Conversations on Masculinity - what we heard

Men’s Talk, Sept 12 & 19

Men’s Talk, Sept 12 & 19

The Men’s Talk conversations on our collective perspectives, beliefs and experiences with Masculinity, Sept 12 and 19, lead to some deep sharing and reflections by everyone who attended. Below are some questions and ideas discussed.

1.    What is your first recollection or memory of what masculinity should mean?

Men said:

  • Big hands, wife wears an apron

  • Violent play fighting, expectations of manliness represented through violent (bordering abusive) physical contact with each other

  • Trolling, intense verbal banter

  • Deep voice, need to have a voice to get people's attention.

  • Men don’t cry, boys don’t cry

  • Dad worked hard (often late), Mom came home early,

  • Father often absent from the home

Women said:

  • Memories of my brother with 2 younger sisters and how he tried to protect us but was not sure about his own needs

  • My father, with a minor physical disability, never showed pain or vulnerability as it was “prohibited”

  • Boys could be careless, sit however he feels

    ○       More rules for girls, spoken & unspoken

  • Most memories of masculinity are from family, seeing how differently women are treated, especially by someone by someone close

2. What about race, culture, experience of discrimination, affect some men’s and women’s experience with masculinity differently?

Response included:

  • Due to background & level of privilege determines how much a woman needs to navigate as women from racialized minorities will have much less privileged than women from the dominant culture.

  • Walking home in the dark is frightening

  • The level of privilege you have lowers or increases the risk of men hurting you

    ○       Racialized minorities have increased risk of not just being assaulted, physically/sexually, but also a higher risk of being forgotten

    ■       E.g. Missing and murdered indigenous women

  • Culture influences interpretation of events, for some men approaching at night, means imminent rape

  • Increased conviction rates for racialized minorities as well as wrongful convictions

    ○       Media coverage has the power to influence how we think and judge people

    ○       Race and cultural background can determine if you’ll be convicted or not

  • Discussion around ‘women as buyers, men as suppliers’ and how it appears that much of our advertising is targeted to women. Products are created and supplied by men. This also led to a discussion of how one female participant said she feels like she navigates in her thought processing, whereas the men said they are constantly bargaining with ourselves. Interesting the choice of words used by some men and women.

The next Men’s Talk is Oct 17, 6:45pm - 9pm, at the Wise Rose Brewery, were more Calgarians will come together to carry on the conversation focusing on how our different perspectives, experiences, backgrounds influence how the manifestation of masculinity impacts our lives differently.

AMN Coordinator