Reestablishing Masculinity

By Anthony Gallucci, Naropa MA Religious Studies Student & Sustainability Co-Chair

In the 21st century United States, the rise of the #metoo and the #blackwomynlivesmatter movements have revitalized the discussions, and need for actions, concerning abolishing gender hierarchy, discrimination and inequity. One aspect to the perpetuation of gender discrimination is the conditioning and perpetuating of toxic attributes to the identity of masculine. The gender duality under which we, in the United States, are currently conditioned is often isolated within the gender spectrums of cisgender womyn-to-cisgender male and transgender womyn-to-transgender male.

Concurrently, there are a plethora of attributes (virtuous and non-virtuous) associated with gender identities which are independent of one’s individual ethos, karma/actions, morality or the ethics of one’s cultural/societal conditioning or acculturation within a specific perceived gender identity grouping (context). In the U.S., there exists an unearned and illogical power-position hierarchy which places the cisgender male, and therefore masculine identity, at the top. The gender character-based caste system perpetuates inequity, bias and bigotry regarding gender identity and the character attributed to varying gender expressions.

To counter the conditioned misogyny inherent to patriarchy, Naropa University students have taken the baton and are engaged in the poignant effort to reestablish masculinity. The Naropa University student event/phase series “Reestablishing Masculinity” is offered throughout the Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 semesters. The phases serve to provide a space to evolve the discussions regarding toxic masculinity into restorative behaviors and actions. Everyone is welcome, and the onus of reestablishing masculinity will never be pushed onto people whom do not identify as masculine. To the contrary, those whom identify as masculine are encouraged to work from that position to create and actualize methods for disengaging oneself from an unearned power position (cisgender male) and make effort towards holistic embodiment of the virtuous qualities of masculinity (discipline, compassion, courage, nurturing, leadership, etc.).

At Naropa University, the intention behind the movement to reestablish masculine qualities is to ultimately dismantle the gender hierarchy by eventually re-actualizing masculinity as a non-restrictive, non-oppressive and virtuous gender-based identity. Naropa students view this necessary effort as poignant, brave and fore-sighted. We look forward to your engagement.

Naropa students are encouraged to come Wednesday, March 20th 1:30-3pm/ Center for Culture, Identity & Social Justice for the first workshop. Please email anthony.galluci@naropa.edu for more information.

One thought

  1. Hi Anthony.
    This is also Anthony!
    I am reading a book about the history of Beat Generation works which mentioned the founding of Naropa. I looked up the school and stumbled on information about your project dealing with masculinity. I’d love to discuss ideas of non-toxic masculinity with you.

    I’m 61 and have had quite a journey in this regard. Though I have same-sex attraction, I have been in a heterosexual marriage for over 25 years. I am raising 3 young men–22, 17, and 15; one biological, two adopted; each with specific challenges–autism spectrum, 22q deletion, hearing impairment, severe PTSD.

    I’m very interested in discussing power structures and how men (and women) wield power in nurturing verses oppressive ways.

    I graduated from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY with a BA in Music in 1979. In 2004 and 2006 I obtained 2 Master’s degrees–one in Childhood Ed and the 2nd in Special Ed. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to break through the power stuctures in the public school systems in Central New York State (I live in the Syracuse area) to get a permanent teaching position in an elementary school. They clearly favor young women who don’t have a lot of life experience (and who, sadly, will be easier to “manage” than independent critical-thinking people who have a lot of life experience!). I have seen this scenario play out again and again with several peers.

    Currently I hold a position providing Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services at Helio Health, an agency in New York State that assists people who have mental health and substance abuse issues.

    I hope we can have some kind of discussion that might enrich us both, and possibly the students you work with. I’ve been interested in the subjects of authentic masculinity and compssionate stewardship and sharing of power for a long, long time!!!

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Sincerely,
    Anthony Morano
    Clay, NY (12 miles North of Downtown Syracuse)

    (I tried to send this to you from Yahoo Mail on my Android phone, but it bounced back.)

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