The Uncommon Man

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April 28, 2006

Masculinity on The Simpsons

I've often wondered - does the TV show, The Simpsons, play up on stereotypes in a way that is thought-provoking and helps viewers deconstruct some of these issues, or is it just using these stereotypes for laughs? I haven't decided, yet - at times it seems like both.

Below, two pieces look at stereotypes about feminism in a particular Simpsons episode.

via Real Men Are Not - Masculinity, Patriarchy, and Stereotypes About Feminism in The Simpsons

Posted by Russell at 01:20 PM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2006

Men's Sex Life at 50

Finally, a scientific study that does not "reveal" the obvious. In fact it breaks an apparent myth. Here is all you need to know: Men in their 50s are more satisfied with their sex lives than men in their 30s, a new study shows. If you want more details, go to the link below.

via Web MD - Men's Sex Life Better at 50 Than 30

Posted by Russell at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2006

Why Men Rape?

One result of the Duke Lacrosse rape allegations is that there has been a number of discussions in the blogosphere about rape: why it happens, how to prosecute it, how to talk about it, how to prevent it, etc. Over at Capitalism Bad, Tree Pretty is a great brief post that asks a simple but provactive question: Why do men have sex with women who don't want to have sex with them? It is well worth reading the post, the comments that follow, and to consider the question yourself.

via Capitalism Bad, Tree Pretty - A Follow-Up of Sorts

Posted by Russell at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2006

Are Women Human?

Catharine MacKinnon, a fiery figure in feminism, has a new book out called Are Women Human?. The article below is an interview with MacKinnon, and give a portrayal of her new book, her place in feminist history, and how her ideas have been received over the years.

via The Guardian - Are Women Human?

Posted by Russell at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2006

Blogging Against Heteronormativity

I think the idea of getting a community of bloggers to commit to posting about a particular topic is a great tool for blogging and the internet. Saturday was delcared "Bloggin Against Heteronormativity Day". What is Heteronormativity? Here is a definition (from Blac(k) Ademic):

Heteronormativity: in brief, heteronormativity is a term that can be used to describe institutions, policies and beliefs that reinforce the rigid categories of male and female. these categories, supposedly, determine our sex, sexuality, sexual desire, gender identity, and gender roles. therefore, there are expected behaviors for males (such as the patriarch of the nuclear family for example), as are there expected behaviors for females (the submissive wife to the patriarch, among other things).

Why blog about it? Who participated and what did they say? Check out the link below:

via BLac(k) Ademic - Blogging Against Heteronormativity

Posted by Russell at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2006

Attractive Women Distract Heterosexual Men

I seem to be collecting "scientific studies of the obvious" here at the Uncommon Man. This is, at least the fifth of such studies that I've found articles about. This time, the article linked to below concerns a recent story about a study that found: "Sexy pictures and lacy underwear take men's minds off getting a good deal". In other words, sexy advertising works.

via Nature - Lingerie Makes Hagglers Happy-Go-Lucky

Posted by Russell at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2006

War on Women

The first two paragraphs of this piece speak for themselves:

A recent UNIFEM (the U.N. women's fund) report on the progress of the world's women says that ``violence against women during conflict has reached epidemic proportions, yet little is being done to prevent this violence or to support and protect women. Women's bodies have become a battleground over which opposing forces struggle.''

Today, 80 percent of the civilian casualties of war are women; 80 percent of the world's refugees are women and children. And while we may long for the luxury of believing that the systematic rapes in Bosnia and Rwanda were inhuman events, outside the range of everyday experience, such crimes growing in numbers in countries such as Cambodia, Uganda, the Congo, Colombia and Sudan.

Read more:

via Common Dreams - Every War is a War on Women

Posted by Russell at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2006

Women's Rights in the Middle East

Over at Alas, A Blog, is a very good synopsis of a discussion about women's rights in the Middle East, as well as some good additional thoughts.

Women's Rights in the Middle East

Posted by Russell at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

Fantasy and Masturbation

As you can tell, if you read the Uncommon Man regularly, I like Hugo Schwyzer's blog. Here is another example why: below is a post in which he tries to reconcile, for himself, his feminist and spiritual beliefs around the issue of fantasy and masturbation - two topics that don't get a lot of discussion in feminist circles. To the point, Hugo responds to this question:

Why is it wrong for men to purchase, view, and masturbate to pornography, but not wrong for those same men to masturbate to demeaning fantasies of women in their heads? If we aren't just objecting to the industry of porn, but also to the way in which men and women objectify each other, shouldn't we consider also consider the ethics of masturbation?

via Hugo Schwyzer - Some Very Long Thoughts On Fantasy and Masturbation

Posted by Russell at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2006

Angry Man Sitcom

File this under: I can't believe where television is going (not a new refrain, but one that keeps coming as more and more stupid ideas for TV shows get realized)....a new sitcom on CBS - The Angriest Guy in Suburbia

via Rebel Dad - Not Angry. Yet.

via The Futon Critic - Development Update

Posted by Russell at 07:51 PM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2006

Men and Madison Avenue

At some point in the not-too-distant past, advertisers realized that by focusing on creating images for the "ideal" woman and tailoring products to build on that image, they were only targetting nearly half the population. Now men are as much the target of Madison Ave - and coincidently, once "women's issues" such as eating disorders have increased dramatically for men.

The post below highlights a book (VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think About Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework, and Commitment by Neil Chethik) that tries to undo the Madison Ave version of men: boys who don't grow up.

via Man-O-Pause - Men Growing Up To Be Boys

Posted by Russell at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2006

Lefty Celebrity Men - Still Sexist

You can file this under "saying it and being it are too different things" (which links this post, in some ways, to the post on the 11th. "Lefty" celebrities may be able to speak-out publicly about liberal issues, but it doesn't mean that they completely "get it".

via Alas, A Blog - Lefty Men Can Still Be Full of Macho Sexist Shit

Posted by Russell at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence

Las Vegas, Nevada, April 18, 2006: The Nevada Coalition Against
Sexual Violence (NCASV) announces the launch of their Agents of
Change, Nevada Men Against Violence Campaign. The NCASV has been
awarded a $226,000.00 grant from the State of Nevada, Department of
Health and Human Services, Health Division to develop a primary
prevention education program and collateral social marketing
campaign focused on preventing the first-time perpetration of sexual
violence, specifically among young men.

The Agents of Change, Nevada Men Against Violence Campaign
is an initiative of the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence.
This groundbreaking initiative targets males ages twelve to twenty-
one through a social marketing campaign and mentor program to
prevent the first-time perpetration of sexual assault.

The Agents of Change, Nevada Men Against Violence media campaign
launch commences at 10:00 am with a press conference, pledge to end
sexual violence, and a march to City Hall. At 12:00 pm, the Nevada
Coalition Against Sexual Violence will host an open house, making
our resources available to our guests. The festivities will conclude
at 2:00 pm.

Posted by Russell at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

Resource: National Latino Alliance

Check out: National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence

Currently on their main page: LATINO MEN SPEAK OUT AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! April 26, 2006 New York City

Posted by Russell at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2006

Irritable Male Syndrome

Irritable Male Syndrome? I had not heard of this until I read the piece below. It is, apparently, similar to PMS - men suffering from mood swings and depression due to hormone changes. There is even a book about it: The Irritable Male Syndrome by Jed Diamond. What do you think?

via Blog Critics - Irritable Male Syndrome: A Male Version of PMS

Posted by Russell at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2006

Anti-Misogyny Means More Than Saying It

The Duke University Lacrosse rape accusation case continues on. Today's New York Times reports that DNA tests failed to link the players to the rape. But the district attorney plans to continue to pursue the case.

Below is a brief post at Alas, A Blog - highlighting how a claim that you are against rape, does not mean that you truly are:

via Alas, A Blog - Student Who Wrote Woman-Hating Email Attended Take Back The Night Rally

Posted by Russell at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2006

Can Men Be Called Feminists?

There has been a discussion going on in the blogoshpere about men being called feminists. Are men who believe in feminist principals feminist or pro-feminists? Or can they use the term at all? Chris over at Creek Running North speaks to this when he writes:

I read Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called My Back the year it was published, and found it invaluable in understanding a part of American culture I had until then missed. Were I to call myself a Chicana as a result of my poltical support, I would be laughed out of the planning meeting. I have been marching in Pride Parades for a quarter century, and had mainly gay friends in college for a decade before that. Even with broadening definition of the term, calling myself a “Queer activist” would almost certainly raise eyebrows. I cut my political eyeteeth working on the defense of the Attica prison riot defendants. That does not make me a Black Power activist.

My goal is to be the best ally to feminists I can be, in the political realm and in the much more difficult personal realm.

But I cannot call myself a feminist: the label is not mine to claim.

Ampersand at Alas, A Blog, has a thoughtful overview and a response to this discussion.

via Alas, A Blog - Should Men Be Called Feminists?

Posted by Russell at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

Stop The Silence: A Benefit Race

Join over 1,000 others and help raise our collective voices, increase awareness, and raise funds to prevent and treat child sexual abuse at the third annual, national Race to Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse ( April 15, 2006 in downtown Washington, D.C. All information and on-line or downloadable registration is available on the Web site: Stop the Silence

Posted by Russell at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2006

New Book: Manliness

We should have seen this coming...there is a new book called Manliness written by Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield. This book, simply put, calls for a return to the "manliness" of Hemingway and John Wayne. What is going on at Harvard these days?

The link below points to a brief story and a radio interview.

via WBUR - Boston - Manliness

Posted by Russell at 02:09 PM | Comments (1)

April 06, 2006

White Men Wilding?

Rachel at Alas, A Blog has a great post about the Duke Lacrosse team rape case. She makes a great point that when a group of Black men commit a rape like this, it is viewed much differently than when a group of White men (especially young men at a private college) commit a similar crime:

Unfortunately, most people(especially White folks) in American culture don’t see these behaviors as similar. They think that one Black person's bad behavior is somehow representative of all Black people, not the individual Black person or people involved. They think subconsciously or consciously that Black men are dangerous and White men are the innocent boys next door.

It reminds of a point I bring up in some classes I teach - that when Timothy McVeigh was captured for blowing up the FBI building in Oklahoma City, White males weren't the target of police and government scrutiny, nor targets of public hatred. But after September 11th, anyone who appeared to be Middle-Eastern - men and women - became targets.

via Alas, A Blog - White Guys Gone Wilding

Posted by Russell at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

31st National Conference on Men and Masculinity

31st National Conference on Men and Masculinity
Creating Connections for Gender Justice and the 18th Annual Men's Studies Association Meeting

The conference on Men & Masculinity is for activists, academics, workers in mental health, diversity, faith communities, domestic and sexual violence. It is for anyone interested in gathering, organizing and working to end all forms of oppression and injustice and to celebrate choice, alternatives, and possibilities.

August 3-6, 2006 at the Ramapo College of New Jersey
Opens: Thurs., Aug. 3rd at 7:00pm
Closes: Sun., Aug. 6th at 3:00pm
Registration fee, includes 5 meals, $195: Students/Seniors, $100
Single Day, Fri/Sat only, $100; Students/Seniors, $ 50
Housing fee, double occupancy, $34 per night
Scholarships available upon request.

Co-Presented by:
Ramapo College Women's Center
Rockland Family Shelter & Stop F.E.A.R. Coalition/DELTA Project
Up the River Endeavors

Call for Workshop Proposals:

The National Organization of Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) is seeking proposals which explore all aspects of male roles, gender issues, and the experiences of men's lives.
Presentations are welcome on all aspects of masculinity and men's lives, including: fathering, working with young men, marriage issues, ending men's violence, homophobia, confronting racism, men's mental & physical health, anti-sexist activism, men & aging, men & spirituality, father-son relations, therapy, media, comedy, music and poetry, bi-sexuality, pornography & the sex industry, drug laws, men & prison, and more.
Professionals, activists, and students are encouraged to submit proposals and participate in the Conference. Formats may be presentations with Q&A, panels, roundtable discussions, experiential workshops, or other forms. We ask that everyone leave time for participant discussion/reaction.
To submit a proposal, please send the following: Brief title; name(s) of presenter(s), & short bios (e.g. 2-3 sentences); description of the presentation (perhaps a few sentences, or up to half a page); and any special considerations or equipment you would require.
Please send submissions to:, or mail to: M&M31, 16 DeKoven Court, Brooklyn, NY 11230. Deadline for submission is May 1, 2006. Note: you must be registered as a Conference attendee to offer a workshop. Registration fee: $195.

18th Annual Men's Studies Association Meeting Call for Papers:

The Men's Studies Association (MSA) is now accepting research paper, panel and presentation proposals for its 18th annual MSA meeting. The meeting will be held on Friday, August 4, 2006, 2:30-5:30pm, during the 31st National Conference on Men & Masculinity, Creating Connections for Gender Justice. The MSA is interested in proposals that evaluate current advances in the field of men's studies scholarship and examine diverse aspects of gender identity, gender roles, masculinity, and the experiences of men's lives.
The MSA is a multidisciplinary division of NOMAS that focuses on enhancing the lives of men and women through critical and pro-feminist study of men and masculinity. It brings together scholars, practitioners and activists from many fields to present studies and analyses of the social, cultural, and historical constructions of masculinity and male identity formation.
In the past, the MSA meeting has featured papers and presentations on a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to men and feminism; racism; homophobia; fathering; men and spirituality; prostitution and pornography; men and violence; men in the arts and history; constructs of gay masculinity; men in prison and more. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are encouraged to submit proposals and participate in the meeting.
To propose a paper, please send us the following information:
1) Brief title of presentation
2) Name(s) of presenter(s) as they will be printed in the meeting program
3) A brief biography of each presenter
4) 300-600 word proposal (or copy of completed paper)
5) Special considerations or equipment you require
Abstracts of accepted papers will appear in a special edition of Brother, the Journal of NOMAS.
Please send submissions to or mail to Professor David Greene, School of Social Science, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ 07430. Deadline for submission is May 1, 2006. Please share this information with your colleagues and institutions.

Posted by Russell at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2006

When Yes Means No

Sorry I didn't post something yesterday - I wasn't near a computer all day...
Below is a link to a columinist for the Chicago-Sun Times, speculating on the messages that we give to young people about sex and rape. This piece comes on the heels of a young man acquitted for rape, in a situation that involved alcohol and the "consent" from a young woman who was drunk. The message that columnist, Mark Brown, proposes we add to "'no' means 'no'" is "sometimes, 'yes' means 'no'".

via Chicago-Sun Times - Booze and Sex: No Means No, And Sometimes, So Does Yes

Posted by Russell at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2006

Pro-Feminist Men's Mentors

My regular "link-person", Hugo Schwyzer, has a response to the post I made last week at Dark Daughta. Here Hugo makes a great case for the need for pro-feminist men to have male pro-feminist men as mentors, while at the same time having feminist women helping to guide one's way. In particular, I like that Hugo is drawing a distinction between having women "mother" a man, and the need for anyone who is looking to be an ally and to confront their own privileged behavior to be "gently" challenged.

via Hugo Schwyzer - "An issue of mentorship" --a thought or two about pro-feminist men and their feminist mentors

Posted by Russell at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

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