A Focus on Masculinity

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“Men are suffering,” Dr. John Izzo, co-founder of The Men’s Initiative, said in his keynote speech at the 2017 Men and Masculinity Summit. “Young men are suffering all over the world. If you look you’ll see that young men are disproportionately lost compared to young women . . . women have higher graduation rates than young men.” John went on to applaud the progress we have made with women, and acknowledged that there is still more work to do with them. He also encouraged us to look at what is happening with men, for in lifting up the young girls, we’ve allowed our young boys to fall behind.

How men see themselves and express their masculinity is changing in our society. Some of those changes are both profound and disturbing. Men face increased suicide rates*, feelings of isolation**, loneliness, and depression. Fewer men graduate from college*** and suffer from a lack of purpose. With the deterioration of the primary family, many of our children are growing up fatherless and live with the societal view of the dumb and useless dad or an absent dad. Though not a new perspective, the view that men are abusers of power, toxic, and take unfair advantage of others, dominates the news today––thanks to recent events.

The view that men should “man up” or “grow a pair”, which many men subscribe to, essentially has them suffer in silence so as not to risk being seen as weak, and not carrying their own weight. This view causes men to turn inward.

In this environment, men fall into two camps: some men are asking questions of themselves;  while others drift in the societal tide, keeping their heads down and hoping to survive. So, what is masculinity? What does masculinity mean to men? to women? How can a man express his masculinity, be a successful male personally and professionally, and a powerful contributor to his community, and society? At best, his journey to find his self expression and true self is an uphill climb.

Men and Masculinity is dedicated to taking a deeper look at these topics to understand our stereotypes and inherited beliefs. Our goal is to engage in conversations with organizations, experts, spouses, partners, children, friends, and coworkers. To shine a light on these topics and work together to make positive changes with ourselves, our families, and communities.

Imagine making a change this year that would continue the progress we’ve made with our girls and turn around the issues with our boys.

At the 2018 Men’s and Women’s Summit on Masculinity, learn what you can do to help our boys and young men have a brighter future.

This year Men and Masculinity is focusing on our boys and their struggles.

  • Boy’s education is on the decline. Our boys will have less education than their fathers for the first time in US history.
  • Boys are lacking a sense of purpose and staying at home longer.
  • Boys have increased mental health issues. Higher suicide rates and school shootings are common now. Many of the recent school shooters come from father-deprived homes****.

Dr. Warren Farrell, who co-authored “The Boy Crisis” with John Gray, author of the Mars and Venus books, says many factors contribute to why our boys are struggling, families with absent dads is just one reason. In the upcoming 2018 Men’s and Women’s Summit on Masculinity this November in Toronto, he will delve into the reasons behind “The Boy Crisis” and what can be done to help our boys. Dr. Farrell has written many books from his research on men’s and women’s issues, created men’s teams, and is the current Chair of the Commission to Create a White House Council on Boys to Men.

On the weekend of International Men’s Day, November 17th and 18th, Men and Masculinity is planning two events, a Leadership Forum on Masculinity where Dr. Warren Farrell will train our leaders on crisis with our boys, and The Men’s and Women’s Summit on Masculinity event with 7 speakers the following day.

For more information on these events, please visit https://www.menandmasculinity.com/

Lee Rosen

Program Lead – Men and Masculinity

Notes:
*Men die by suicide 3.53x more often than women from the American Foundation for suicide prevention.
** Boston Globe on isolation – Boston Globe Isolation
***Male Female graduation rates –  https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/11/gender-education-gap/546677/
*** Gender Gap – https://www.fatherly.com/news/data-women-attending-college-more-than-men/
**** Dr Warren Farrell on school shooters – https://youtu.be/hnQ5cjg-Bo8
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