What About Men? Redefining Masculinity for the 21st Century

Feb 26, 2018

The pressure society puts on boys can be tough to deal with and lead to problems down the road.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with speakers from the What About Me(n) Summit taking place Wednesday, February 28 at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City. They talk about traditional masculinity, toxic masculinity, and authentic masculinities in anticipation of the summit.

Nebbe is joined by Bryant Smith, human potential specialist and author of Manhood: The Missing Manual. She also sits down with Patrick K. Galligan, Licensed Staff Psychologist at the University of Iowa, and Adam Robinson, Executive Director at Rape Victim Advocacy Program. Cody Howell, Violence Prevention Specialist at the Women’s Resource and Action Center at the University of Iowa, also joins the conversation.

Howell grew up in Montana and describes growing up in cowboy culture and, in college, joining a fraternity.

“I was indoctrinated into a culture that was very white, very masculine, and I felt a lot of pressure to adhere to those norms but also to police others into those norms,” Howell says.

Now, as a violence prevention specialist, Howell believes that men should understand violence as a men’s issue, not just a women’s issue.

“We’re not going to change that culture if we don’t say that men need to step up and step in and start having these conversations,” Howell says.

“Approaching the work that we do from a deficit model of masculinity is the wrong take to have,” Galligan says. “It’s also about, let’s find the strengths you that have as a man and the ways that you can express yourself right now and sort of marshal them to help you express yourself more effectively while giving you more tools for your tool belt.”