Experiencing all there is to offer

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Growing up in conservative Utah, I didn’t have to be explicitly taught what was and wasn’t inside of the male range of acceptable behaviors. It was clear to me that I was to shun anything that felt soft and feminine in favor of what was hard and masculine. I ran from activities that women seemed to enjoy, and I avoided items that could be labeled as womanly. When I eventually did find feminism and began to branch out again and become more in touch with what I like and want for myself, I realized that I had been missing out…

Sexual Predators?

Given that I have a blog and podcast titled Feminist Masculinity, you might guess that I watch a fair number of videos regarding feminism, masculinity, and adjacent topics. That is why the YouTube algorithm, through its wise and not at all destructive recommendations, showed me a number of videos making fun of the idea of male feminists. From Bill Burr’s thoughts of a male feminist while on a date, “If I just agree with her, maybe she’ll touch it!” …

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I was told, recently,

Humans evolved as storytellers.

From the mythical to the mundane,

The full span of any life is bound

In the act of transmitting meaning.

Meaning that must be first found

In an indifferent universe.

Humans search, eyes peeled,

For even the slightest shade of purpose.

All is entropy, solution and dissolution,

Change and decay and growth,

Directionless yet uncompromisingly driven,

And we monkeys seek for truth in it.

For beauty and goodness and hope

And right and wrong, opposites

And attractions and distillations

Of order to scrape into some rock

Press into vinyl, encode into a…

Dehumanization just ain’t it.

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My partner and I were traveling up I-15 toward Salt Lake City Utah the weekend before the election. It was 3pm on a Sunday in Mormon country, which should usually mean light traffic even in this section of I-15 known best for its constant state of construction work. (A friend of mine once quipped that construction cones should be Utah’s state tree). That’s why my partner and I were perplexed when the traffic ahead was suddenly all brake lights. Then we saw them.

In the right-most lane, in perfect color contrast to the bright orange cones…

A reflection on merciful accountability.

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John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, is a creep and belongs in prison according to a tweet a saw recently. The evidence presented being the way that he, a grown man, described and wrote about teenage girls in his books. I have read, and enjoyed, several of John Green’s books, so I paused to reflect on his depictions of teenage girls, and, in a way, I can see where the author of the tweet is coming from on this one. Many of his books could be classified as coming of age novels, and they do tend to…

A look at erotic content through a critical lens

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What a word, right? There is intense stigma and debate around it at the moment, with some anti-porn proponents calling it “the new drug” and saying that it is as addictive as cocaine or heroin and will destroy the life of anyone who watches it, while others see it as a harmless pastime and use the age-old “everyone’s doing it *insert shrug emoji*” argument.

My goal in this article is not to weigh-in on the meta argument of whether porn is good or bad but instead to talk openly about the actual content of mainstream pornography with a critical lens…

How policing masculinity helps no one.

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Feeling Superior

Picture, if you will, an encounter with the resident coffee snob in your life as you are coming out of your local coffee shop, brew in hand.

They, the snob, an eyebrow quizzically raised, ask the dreaded question,

“What did you get?”

You, with an inward sigh of dismay, tell the snob what you have, which you know is never going to be pure, dark, or earthy enough for them.

They respond with, “Ugh. When are you going to try ‘real coffee’?”

While it is not a new phenomenon for human beings to find some justification for making themselves feel…

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In my first social work practice class at Utah State University, a professor taught us an important lesson. He asked the class how we might respond if a client told us that they had just broken up with their significant other the previous night. One of the students in the class responded that they would say something like, “That must be really hard.” My professor’s response to this was, “What if they say, ‘No way! I’m thrilled it was such a terrible relationship!’?”

He was conveying to us the danger of assuming another person’s emotional state by projecting our own…

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In the classic Rogers and Hammerstein play Oklahoma!, the character Ali Hakim, along with a chorus of men, sings a song, with a purposefully incorrect article, titled “It’s a Scandal! It’s a Outrage!” What is the scandalous outrageous thing that provokes this sudden burst of singing from a group of men? To quote the song:

“It’s getting so you can’t have any fun. Every daughter has a father with a gun.”, and in another verse, “It’s a scandal! It’s a outrage! Jist a wink and a kiss and you’re through!”

The men bemoan that they are unable to have sexual…

Lessons on Intersectionality

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You are a contestant on a quiz game show and in order to win the grand prize, you just have to answer one more question correctly. Your host asks the final question with tension in the air.

“What year did women gain the right to vote in the United States of America?

You are elated. You don’t have to phone a friend, but you decide to do so anyways. You choose your old high school history teacher, Mrs. Jones. She answers and you tell her,

“I just wanted to let you know that I’m about to win a million dollars…

Alan Parley Buys

Intersectional feminist social worker. Creator of feministmasculinity.com. Advocate for survivors of intimate partner violence.

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