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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.