Men's Studies Association: 16th Annual Meeting

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2004 – San Francisco, CA

The Possibility of Men as Peacemakers:  Overcoming Men's Fears

Mike Whitty, Ph.D., University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI

ABSTRACT - Only when men can let go of fear will there be a real basis for world peace and personal healing.  This process of healing men's woundshas a political dimension. Once men embrace a new, healthy and profeminist worldview there will be a real possibility that men can become peacemakers.  Among the many peacemaking projects of socially conscious men are the ending of homophobia, sexism, racism, nationalism and the creed of greed.  Men's Studies plays an important role in this awakening.

 

Heteronormativity and the Politics of the Writing Subject:  Embodying Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443), Medieval Japanese Playwright and Performer

Joe Parker, Ph.D., Pitzer College, Claremont, CA

ABSTRACT - The paper takes a look at the reasons for the systematic erasure of same-sex sexuality in the life and works of the mediveal Japanese playwright, literary theorist, and stage performer, Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443). While Zeami's youthful sexual affairs with the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and the former regent Nijo Yoshimoto are well-known, cultural historians have not explored what this work suggests for understanding his literary, theoretical, and cultural work. The main focus of the paper is on the political stakes in the social conditions of our own day that make this erasure possible, and what general conclusions may be drawn regarding masculinity, sexuality, and our own embodied erformances.

Unraveling the Gender Knot: Tools for Social Change

Barbara Schonborn, Ph.D, Unitarian Universalist Women & Religion. Day Tait, Unitarian Universalist Women & Religion-Pacific Central District. Suzanne Crothers, Unitarian Universalist Women & Religion-Pacific Central District. Neal Crothers, Planning Committee of North Coast (California) Men's Gathering

ABSTRACT - You will learn about a new course of seven two-hour sessions for adult and teenage women and men. Course materials will be shown, and brochures distributed. Course participants learn that: We are not responsible for our inherited patriarchal system; we participate in it. Paths of least resistance are easy to take and hard to recognize. We can change our attitudes and behaviors, and can influence others.

The Paradox of Fatherhood Work: Exploring the Challenges of Dads Who Work With Dads

Douglas M. Gertner, Ph.D., Emu Consulting, Denver, CO.

ABSTRACT - Fatherhood work encompasses a wide range of programs and services aimed at supporting and assisting fathers to be actively and responsibly involved in the lives of their children.  Professionals who serve in fatherhood jobs have unique knowledge, skills, experience and expertise about the role of fathers, their needs, and the many challenges faced by dads today.  Conventional wisdom suggests that men are often best able to fill positions working with fathers; indeed, a desire for more men to enter the field of early childhood education and fatherhood work has been expressed widely.  And as more programs exist, and more men enter into work with fathers, more and more of these professionals are themselves fathers, thus creating a paradox with several unique challenges for these dads working with dads.  Using survey results from a pilot study of fathers who do fatherhood work, this session explores the following hypotheses regarding the paradox of fatherhood work and specific challenges, including:
Fatherhood practitioners may find that they put additional pressure on themselves to be active with their families because they know the importance of involved fathers and the liabilities of father absence; Fatherhood workers may get more pressure from their partners to take an equal role in all aspects of family and domestic life, as mom is aware that dad promotes shared parenting in his work with fathers and families; Fatherhood practitioners may feel additional pressure in their communities to be active and model involved fathering, such as being expected to volunteer at their child’s school, as a coach, etc.;Fatherhood practitioners may find it especially difficult to balance work and family life, as they are pulled by both the demands of their job and of their family; Fatherhood practitioners can be held to higher standards and watched more closely as a parent with the assumption that their commitment to promoting involved fatherhood is enough to make them an exemplary parent in every way; Even though highly committed to their work with fathers, because these jobs are often lower paying, fatherhood workers may have to choose to pursue other types of employment, and may struggle with the decision between money and passion.

Loving Men in a Patriarchal Culture to Obtain Change

Edward Read Barton, Ph.D., Michigan State University

ABSTRACT - Do men have the will to change? Men are more likely to change if they are loved as men with all their faults and inculcated patriarchal values, which are often unconsciously instilled, by mothers and fathers, extended family, school, community, work, and the media. It is posited that loving men, as opposed to shaming men, is the first step in assisting men, working with men, in transforming men into a more feminist, pro-feminist, holistically healthy life style and relationships.