There have been a few fantastic articles in the last few months that explore the issues around masculinity, and broaden it from simplistic notions of toxicity and health. One of late was that by David Leser in the Sydney Morning Herald. There's powerful paragraph early in the article from a book by Eve Ensler, feminist writer of the Vagina Monologues. It describes a deep anguish experienced by a soldier that opened Enslers eyes to the experiences of men she had previously not understood.
The article goes on to explore a range of topics, including the idea that stereotypes of men (and women) continue to be perpetuated. Amongst the various spaces that stereotypes have been challenges against in the past 30 years or so is through the various men's groups and gatherings that have developed around the world, including in Tasmania.
Often people wonder about young men and how we can help them to explore their own masculinity in healthy ways. There are various programs and organisations doing work with these young men, the leaders, politicians, and business leaders of tomorrow. Some schools run programs in year 9, exploring different approaches to education at a time when many young men struggle to stick with the system. Coming up in early September is another camp with Community Rites of Passage, happening on Bruny Island. Nick Hall, of Nick Hall Adventure Therapy is one of the leaders, recently profiled in a local Hobart publication. He'll be helping out on their next camp at Bruny Island from 5-8 September. There is still space on this camp, and more camps coming up in the future. Rites of Passage programs such as these, provide concrete ways for boys to see a diverse range of masculinities, see intimacy between men supporting each other, sharing stories and experiences, learning when and how to be strong in vulnerability,