I’ve been using your piece with adolescent boys for 6 years or so. As a clinician working with young men I find that giving them space to explore how to interact with the world from a different vantage point that they can actually fight for is attractive to them. I ask them to journal aspects of the NM they desire and have as well as the “Old Macho” and how they fall into false, insecure narratives of bravado. We explore the needs that are met through both approaches. Its been a pivotal document for many boys over the years. Thank You. ~ J
My humblest gratitude to Charles for making this conversation possible.
Please go to his web site to learn about the full course.
Session One: How do we do “man”?
with Boysen Hodgson
This conversation introduces some of the themes and frames of our inquiry into masculinity. We start with some conceptual discussion of gender as distinct from biological sex — the interplay of biology and culture to produce gender, and a third element as well: the transhuman origin of archetypes and stories. Not only do we tell our stories, our stories tell us. Therefore, we arrive at the defining question of this course: It’s not what masculinity is outside of culture, outside of story. It is, What is the next story of the masculine? What are we ready to step into?
Then we go into some more ground-level issues: fatherhood, initiation, role models, and the New Warrior Training of the Mankind Project. We discuss the importance of relationships with other men, a ‘circle of men’ as Bill Kauth calls it, for a man to abide in a mature masculinity.
Finally we zoom back out again to take on masculinity and the detachment from materiality. What are we in service to? Could it be that the same unwillingness to hear and see women is related to our obliviousness to the needs of Mother Earth? What would civilization and technology look like, if instead of imposing a design onto nature, we listened first to what the land wants, what the water wants, what the trees want, seeking no longer to harness, dominate, and transcend materiality, but to make love to materiality?
A Conversation with Boysen Hodgson
Session 1 Recording
Questions for Study, Meditation, and Discussion
1. Is there something in you of the Warrior that is not about aggression and domination? Or could there be a proper and right expression of aggression, which after all is part of nature, that is in service to life? Is this an aspect of our nature that we must suppress, or does it have a healthy expression?
2. Freedom from approval-seeking is often an important aspect of initiation into manhood — to quote from Iron Hans, it is the reclaiming of the key from under Mother’s pillow. But in our society, many of us are not fully liberated from approval-seeking. Therefore, we are not fully sovereign. Consider the quote from the live call:
”This constant seeking of permission to be a man is generative of abuse of women. When we can source our masculinity without seeking approval only then can we be truly an empowered man.”
And look at the following pattern: Approval-seeking → loss of sovereignty → resentment → aggression → shame → approval-seeking. Think about the extent approval-seeking influences your life, what may have freed you from it, who you are without it, and how to liberate others from it.
Follow-up Conversation with Q&A
Session 1: Q&A
I am consistently amazed to learn how many organizations are out there working to help men. The Mankind Project has impacted tens of thousands of mens lives which is personally inspiring to me.
I hope you find some insperation from this interview and tune in for future ones!
How to reach out to Boysen.
I was happy to have the opportunity to site with Dan Doty, cofounder of the ‘Evryman’ organization, recently featured in a Men’s Health Magazine article. “Inside the Retreat Where Men Purge Toxic Emotions” – see the article there and the shoutout to the ManKind Project in the article.
“What would the world be like if you could look into the eyes of another man and not be afraid?” – Boysen Hodgson
Boysen is the Communications Director for the ManKind Project. MKP is a globally established men’s community for the 21st century. They have been offering men’s trainings and peer-led men’s groups for 30 years and have impacted hundreds of thousands of men.
On this episode Dan and Boysen explore the issues men are facing today, and offer a ton of simple and powerful ways to show up, engage, and get involved. You can find out everything MKP at this link, and key into their New Warrior Training Adventure.
Freedom Zzj reached out to me on Facebook from Perth, Australia to learn more about the ManKind Project after seeing MKP on the Netflix “Follow This” program – Season 1 Episode 4 – Men’s Rights. The ‘Perth Tribe’ page is big – with over 10,000 Members: Learn more about it here. Though there were some technical difficulties with the video on the Live Chat – the audio was great and the discussion was rich.
Some of the big take-aways:
- Integration is a powerful key to mature masculinity
- Learning to slow down our conversations and reactions can help us cope
- You can’t do this alone
From the post:
LIVE on Perth Tribe – Boysen Hodgson – ManKind Project USA
(Seems like we had some issues with the picture, however audio was fine. Enjoy!)
Talking about masculinity, ManKind Project, issues men face in today’s day and age and how MKP is helping redefine masculinity, as brothers are stepping into their power.
Recently, I watched the episode on “Follow This” (Netflix) produced in May 2018, by Buzzfeed Media, featuring ManKind Project – topic Men’s Rights.
I was deeply touched by the work done by Boysen Hodgson and his group (MKP USA).
I was touched by the power of the work done – holding space for men to delve into their feelings, challenge the old stereotypes and redefine masculinity.
“What we’re doing is empowering men to be the best version of themselves for society, for the women in their lives, for the children in their lives, and most importantly for themselves.”