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Call for subs: Men Speak Out

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Shira Tarrant is editing an anthology of essays titled Men Speak Out: ProFeminist Views on Gender, Sex and Power; below is a copy of the call for subs (posted with permission).

Note that this anthology is open only to male writers.

Also note that I'm not affiliated with this anthology in any way, nor do I know anything about it beyond what's below; if you have questions, please direct them to the editor. The "I" below refers to the editor, not to Jed.


Men Speak Out: ProFeminist Views on Gender, Sex and Power

How can we better understand and imagine new possibilities for men and feminism?

Men Speak Out: ProFeminist Views on Gender, Sex and Power will be published by Routledge in November, 2007.

DEADLINE: September 15, 2006.

LENGTH: up to 6,000 words.

FORMAT: Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and paginated. Please include your address, phone number, email address, and a short bio on the last page.

SUBMITTING: Send your essay electronically as a Word document (format file with a .doc extension) attached to an email to MenSpeakOut@yahoo.com.

PAYMENT: No money; possibly copies of the book.

Are you a guy who hates sexism? Do you call yourself a feminist? Have you spent hours over coffee (or beer) thinking about issues of gender, power, race, class, and sexuality? Are you involved with social justice activism? If so, then you have stories to tell and I'd like to hear what you have to say.

I am collecting essays for a book tentatively titled Men Speak Out: ProFeminist Views on Gender, Sex and Power. I'm interested in first-person accounts of growing up male and identifying with--or questioning--the ideals of feminist movement. There are so many directions your essay could take, but I am NOT looking for an academic essay. No citations, no footnotes. I AM looking for stories written in your own unique voice using language you actually use when you talk with your friends.

You can use personal stories, things that happened to you, things that people said to you, or that you said to them (or wish you had). I am looking for a wide range of experience and perspectives on men, masculinity, and feminism.

This book respects the risk involved in being willing to critically investigate gender and power, especially when this isn't what some people expect from guys. There are lots of good books written by and about young feminist women. Men Speak Out is written by, for, and about men and their experiences with and thoughts about culture, society, masculinity, feminism, women's studies, social justice, or anti-sexist movement.

Your essays and stories may reflect on growing up, they might focus on a day-in-the-life vignette, they might explore experiences with racism or homophobia, or they might pose questions that you've asked yourself about not power-tripping as a man in a sexist society. These questions might not have answers and this is entirely okay. This is your story in your own words and only you can tell it. Ultimately, the focus, content, and tone is up to you and based on your own thoughts, experiences, concerns, fears, hopes, struggles, and surprises. I've included themes and ideas below to get you started.

Feminism

  • Do you call yourself a feminist? What does this mean to you?
  • Have you been questioned or challenged for your feminist beliefs? Have you been supported in your feminist perspectives?
  • Do you support gender equality and social justice, but reject the term "feminist"? Why?
  • Do you incorporate feminist ideals into your work, relationships, or activism? How do you do this? What does this look like?
  • Do you want to ally feminist movement, but you're not sure what you as a male can do? Are you wondering if you're even entitled to be part of it since you're not a woman and don't quite know how it feels?
  • Do you question or doubt the foundations and/or goals of feminism?
  • What does it mean to you to be a feminist guy? Or a profeminist? Or a feminist ally? Do you think you have to claim a title to be opposed to sexism?

Masculinity and Identity

  • How are concepts of "man" and "masculinity" changing? What is your engagement with masculinity from transgender, transgressive, and/or queer perspectives?
  • Are you male-identified? How does this take form in your life? How do gender-queer perspectives shift our understandings of sexuality?
  • Do you love sports and reject sexism? How do you negotiate being part of a masculinist culture while rejecting the patterns of domination and sexism that can go along with it?
  • Have you had a specific experience with gender, race, class, sexuality, or feminist issues that left a lasting impression? What is this story?
  • What does it mean to invite questions of race and men in relation to feminism?
  • Have you experienced sexism as a man? Do people expect you to be a certain way because you are male?
  • Have you experienced prejudice as a gay or transgender man? Do you think there's room in feminism to address these issues?
  • When did you first start noticing masculinity, sexism, and feminism? Was there a pivotal event that got you thinking about these issues? Was there a series of events? What did you do once you started noticing sexism, racism, and social injustice in our society?
  • Is your girlfriend, partner, or wife a feminist? How does this affect your relationship?
  • What does class have to do with how you define gender or feminism?

Women's Studies/Gender Studies

  • Have you taken women's studies/gender studies courses in college or high school? What was this like for you?
  • If you've taken women's/gender studies courses have you:
    • confronted or changed your beliefs about yourself, your relationships, society?
    • had to explain your choice to your teammates, family, or friends?
  • Do you think you are or you will be a different sort of boyfriend, partner, husband, father, or co-worker because of your feminist perspectives, from taking women's studies classes, or from other life experiences?
  • What would you want to tell a guy who's thinking about taking women's/gender studies? What should he know? What did you wish somebody had told you?

Demanding Change

  • Have you had it with sexism, racism, classism, and homosexism? Do you demand change now? How do you envision this change?
  • How the personal is political. How does your personal life have political meaning? How are your politics personal?
  • Are you involved with social justice activism that you see as linked to feminist movement? Describe your activities and perspectives on these issues.

Intergenerational Dialogue

  • Were you part of the women's movement in the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s? What are your recollections about your involvement?
  • Do you have experience in social justice activism? What can you tell others about what you've learned about the process? What works? What doesn't?
  • Do you want to dialogue with younger or older men about challenging "isms" in a sexist, racist, homosexist society? What do you want them to know?
  • Did you grow up in a feminist household? What was this like?
  • Are you a younger man who has questions for profeminist men who have gone before you? What do you want to ask them? What do you want them to know?
  • Do you think you are a different sort of partner, father, or co-worker because of your feminist perspectives? How have you navigated these commitments?

Feel free to pass this call for submissions to friends you think may be interested in this project. Although submitting an essay does not guarantee it will be published, doing so early in the process definitely gives you an advantage, and it does ensure that you have a pivotal role in shaping this book.

Editor: Shira Tarrant is a writer, activist, and professor. Her work has appeared in Genre, Off Our Backs, and Women's Studies Quarterly. Her book When Sex Became Gender (Routledge, 2006) explores the social construction of femininity in the post-World War II era.

Publisher: Routledge, a member of the Taylor and Francis Group, publishes in the social science and humanities subject areas.


Reminder from Jed: I'm not affiliated with this anthology in any way, nor do I know anything about it beyond what's above; if you have questions, please direct them to the editor.

4 Comments

Okay, I normally lurk and read but don't comment. And my better judgement really tells me I should keep my counsel to myself this time especially, especially on this topic. But I'm going to give in and comment. I'll probably regret it later.

Let me get this straight. This is an anthology that essentially wants one point of view from men. That is a point of view that comments in generally favorable terms about feminism in the United States over the course of our lifetimes? At least that is what I'm reading above.

Now, I've had gender studies courses in grad school. Hell, I still go out to eat with one of my grad school profs and in turn, she reads my fiction efforts. I've got a mother who is a feminist and I've had numerous encounters with feminists over the course of my lifetime.

What I've finally come to realize is that a good eighty percent of what I've been indoctrinated with in terms of intergender relations is not to my benefit. In fact, I'm penalized for it frequently.

I could go on at length about this issue, for several thousand words I'm certain.

Yet, I suspect that is not what the publishers of this anthology are looking for.

Maybe when we get an anthology that looks at the issue in a bit more balanced fashion, maybe I'll ponder contributing to it.

Until then, I think I'll take a pass.

Respects,
Steven Francis Murphy
North Kansas City, Missouri

PS: Insightful entries on BSG, Jed. I didn't think you had it in you. You surprise me ever so often.


Thanks, Steven! That's the nicest backhanded compliment I've had all day.


Well, I was kinda shocked you liked BSG. It gives me just a notch of hope for you, Jed.

Just a notch.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy


Jed surprises you "ever so often" or "every so often"?

It doesn't seem to me that single-viewpoint anthologies are all that uncommon. Various anthologies select for stories that are pro-space exploration, or pro-environment, or Christian, or sex-positive. I wouldn't expect a Luddite to contribute to "To the Stars: an Anthology of Big Shiny Awesome Rocket Stories," for instance.


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