Man in Box

Man in Box

Friday, May 18, 2007

For Nodin upon his 13th birthday: a wish for a different sort of manhood

For Nodin upon his 13th birthday
by Vivian Todini

As you move into manhood...

May your courage be in your words and deeds.

May you keep yourself and others whom you love safe.

May your trust be grounded in instinct and self-respect.

May your fierceness be toward injustice.

May your power be strengthened by sharing it with others.

May diplomacy and thoughtful action be your sword.

May your bravery be bold yet not misguided.

May you judge neither yourself nor others harshly.

May patience and gentleness have room in your life.

May you nourish your spirit with song, art and laughter.

May you feed your intellect with curiosity and experiment.

May you embrace your fears with compassion and valor.

May the child within you always be heard.

May your passion always have voice.

May your soul receive the gifts of your passion.

May hope and vision lift the heaviness that sometimes calls.

May you love deeply, honestly and with respect.

May you hold a vision of peace for yourself and the world.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Normal Traumatization of Boys

Terrance Real describes the indoctrination of boys into patriarchal thinking:
When I first began looking at gender issues, I believed that violence was a by-product of boyhood socialization. But after listening more closely to men and their families, I have come to believe that violence is boyhood socialization. The way we "turn boys into men" is through injury: We sever them from their mothers, research tells us, far too early. We pull them away from their own expressiveness, from their feelings, from sensitivity to others. The very phrase "Be a man" means suck it up and keep going. Disconnection is not fallout from traditional masculinity. Disconnection is masculinity.

quoted in "The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love" by bell hooks, page 60.