men, masculinities and gender politics



Listen to me, damn you! (Why men’s pain so often goes unheard.)

The other day I listened to a radio documentary that featured an adult man who, as a 14 year-old boy, had gotten his teenage girlfriend pregnant. She subsequently gave birth to twins who were then adopted out, and he lost all contact with them. One of the themes that the producers of the show wanted to explore was the painful road that many teenage fathers must travel.

When it comes to keeping children safe, cutting corners doesn’t cut it.

Want to ensure that your child never encounters a pedophile?

Hey, guys, want the job? Then drop the hyper-masculine bullshit.

My partner and I recently bought a house that is over 120 years old. Among the “joys” of getting a home that age included the need (according to the insurance company) to have the whole place rewired top to bottom. While I am pretty handy, there is a fair amount of home renov

If I lose, you die! (On the connection between male entitlement and mass shootings.)

In the aftermath of the horrific mass shootings in the movie theater in Colorado and in the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, there have been a lot of calls in the United States to further limit access to guns. What there has been little discussion about, however, is the need to also change the way that we raise boys.

In praise of feminist activists: Leaving things better than they found them.

My partner and I have a cottage that sits on a lake about 60 miles outside of town.  We love to spend time there with our little one.  But once a year we lend the cottage to members of a local feminist collective that works to end rape and to provide supportive services to survivors of sexual assault.  The organization holds an annual retreat out at the lake house.

What’s your problem, lady? Can’t you see that I’m no rapist?

The other day I was doing a rather unpleasant home remodeling project. Tired of the heat, tired of the noise, and tired of the dust, I burst out of my front door, out into the fresh air, out into the bright sunshine.

Shades of Grey, Bits of Magic? (On women’s increasingly bold embrace of sexuality.)

This past year has seen the emergence of some extremely popular sexual material aimed directly at heterosexual women consumers.And the stuff has spread like wildfire.I am referring here of course to the best-selling“s&m lite” book (and soon to be film) Fifty Shades of Grey and to the immensely-successful movie about male strippers, “Magic Mike.”

Daniel Tosh telling rape “jokes” isn’t funny. (But it is a way to keep women in their place.)

This past week the internet has been ablaze about “comedian” Daniel Tosh’s reaction to having been called out while on stage by a female audience member who was offended by his repeated claims that rape “jokes” are funny.

She called out:

“Actually, rape jokes are never funny!”

And what was Daniel Tosh’s response?

Guys, we need to be talking to our daughters about sex. (But what the heck do we say?)

I can think of few things that I dread more than a trip to the dentist. When I was a child, my family butcher – er, I mean dentist – didn’t much believe in Novocain. His drill + lack of painkiller = agony. Even to this day the idea of a trip to the dentist fills me with dread.

(In)security. When “protect and serve” doesn’t apply to women.

[Possible trigger warning: discussion of rape and murder of women.]
The other day I was walking through a shopping mall and overheard a male security guard talking to a female store manager.  The two clearly knew each other.