I’ve followed the ‘men’s movement’ since I was in high school. I was a big fan of Sam Keen and Robert Bly. I think because my sister and I were raised with such open gender identities we both find the idea of constructed gender so fascinating. She’s a big Foucault-head. The idea of the construction of identity also appeals to me as an artist as I consciously re-construct and renovate my self-concept to make it stronger and more authentic – while at the same time realizing the need to look/be more ‘marketable’. But I figured if I read all the masculine studies stuff I could get my hands on in high school then I could forego the mid-life crises that all of our dads seemed to be having. I haven’t read much in the topic lately – integrating into the gay male world has been an education in itself – learning the intricacies of a world created without women and at the same time dogged by a stereotype of the (ef)feminine. Somewhere between Alan Alda and Tom of Finland there is a real masculine identity that give men the power to be wild and hairy and strong and at the same time be emotionally connected and nurturing. When Alan first met my dad he noted how nurturing his love was. I think that is a big cue for me because it was a very protective kind of fathering (which probably stems from his own father issues as well). Anyway – I found this article on Salon about Warrenn Farrell – he’s the guy that wrote The Myth of Male Power – a book I’m still trying to build a play out of. The whole concept of men being ‘success objects’ really hit me between the eyes and I think in the gay male culture you layer that with the ‘sex object’ imperative as well. So it is doubly hard to ride both expectations.
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