My father (Menachem) Imanuel Marx died Friday, November 13, 1964, when I was 13 years old. My mother woke my brother and I up with the news early that morning. We went to the hospital and saw him for the last time.
I didn’t cry then. Daniel and I went to school that day. I didn’t tell anyone. Two days later at the funeral, I was still being “a man” (i.e. not crying). Until I was in my second men’s group around age 31, I didn’t allow myself to cry. I rationalized this by saying to myself: “How does x compare with the death of my father?”.
I am self-identified as a Jewish man. Growing up that meant being intellectual and not emotional. Our Sabbath dinner was the only time in the week, when we couldn’t read at the table. While I was “schooled” on feelings through my men’s work (, most significantly through helping co-found Men Stopping Rape, Inc. in 1983), it was only several months ago that I was able to first feel extreme anger towards my (late) mother for her totally unforgivable physical abuse of my son when he was a child.
Masculinity is an issue that we men often ignore. Through my early men’s work, I learned to be aware when walking in the dark on deserted streets. I started to notice women (or people I thought might be women) coming towards me, and began crossing the street to avoid needlessly scaring some of them.
There are layers of “maleness”. When reading my young son books, I used to change the numerous “he’s” to “she”. When marrying my first wife, I convinced her to keep her “maiden name” (sic). When we decided to try to have a child, we needed to decide what last name(s) s/he should have. Ben has his mother’s last name both so that her family name carries on and because it was the best alternative we could agree upon. I don’t know anyone else who has chosen similarly!
I am ashamed that when I ran competitively in the early 1980’s, I was proud of consistently finishing ahead of the first female runner. Why does the man “need” to be taller than his female partner? Why does the man need to be older than his female partner? Why does the man need to make more money than his female partner? While I’m taller than both of my wives, I’ve been on both sides of the age and earning side in my two marriages.
Being solely emotionally dependent upon women has been an issue I’ve faced for most of my life. For me it has been leaning upon primary relationship partners and not having any real friends. I feel fortunate that I’m finally beginning to develop meaningful friendships with men. Though I have a long way to go, I am confident that I’m moving forward today.
In closing I would like to suggest a few organizations and other resources that have been a great help to me. Organizing White Men for Collective Liberation (OWMCL) is an important new organization which I hope will prove successful in helping us deal with racism, sexism, heterosexism, and classism at a minimum. Voice Male Magazine is a wonderful resource for men related to sexism as well as other isms. Victories is a wonderful Chicago Area organization helping local men connect with their hearts. As a newbie, I am trying to help it become more diverse (Men of Color, Gay/Bi/Trans,Class) and it will do much better in the coming years. MenEngage Alliance is an international organization helping to build worldwide gender equality reaching men and boys. Pro-Feminist FAQS is an excellent effort at summarizing Pro-Feminist efforts in the U.S. Several men worth noting (more could easily be added) include: John Stoltenberg , Steven Botkin, Byron Hurt, Michael Flood and Jackson Katz.
Outside of the Pro-Feminist Men’s Movement several other organizations are worth noting. The Good Men Project is a commercial effort which has some good writing on various men’s issue. Despite having had some very negative local experiences, The Mankind Project works with men internationally helping us deal with other feelings.
Popular posts from this blog
“I’m here to discuss YOUR White Male Privilege …!” White boy – Get Off your A$$ !! Goodbye Toxicity – Let’s Join the Others, Already Working Towards Necessary, Systemic Change I N T R O D U C T I O N This writing focuses upon cis-gendered, upper-middle class white men in the United States (USians) who want real systemic equality . The United States needs (positive) radical systemic change. We recognize the “Joe Bidens” as our leaders. Behind the scenes, the real work has been, and continues to be, done by the others who are not powerful, wealthy white men. Black women (basically) elected Joe Biden. Black women did most of the significant (basic, core) work that resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights laws of the 1960’s. White liberal and radical upper-middle class/wealthy men wield a lot of potential power, far more than others (besides other similarly well-off white men). We, cis-gendered white men frequently “rest on our l
Cristal R Nell JULY 7, 1978 – JULY 24, 2020 RIP Cristal Nell by Joshua Donn July 25 This is the most gut wrenching thing I have ever had to write. Yesterday morning, Cristal Nell died at her home in Seattle, WA. She had just turned 42 years old and leaves behind a 13 year old son and 10 year old daughter, who are currently with their father. This was completely unexpected and is a huge shock to everyone. First, bridge. She was a very talented and intuitive player. I met her at the table in 2011 when she did something rather brilliant against me, and I knew I had to get to know this person. She was an NABC champion, winning the Rockwell Mixed Pairs in 2017 partnering Igor Savchenko. I had some occasions to play with her in regional pair games and she was solid as a rock. Cristal was extremely enthusiastic about bridge, attending almost every NABC and occasional USBF trial events as well. But more importantly, here are some personal details. She was a devote
This is a Listing of the Individual Writings - which are individually on this Blog. It is a part of my "story". As I complete additional writings of the "Much Better" series, links to the new ones are added below. Below it - is a lot more - related to Me and What is Meaningful to Me! Much Better Late(r) Than Never - Intro II - Much Better - Leading to Now III - Much Better - The Growth Begins IV - Much Better - The Personal is Political (and Vice-Versa ) V - Much Better - Out of My Head - I VI - Much Better - Aspie I Am VII - Much Better - Out of My Head - II VIII - Much Better - Rushing and Time IX - Much Better - Depression X - Much Better - Words Matter XI - Much Better - Sadness, Grief and Pain XII - Much Better - What The Words: "Merry Christmas" Mean (to me) XIII - Much Better - Sadness - A Very Different Perspective XIV - Much Better - Toxic Masculinity - Privilege - I Melt With You XV - Much Better - To Listen XVI - Much Better - Rape and More