Feminism | Posted by Jonathan Kalin on 09/1/2015

What Justin Bieber’s VMA Performance Can Teach Us About Modern Masculinity

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

At the end of his VMA performance on Sunday night, Justin Bieber began to cry. This image has already launched debates about his motivations and as someone who has spent the past 4 years immersed in a movement to end men’s violence against women by critically examining the destructive way men are socialized and the unhealthy standard of masculinity they’re trained to embody, I was fascinated by this moment. But the focus on what was essentially a few seconds of his performance overlooks the many other ways Bieber’s entire performance of his new single “What Do You Mean?” encapsulates the current experience of young heterosexual men in America in a largely unprecedented way.

First, Bieber models a complex attention to consent. I have spent the past

More >

Creative, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/25/2014

Saturday Vids: Ten Responses to the Phrase ‘Man Up’

Thanks so much to reader Monique for submitting this fantastic video of spoken-word poet Guante describing ten ways to respond to the phrase “Man Up.”

More >

Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/19/2013

Why Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Tootsie’ Confession Is More Than A Personal Epiphany

Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie

A clip of Dustin Huffman’s emotionally charged recounting of a decades-ago epiphany that cross-dressing for his role in ‘Tootsie’ forced him to recognize how men are brainwashed to value women based on their beauty above all else recently inspired rampant, viral support. Some intrepid voices, however, were thoroughly unimpressed. Mansi Kathuria of Feminspire.com wrote, “Yesterday, I was cat-called on the streets of Chicago three times within a couple of hours, and Hillary Clinton’s new haircut made several news articles. Meanwhile, millions of people continued to share and watch a video of Dustin Hoffman realizing that society has taught him to value women only for their physical appearance.” Tyler Coates of Flavorwire mused, “isn’t there something a little uncomfortable in the notion that it takes being transformed …

More >

Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Hudson Taylor on 08/11/2012

Saturday Vids: Time To Evolve

Learn more about Hudson Taylor’s organization, Athlete Ally, which is “a resource to encourage athletes, coaches, parents, fans and other members of the sports community to respect all individuals involved in sports, regardless of perceived or actual sexual-orientation or gender identity or expression.”

More >

Feminism | Posted by Bryan N on 07/9/2012

The Role Of Men In The Fight Against Sexism

There has been something I have been wanting to get off my chest for a while. As a man active in the fight against sexism in every form, I find myself looking back to my days in high school, middle school, and sometimes even elementary school. I think about how men are programmed constantly by society from a very young age.

Growing up as a teenage boy, I entered the sadly common environment where sexism prescribes that we prove our masculinity through violent behavior. Even in elementary school I would feel quite marginalized by my male peers who were into sports and being “tough.” As we got into the 5th and 6th grades “jokes” about women became more common, and disgusting things were said. l preferred the arts and writing …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Emma on 12/21/2011

Pride and Prejudice: A Firsthand Account of Literary Sexism

Books: not for guys, apparently

Books: not for guys, apparently

Flashback: It is the first week of 11th Grade. Having gone to the same school since kindergarten, I have no need for first day back-jitters or thinking what to wear to impress my peers. I wear what I like and that usually ends up being some lurid mod dress I bought at a thrift store because I enjoy wearing happy clothes when I seem endlessly angsty.

There is a new kid in our grade. Let’s call him Andrew. I do not make any effort to talk to him because, honestly, I generally don’t talk to people outside of the small set of friends that I already have. Perhaps this is due to my aspirations as a fashion journalist or the fact that growing up an …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Alec A on 03/9/2011

From the Paris of the Middle East to Bacha Posh

Mehran Rafaat (in white) is a bacha posh

Mehran Rafaat (in white) is a bacha posh

Afghanistan has had a rough time in recent history. The sudden transformation from fashionable escape for the West to war-torn warlord-ruled landscape to complete Taliban control (and now it seems that the whole place is more or less up for grabs as the current government’s complicity with the Taliban has been revealed) has been something shocking to look at independently of any time period before or after a given moment, or in a historical panorama of the past century.

Kabul was once named the “Paris of the Middle East.” The high society women were very well integrated into European society and many took on French as a second language in an aristocratic gesture to their high-brow city’s namesake.

But the times have …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Alec A on 02/10/2011

The Future West Point Cadet and Military Axe Grinding

what does it mean to be a soldier

what does it mean to be a soldier

Not a single female was to be found in my first semester history course.

Our class discussed this curious state of affairs extensively, and it was decided after much deliberation that another history course offered during the same block – Gender, Culture, and Power – had absorbed any females interested in learning about current affairs in the Middle East and Central Asia course. Do women find hardcore politics unappealing? I think that would be a gross generalization, but the better question is: Do men find gender studies emasculating?

In any case, one morning, my favorite history teacher who taught the class, started a conversation about the military. As was her style, she often began the day with some relaxing banter before pulling …

More >