coffee. What do you expect them to be talking about? Stuff like “Kids these days” “Back in my day” and maybe the occasional “whippersnapper” tossed in to complete the tired stereotype? How about I don’t mind admitting I’m confused about the current state of manhood?
The author, George Schofield, provides a glimpse into a discussion that took place in his kitchen with a couple of guys from the neighborhood. It was about how the definitions of masculinity are judged by these men against past traditions. Naturally, some of the men have changed with age and others have become more resolute in their definitions of manhood. Click Read More to read some quotes from the article as well as current research regarding masculinity and old men.