|“’Maleness’ can be experienced in different ways and to some extent, be effected by the social class and subcultures from which a boy or man resides.”|
|-Pamela Nilan, 2000|
Defining “healthy masculinity” may mean something different for each of us. However, the men and women comprised within the newly organized Iowa Men’s Action Network view healthy masculinity as those core principles which promote and enhance the beliefs and actions of men to more fully nurture, love, and embrace their human potential – especially with others.
When fathers model nurturing, caring, and loving behavior to their sons and daughters, we believe he demonstrates healthy masculinity. When a husband or boyfriend shares his hopes, dreams, fears, and insecurities with his wife or partner, we believe he acts within the realm of what constitutes healthy masculinity. When a teammate or co-worker chooses to confront a sexist comment or an objectifying portrayal of women and girls among his peers, we believe he embraces the basic tenets of healthy masculinity.
All of these characteristics, and more, are essential if we are to see an end to men’s violence against women and girls in our homes, in our communities, and in our great state. As members of the Iowa Men’s Action Network, we cling to the notion that being a “real man” requires all men to take a stand and to speak out against sexism, racism, inequality and injustices at every level of the social spectrum in which we navigate and reside.
The Macho Paradox, Jackson Katz, Sourcebooks, Inc., 2006
Boys Will Be Men, Paul Kivel, New Society Publishers, 2000
Men’s Work: How to Stop Violence That Tears Our Lives Apart, Paul Kivel, Hazelden, 1992
Season of Life, Jeffrey Marx, Simon & Schuster, 2003
Ending Violence in Teen Dating Relationships, Al Miles, Augsburg Books, 2005