Discussion International Men’s Day Discussion Thread: Celebrating Men and Masculinity by Challenging Patriarchal Expectations
Note: This post was discussed and approved by the mods prior to being posted.
Hello again to all the kind folks of this wonderful sub! Today is International Men’s Day!
International Men’s Day was created to help create awareness about men’s physical and mental health and celebrate their contribution to families and communities. It’s undeniable that we live in patriarchal societies designed to (usually) keep a small number of wealthy men in power. When discussing the topic of the patriarchy, we often explore the abuse, exploitation, subjugation, and discrimination faced by women in these systems, but sometimes overlook the devastating impact that these systems have on men and boys throughout their life.
From infancy, boys quickly learn from their environment that there are steep expectations that need to be met if you’re ever going to be considered a “real man.” You must be constantly productive, wealthy, muscular, heterosexual, tall, smart, talented, and confident in everything you do. Attributes like artistic creativity, emotional intelligence, empathy, caretaking, open-mindedness, emotional vulnerability, or even a love for cooking or dance are actively smothered in young boys in favor of the previously mentioned masculine traits. To say nothing of men with mental or physical conditions that leave them severely-restricted or unable to contribute to society in traditionally masculine ways. Where does this leave us? With generation after generation of men and boys who never even learned that it’s OK to experience the wide spectrum of emotions, and that replacing vulnerable emotions with rage, ego, or stoicism is preferred to looking weak for even a moment. At the same time, many men are being conditioned to feel entitled to relationships and sex, two things that require emotional vulnerability, empathy, open-mindedness, and an ability to work collaboratively. When entitlement like this meets unpreparedness, confusion, anger, and heartbreak are often all that’s left in the end.
Masculinity is not inherently toxic. Men are good. Men have been responsible for some of the greatest inventions and advancements in the history of our species. Men are capable of phenomenal acts of kindness, empathy, and compassion. Patriarchal systems push a toxic version of masculinity because it is understood that emotionally intelligent men are FAR more dangerous to the status quo than those that have been told to “man up” and quietly suffer. What we do moving forward will determine the type of world future generations grow up in.
So I’ll put forward a few questions:
- What are some non-traditional examples of healthy masculinity that you’ve seen or heard about?
- How do you personally differentiate between masculinity and toxic masculinity.
- Did you grow up seeing or experiencing any bizarre expectations for men in your area (growing up it was cool for guys to skateboard, but rollerblading was seen as “gay”)?
- Who do you think is a well-known person who embraces healthy masculinity.
Hello WvP Coven:
This Thursday is observed as Thanksgiving in the United States. As members of WvP, intersectionality is one of our core values, though we know that many people will still have obligations to observe the holiday with family. Even if these family gatherings are strictly family-oriented, and even if the revised history of the day is not mentioned in any way, it can be deeply uncomfortable and upsetting for those of us who know the harm that revisionism has done. These celebrations can also be traumatic for our members and friends with Indigenous heritage. Thanksgiving Day has alternatively been observed as a National Day of Mourning since 1970. The following day is Black Friday, a frenzy of consumerism, which can distract further from anti-colonial messaging.
As such, we think it important to provide resources to members who would like to learn about and support the Indigenous populations who were – and still are – on the land that has been occupied for hundreds of years. Below are links for education, organizations and initiatives to support, and lists of shops run by Indigenous artisans. Please explore them, contribute where you can, and boost their visibility where you are able.
Please also feel free to add links to other sites or compilation threads in the comments.
Be well, be kind, and take good care.
First, here is the most comprehensive map I know of for people to find whose land they are currently living on. It appears to include tribes that are not yet recognized by state or federal governments, which is impressive. You can use this to look up, learn about, and donate directly to that tribe. https://native-land.ca/
Orgs and Resources:
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit (MMIWG2S) - https://www.csvanw.org/mmiw/
- Jingle Dress Project for Healing and Unity: https://tapahe.com/jingle-dress-project.html
- International Indigenous Youth Council: https://indigenousyouth.org/
- Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project: https://www.wlrp.org/
- 7000 Languages (free online language preservation courses): https://www.7000.org/
- Emergency Relief and Shelter Assistance for Elders and Disabled on Reservations: http://www.nativepartnership.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pwna_materialservices_emergency
- Adopt-A-Native-Elder: https://anelder.org/
- Rocky Ridge Market (purchase baskets of food and supplies for reservation elders): https://www.rockyridgemarket.com/
Food Sovereignty Initiatives:
Shops by Indigenous Creators:
- Ioway Bee Farm - Iowa Tribe-Owned Apiary: https://iowaybeefarm.com/
- First Nations Native Arts Holiday Shopping Guide: https://www.firstnations.org/ShopNative/?utm_campaign=Year+End+Native+Arts
- Beyond Buckskin’s Buy Native List: http://www.beyondbuckskin.com/p/buy-native.html
Burn the Patriarchy I'M FREE... ish. Help me choose a new last name so I don't take my father's last name
I ended my 6 year marriage the other day. We're still cohabitating unfortunately. I've been a stay at home mom at their request for 4 years. They're "gracious" enough to allow me to keep living here in the house we bought together until I get on my feet. Eye roll.
I'm trying to focus on the things I'm excited about that's coming up for me. One of those things is getting to change my last name. I don't want to go back to my father's last name, so I need a new one. Ideas?
Edit: y'all are amazing and have given me lots of ideas. Going back to a woman ancestor my great grandmother killed herself when my grandfather was 2 years old. She suffered PPD and had a pos husband as well. I've always felt very connected to her given my history with mental health and a POS partner. Maybe I'll take her last name.
Thank you all! I appreciate all of your ideas and I have so much brain storming to do. Love you amazing humans!
Discussion I am an Autistic male, who is attracted to men, but not interested in sex. I don't have a safe community.
I’m 34 years old and I’ve been going grey since I was 16. Everyone in my family on both sides went grey early, so it’s genetic. I’ve been dying my hair since then without any breaks.
My mother has always told me to dye my hair to hide the grey or else I will be ugly. Whenever my roots were showing, she’d yell at me and ask my why I’ve been neglecting my looks. I’m very average looking and far from a stunner. I’ve been with my partner for years and he told me that doesn’t care about if my hair is grey.
It’s been a huge insecurity for me for years. I feared that I would be ugly, or treated differently because of my hair.
I am now a new mom with an infant girl and it made me think a lot about how we raise girls and young women. I never want her to feel insecure about her looks or that she needs to change herself to be perceived as beautiful. I thought a lot about it and I decided that I wanted to ditch the dye and just go grey. I hated feeling like my roots were showing, seeing the line of demarcation, and I just didn’t like the way the dye looked anymore. I want to see my natural silver shine through.
I went on IG and saw a lot of young women with grey hair and they look fantastic. I’m no where near as beautiful as them, but that’s okay because I’m not a model. I just wanted to see other young women with grey hair and feel confident.
I haven’t dyed my hair since July 2022. The process is so hard. It’s also very isolating because I don’t have any peer support for those going through the same thing. I’m having a really difficult time with it and I don’t have much support. My husband said he really loves my grey, but he’s never said anything negative about my looks. My friend also told me she likes it, but again, she’s my friend and I don’t think she would say it looks bad. However my mom has criticized me so much over it and we’ve even gotten in arguments over my hair being fucking naturally grey. She had literally yelled at me and gotten angry that I’ve told her I’m not dying it anymore.
Today my mom came over to my new home (we just moved) and I was showing her all the renovations we did. I could tell she wasn’t paying attention and she just was looking at me and scowling. I was talking about my kitchen and she said “This is the style of an old woman” and I said “What? How is this kitchen an old woman style?” And she said “No! Your hair! Go dye it! Or else your husband will go find a younger woman!”
That moment I felt like a shrivelled up troll. I held it together until she left and now I’m just sulking. Going grey is already so hard. Being told I’m ugly by my own mom just makes it even harder. People don’t understand how much of a challenge this is. I know that people are going to think I’m my daughter’s grandmother. I know it might impact my career opportunities. But I can’t just keep dying it forever like my mom does. It’s not sustainable physically, mentally or financially. This is something I want to show her that you can love yourself and be confident in who you are. It’s also a form of radical self acceptance. I even tell my mom that she’s just jealous because I’m free and am not bound to dying my hair every 2 weeks. My hair is also much softer and shinier at the roots now. I’d like to tone with or use purple shampoo once it’s more grown own to get it to look better, but for now I’m really trying my best to make it look okay.
TL;DR - I’m growing out my grey hair and am not hiding my roots anymore, and my mom is criticizing me for it dying my hair and is constantly calling me ugly for it.
Selfie Sorcery I'm actively trying to lose weight (medically necessary) and being in a smaller body is actually making me fearful in a couple ways. I hate that I could write a paper on all the ways weighing less makes me feel like I'm in danger at all times
Burn the Patriarchy I love this sticker. What are your favorites? Also, this is my first post so hi to all fellow ✨witches✨
I thought some people here would enjoy this. I’m an artist based out of Pittsburgh, PA and my thing is that I draw these really fun, colorful skeletons. I’ve got my doctorate in a healthcare profession and enjoy skeletons, anatomy, that whole deal. My art is pretty cheerful still and most people really like the skeletons, so I do a lot of markets where I sell my work. I decided to do a big holiday market in Bloomsburg, PA which is a more conservative area, but whatever— I went for it anyway.
I go to the bathroom and come back and my friend who has a booth next to me is like “there’s a Jesus lady coming for you” and I’m like mentally “oh great, here we go.”
This lady watches me come back, comes behind my booth into my personal seller’s area and corners me saying “god told me to come over here, isn’t that funny” and proceeds to try and introduce herself to me. I am not having it and already super uncomfy because the whole Christian patriarchy thing freaks me out. She starts going off saying “we know the one truth above all, the kind of the universe Jesus Christ” bla bla bla. And she she asks “do you accept this in your heart?” To which I’m very annoyed and very firmly “NO” and she gets mad, motions over at all my art and goes “THIS… is all DEMONIC— you need to denounce this” and starts going off about my art. I got so mad I couldn’t even let her finish and I pointed right in her face and said “YOU NEED TO GET AWAY FROM ME, TURN AROUND NOW” and she tried to argue but I think she wasn’t expecting me to put on my mean girl voice and I kept interrupting and yelling at her and she huffed off. I was so mad I was shaking. My art is so fun and easy going and I literally create for the joy of creating and nothing deeper. I’m not purposefully trying to spread any message with my art and create a variety of stuff based on what I like!
I reported her to the event staff and apparently she had gone around harassing every person who had crystals or anything ‘witchy or demonic’. Security escorted her out permanently :-)
I don’t consider myself a witch, but enjoy all things witchy and pagan. Christianity is not my thing, but I have some lovely friends who are Christians and are cool people about their faith. But this kind of nut jobbery/patriarchy shit is wild to me. Her shirt said “Jesus is king” That lady scared me so bad and I ended up having awful nightmares after the encounter!
My ‘demonic’ art is posted in the comments so everyone can see how evil and terrible I am. 😈
My first eagle feather. It was given to me after reintroducing myself to my dad’s side of the family as Summer. The first and only thing I told him when he moved in is “do not mess with my eagle feather”
I told him that I don’t care if my whole house burns down, as long as I keep my eagle feather I will be fine. He knew I was serious too, last September I finally came out at work and got bullied and fired—I went home that day and burned everything I owned except for my newest clothes I bought to start my transition. I have nearly zero connection to my earthly belongings, the only thing I owned that has any value in my life is my eagle feather, even after building myself an ideal life through hard work and overcoming dysphoria on a daily basis.
The spirit within that feather helped me have the best summer of my entire life. The spirit helped me with job interviews and I cherished it every day, making sure it stayed healthy and cleansed with my sacred medicines. My roommate moved it and then crushed it under luggage.
I’m mourning… it feels like he crushed a part of me.
Marketplace Hello witchy friends, it's been a while since I've shared my work with my favorite coven! I'm back and channeling some old school magick with one of my favorites, an opal Magic Crystal Ball ring 🔮
Not all pets are familiars, right?
A familiar will likely be gifted to you from the universe.
A familiar aids you in your practice and performs task such as channeling, protection, a guide, provides advise in your practice.
Pets provide comfort emotionally, calms anxiety, offers friendship and that should not be diminished in anyway but.. not all pets are familiars.
Opinions are welcome. ☺️💖✨
Found out an ex was arrested for aggravated sexual assault for someone under 13 yo. I’m going through a lot of complex emotions including guilt (if I stayed with him maybe this wouldn’t have happened, etc.)
Please lend me your strength, and send blessings of healing to the young one who was hurt.