Preparation PhD – Asteroid Relief >>

EPISODE #86

AIRED: 08-17-2018

Our beautiful, brave Wife/Sister/Mum/Aunty/Grandma/friend Kay has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer that has now spread to he spine, shoulder, ribs and right femur. She has been in Nottingham City hospital since 11th July and has been given radiotherapy and undergone an operation to pin her right femur. Now Kay is able to be upright with the support of a neck brace and a back brace and is looking forward to going home. But to be able to get in and out of her home and into the garden, we need to create a new set of steps and a handrail and a variety of other mobile aids she will need that are not provided by the NHS. We need your help to fund this project and give Kay some independence and mobility back. Please help by giving as much as you can afford. Thank you!

Message from Kay: “Thank you so much everyone for your love and support, I am amazed and humbled at the level of response, but truly grateful xxxxx”

TOXIC MASCULINITY
“If you take a cursory look around, it seems like manhood is being redefined. The push could be in response to the abuses revealed by the #MeToo movement, or perhaps it’s a reaction to our “Pussy Grabber in Chief,” or maybe it’s just that millennials don’t want to be like their parents. Either way, what we’re seeing right now is a lot deeper than rappers wearing skirts or bros embracing skincare. In many corners of culture, there are substantive conversations going on about what it means to be a man—ethically and morally—and how decent people can divest themselves from the aspects of manhood they disagree with.

These conversations often grapple with “toxic masculinity,” a slippery term that has evolved a bit since it was first introduced by the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement of the 80s. These days, the phrase has been embraced by fourth wave feminists and allies like The Good Men Project, who define it as a, “narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status, and aggression.” This unhealthy form of masculinity has been cited as the reason for everything noxious, from school shootings and climate change to racism and bullying.

Conservative critics of the term bemoan its use because they believe it unfairly implicates all men and worry that those who use it are waging a subversive war on masculinity as a whole. Of course, most think-piece writers, activists, and academics who employ toxic masculinity go out of their way to clarify that their intention is not to castigate all representations of manhood—just to reform the bad, Trump-y parts. As Salon’s Amanda Marcotte pointed out, “The modifier ‘toxic’ inherently suggests that there are forms of masculinity that are not toxic.”

So, I was surprised and intrigued when I came across the powerful ideas of John Stoltenberg, whose theories kind of epitomize the fears of paranoid conservatives and undercut the more tepid critiques of machismo made by my fellow SJWs. In the past, the prominent feminist scholar has openly equated the idea of “healthy masculinity” with the oxymoron of “healthy cancer.” This is because he sees manhood as an identity built entirely out of oppression. He contends that the parts of manhood that we view as non-toxic don’t actually have a designated gender—and describing these actions or qualities as masculine just reflects our disdain for women. His emotive 1993 book The End of Manhood highlights his personal struggles trying to live up to the restrictive norms of manhood while guiding readers on how to drop the mask of manhood so that we can be free to give and receive love.

Stoltenberg was married to Andrea Dworkin, the deceased radical feminist whose polemic writing on patriarchy advanced incendiary and thought-provoking ideas that forced people to see oppression in places they often ignore. So it makes sense that his concepts on manhood would be pretty provocative. But having read his work, I was surprised by how much I related to his ideas and saw myself in his analysis. From the street and the workplace to the bedroom and the kitchen table, he always manages to find the persistent and pernicious dichotomy at the core of manhood that causes us to hurt others and ourselves.

Though John’s been talking about rejecting the entire construct of manhood for decades, his work seems especially relevant and radical right now. So I called him up to get more insight into his theories, the current dialogue around toxic masculinity, and what it’s like to live without the mask of manhood.”

website: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/getkayjoneshome

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