A group of Calgary males shared a sensitive and emotional night Sept. 12, talking about masculinity in today’s society.
A Men’s Talk Conversation was held by members of the Alberta Men’s Network, at the Wild Rose Brewery.
The Alberta Men’s Network was formed collaboratively with the community-based Alberta Men’s Survey (AMS).
The AMS was created with more than 70 men and women and over 18 organizations, for the purpose of enhancing men’s roles in violence prevention.
Facilitators, Will Tabak, Maimuna Khan, and Abbas Mancey hosted the Men’s Talk Conversation.
Masculinity does not have a specific definition said Mancey. “…It is something that is not static over time when you grow older.”
Tabak, Khan and Mancey’s goals are to work with men in six key areas: Self-development, support, role modelling, education, outreach, and promotion.
As the night went along, there was an activity called Gender Box, in which people list stereotypes of men and women.
Rob Marshall, 37, who is a social worker, said “I think the stereotypes of men in today’s society are that they ignore feelings, provide for the family, and have a tough, physical aura.”
“Having a high self-esteem, physical traits, and being a womanizer are stereotypes for men.” said Michael Eagle Speaker.
In today’s society, being a white man is seen as the norm in areas like a workplace, the participants found. When a white man steps in or shows up, they are seen as having authority in that setting.
The list eventually went on to stereotypes of women in today’s society and Khan, one of the facilitators said, “Stereotypes of a woman include physical features, being emotional, being submissive and a pleaser and most importantly, not being as capable as men.”
Ari Chan, 32, a local musician, said men have have influenced the culture of today’s society as well as the way women are perceived.
“It’s a two-way street too, because without women, men would not be how they are shaped today,” Chan said.
Masculinity should be as linear as femininity. – Regie Perona
The lack of brawn and toughness is deemed to be weakness, and delicacy is effeminate which is the perverted truth trumpeted to feed the ego of the one who believes in it.
“The term masculinity should not be misconstrued as the one who has muscles the most, as anatomically men and women have the muscles essentially to live. Masculinity should be as linear as femininity,” said Regie Perona, 53, who works at the South Health Campus as a lab assistant.
The event was closed with Tabak making a bold statement saying, “Regardless of race and culture, the word masculinity can be very subjective as it can vary across cultural and historical eras.”