It’s “Reading Men”
a reading and discussion group
We read (about) men, masculinity, gender, and sexuality. We openly talk about masculinity, toxic masculinity, and sexualized violence. We do our part to develop better, healthier, peaceful and respectful notions of masculinity.
Reading Men. We understand this to be both a description of our group and a mission statement. We are men reading men. To read men is to try to make meaning of, to interpret the concepts and ideas, the beliefs and values, the politics and the cultural narratives that underlie the varying ways in which manhood has been understood across times and places. A few times per semester, we meet to engage in a friendly, welcoming, and open discussion about masculinity. We focus these discussions through readings (of literature and criticism or commentary on the topic) and through screenings of films and documentaries. By gathering regularly to discuss pressing problems like, for instance, the link between toxic forms of masculinity and sexualized violence, we hope to work toward better, healthier, peaceful models of masculinity. What is required in order to address forms of violence that are associated with models of masculinity that often are simply equated with (and romanticized or legitimized as) “traditional masculinity” is a cultural change that pursues better models of masculinity.
Too often, those who have been subjected to violence inflicted upon them by men must also bear the burden of changing our communities for the better. Quite rightly, those who strive to combat sexual violence on university campuses or in communities often ask: “where are all the men!?” Men must become active in the effort to help bring about a direly needed cultural change. We understand that it may be daunting to take the first step, to find out where to begin, to become involved in an effort that is complex and that involves having open and honest conversations about masculinity, about men’s own struggles with certain ideas of manhood, and about the responsibility that all men bear for the continued existence of forms of masculinity that are connected to sexualized (and other forms of) violence. We therefore try to offer this reading and discussion group as a first step for those who want to help make a difference. All of us must do more. Everyone is welcome to join this group and to join us in discussing what can and what must be done.
Join us for a meeting or write to us to find out more. Email us directly through the Contact form in the “About” section above, or write to one of the Co-Organizers of Reading Men:
Lucas Middleton (Co-Founder and Co-Organizer, 2018-2019): x2015klk
Tyler Wilson (Co-Organizer, 2019-2020): x2015jpf