A blog for men fed up with gender norms

Because we get angry about it too

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[/caw]: Response to Christie Blatchford's "Toronto: City of Sissies"


Columnist for Canada’s National Post Christie Blatchford recently wrote an article entitled “Toronto: City of Sissies” on the concept of masculinity and the role of men in modern Toronto. I took issue with her comments and wrote her a personal response, which I reproduce here. Click here to read the original article


Ms. Blatchford,

It was with a mixture of sadness, anger, and fear that I read your recent article, “Toronto: City of Sissies.” Sadness that you would devalue and demonize self-expression, cognizance of emotions, and empathy from my gender, opting instead to promote the masculine role that has caused so many of society’s ills and has done great harm to countless numbers of men worldwide. Anger that you would put so little stock in self-determination, only accepting your own narrow view of what makes a man as valid. And finally, fear that others reading your column would take you seriously, further hindering efforts of men to break free of such restrictive roles and recognize themselves as wholly human, not some incomplete half of a being.

Men in Western society have traditionally been taught from a very young age to act in ways that run contrary to common sense: to use violence to solve their problems over negotiation and compromise, to repress their emotions until they reach a level of internal turmoil that can only be released in violent and horrific manners, and to treat women as inferior, helpless creatures that require a male figure to be “complete.” (Not to mention the encouragement of viewing women as sex objects, leading to atrocities such as domestic abuse and rape.)

As society enters the twenty-first century and feminism reaches its maturity, we have been granted the opportunity to look within ourselves, reexamine the role of gender in our society and lives, and act on that knowledge to better both ourselves and our society at large. What we have found specifically regarding men has not been wholly positive.

Encouraging traditional masculinity (i.e. not being a “sissy” and not expressing emotional distress or physical affection) limits male self-determination. If a man is never allowed to determine for himself who he is and how he fits into society, he becomes broken, repressed, and unhappy. If a man wishes to express his emotions (a very healthy act to anyone with the slightest concept of psychology) he should be allowed to do so. If a man wishes to embrace his feminine traits and pursuits, no matter what they may be, there should be nothing standing in his way to becoming a complete person. When this man encounters regressive dogma such as your own commanding him to repress himself to fit those traditional gender roles, it creates such cognitive dissonance in him as to cause psychological harm. That is where so many social ills for the male gender come from.

The issue I take with the opinions you’ve expressed in your article aren’t simply a matter of disagreement, whinging, or political correctness. What you say is directly harmful to my gender’s progress. In the year 2011, a man should be allowed to be who he wants to be, regardless of dogma, tradition, or the backwards opinions of a newspaper columnist. You have no right to tell a man (or any other person, for that matter) how he should act and who he should be. That is his right and his right alone.

I sincerely hope that you reconsider your stance on masculinity before penning any more articles on the subject. Your ideals are regressive, archaic, and harmful to the male gender, and are not fit to be printed in such a respectable paper as the National Post. Please learn more about men, masculinity, and gender roles before you do any more harm to my gender.

Kristofer Garrand
Brooklyn, NY

(via clupster)

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The Beauty of Masculinity - Artist Sophia Wallace


Artist Statement

I believe that pictures hold power. Images establish normativity in race, gender and sexuality with such pervasive and ubiquitous effect, that they take on the quality of white noise. I work in photography for it’s inherent tension between truth and fiction which allows me to construct, critique and document at the same time. Two primary instincts drive my artistic practice. The first is to disrupt the ways in which gender, race and sexuality are constructed and depicted in dominant visual culture. Secondly, my work intervenes in the history of absence of the marginal subject through pictures that function as art and evidence. I merge fashion, documentary and narrative approaches as a strategy to upend unconscious prejudice on the part of the viewer. For example, ‘otherness’ is often depicted in a documentary modality or not at all, while normative subjects are elevated through the lighting, styling and production of fashion and commercial portraiture approaches. Breaking these conventions allows me to reveal unstated institutionalized, visual hierarchies. I exhibit my work in two primary contexts: contemporary art settings and online where I engage with audiences whose narratives are similarly absent from normative discourses and whose participation in traditional art spaces may be limited.

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rosalui asked: Just wanted to say that I'm a chick, and I absolutely love the existence of this blog. Love love LOVE.

awww, thank you!!!!!!! I’ll post more soon, I promise!!