Page 1

PROJECT III

IDENTITY Jack Frischer Typography I - Spring 2018 Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts


“Now that you have a firmer grasp on the building blocks of typography, you’ll use you new knowledge to explore an aspect of idenity in the contect of a complex document (a book).” 2 Typography I


CONTENTS

05 Research 11 Discovery 27 Refinement 39 Criticism Process Book: Poster 3


4 Typography I


Research To begin the assignment, I was tasked with finding an article from an established news source that related to the theme of identity in any capacity (1500–2000 words). I listed parts of my own identity that I’d be interested to delve into. What truly struck me was New York Times’ article called “A New Model of Masculinity.” This article/collection of letters try to redefine of masculinity in America, and provide input for the article they responded to, “The Boys Are Not All Right.” Relating to this subject very strongly, I used the two New York Times articles for my book assignment. My research primarily focused on type as image, layout with full bleed photography, and sectioning for multiple articles. I found spreads from New York Studio McCandliss and Campbell were great examples of type as large image that takes up the page compositionally. I primarily used the website, Fonts in Use, for my typographic research. I aimed to find typefaces used in men’s fashion and works featuring male audiences. I found typefaces Baskerville MT and Franklin Gothic to be consistent typefaces in male targeted design.

Process Book: Poster 5


Figure A | AIGA Archives

6 Typography I


Figure B | Inspiration Pentagram Ital/c Studio Culinary Alminac The Other Studio McCandless and Campbell

Figure B | Swiss Designed Posters

Process Book: Poster 7


Figure C | Type Research (Images from Fonts in Use)

Baskerville MT Baskerville MT Regular Baskerville MT Italic Baskerville MT Semi bold Baskerville MT Semi bold Italic Baskerville MT Bold Baskerville MT Bold Italic

8 Typography I

Year: 1754 Published By: Monotype Designed By: Monotype under direction of Standley Morison Classification: Modern Transitional Seriff 6 Styles: Regular, Semi bold, and Bold with Italics Monotype Baskerville was the first true recutting of type shown by John Baskerville of Birmingham, England circa 1754. Baskerville is an important typeface historically because it represents a deliberate move away from the Old Face of preceding centuries, and was to influence the development of the Modern face undertaken by Bodoni and Firman Didot. Baskerville has become one of the most widely used book faces available. Typeface Family COST; $454


Franklin Gothic Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed Franklin Gothic Condensed Franklin Gothic No. 2 Roman

Year: 1903–1912 Published By: Linotype Designed By: Morris Fuller Benton Classification: Transitional Sans Seriff 3 Styles: Extra Condensed, Condensed, No. 2 Roman Franklin Gothic was designed by Morris Fuller Benton for the American Type Founders Company in 1903-1912. Early types without serifs were known by the misnomer “gothic” in America (“grotesque” in Britain and “grotesk” in Germany). There were already many gothics in America in the early 1900s, but Benton was probably influenced by the popular German grotesks: Basic Commercial and Reform from D. Stempel AG. Franklin Gothic may have been named for Benjamin Franklin, though the design has no historical relationship to that famous early American printer and statesman. Recognizable aspects of Franklin Gothic include the two-story a and g, subtle stroke contrast, and the thinning of round strokes as they merge into stems. The type appears dark and monotone overall, giving it a robustly modern look. Cost: $190

Process Book: Poster 9


10 Typography I


Discovery I ultimately chose Baskerville MT and Franklin Gothic based on their use in male targeted design and context. Furthermore, Franklin Gothic is largely associated to American newspapers and journalism, which felt fitting with the contextual politics in the articles. The goal for my publication’s reading was to experience the article, “The Boys Are Not All Right,” and the letters in response as one collective set. Therefore, I needed to clarify the presence of two different articles that relate to one another, and to juxtapose the two passages’ pacing. The article would be largely editorial and fast paced, whereas the letters could be read at a slower pace. I had several ideas to separate the two readings, such as a small booklet within the large book, a dicey doe binding, or a change in paper stock. Ultimately, I created spreads that would indicated the article following. In layout, I decided to change the grid structure between the two body texts in order to further clarify the separate articles. Also, I made the line length for body text longer than in that in the article to slow the reading pacing.

Process Book: Poster 11


Figure D | Type Specimen Sheets

12 Typography I


Process Book: Poster 13






I used to have this one-liner: “If you want to emasculate a guy friend, when you’re at a restaurant, ask him everything that he’s going to order, and then when the waitress comes … order for him.” It’s funny because it shouldn’t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity — but it is. Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and too many other sites of American carnage. What do these shootings have in common? Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls aren’t pulling the triggers. It’s boys. It’s almost always boys. America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us. The brokenness of the country’s boys stands in

A



“America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us.” Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. It’s no longer enough to “be a man” — we no longer even know what that means.

contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on. The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.

Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language

Masculinity

The Boys Are Not All Right

A



A

that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.

that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all.

Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them — their strength, aggression and competitiveness — are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We don’t know how to be, and we’re terrified.

Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a “soy boy” (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we don’t have a model of masculinity

And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two

Masculinity

“Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength,”

The Boys Are Not All Right

A



frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us what’s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I can’t. Because I was a boy once, too.

A

Masculinity



“Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength

I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. I’m not advocating a quick fix. There isn’t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I don’t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.

I used to have this one-liner: “If you want to emasculate a guy friend, when you’re at a restaurant, ask him everything that he’s going to order, and then when the waitress comes … order for him.” It’s funny because it shouldn’t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity — but it is. Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and too many other sites of American carnage. What do these shootings have in common? Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls aren’t pulling the triggers. It’s boys. It’s almost always boys.

“Boys are broken, and I want to help.”

A

Masculinity

The Boys Are Not All Right

A



A

America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us. The brokenness of the country’s boys stands in contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on. The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.

“America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us.”

Masculinity

The Boys Are Not All Right

A

The brokenness of the country’s boys stands in contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on. The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.

Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language

To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not. that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.

that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all.

Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them — their strength, aggression and competitiveness — are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We don’t know how to be, and we’re terrified.

Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a “soy boy” (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we don’t have a model of masculinity

And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two

Masculinity

The Boys Are Not All Right

We will probably never understand why any one young man decides to end the lives of others. But we can see at least one pattern and that pattern is glaringly obvious. It’s boys.

I used to have this one-liner: “If you want to emasculate a guy friend, when you’re at a restaurant, ask him everything that he’s going to order, and then when the waitress comes … order for him.” It’s funny because it shouldn’t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity — but it is. Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and too many other sites of American carnage. What do these shootings have in common? Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls aren’t pulling the triggers. It’s boys. It’s almost always boys.

14 Typography I

Masculinity

There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I don’t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years. I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. I’m not advocating a quick fix. There isn’t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

I believe in boys. I believe in my son. Sometimes, though, I see him, 16 years old, swallowing his

A

Masculinity

The Boys Are Not All Right

A



Masculinity

A

frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us what’s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I can’t. Because I was a boy once, too.

“Boys are broken, and I want to help.”

A



A

Masculinity

“Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength,”

Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. It’s no longer enough to “be a man” — we no longer even know what that means.

choices: withdrawal or rage. We’ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women.

A

A





America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us. The brokenness of the country’s boys stands in contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on. The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.

The Boys Are Not All Right

A



Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. It’s no longer enough to “be a man” — we no longer even know what that means. Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.

Case in point: A few days ago, I poste thread about these thoughts on Twitt ing I would receive hateful replies in I got dozens of messages impug manhood; the mildest of them called m boy” (a common insult among the altlinks soy intake to estrogen).

Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them — their strength, aggression and competitiveness — are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We don’t know how to be, and we’re terrified.

And so the man who feels lost but preserve his fully masculine self has choices: withdrawal or rage. We’ve s withdrawal and rage have the potent School shootings are only the most tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, t across the country daily; another com among shooters is a history of abus women.

But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we don’t have a model of masculinity that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all.

To be clear, most men will never tur Most men will turn out fine. Most wil navigate the deep waters of their feeli out ever engaging in any form of de Most will grow up to be kind. But man

A

Masculinity

The Boys Are Not All Right

A

A

Masculinity






choices: withdrawal or rage. We’ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women. To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not. We will probably never understand why any one young man decides to end the lives of others. But we can see at least one pattern and that pattern is glaringly obvious. It’s boys. I believe in boys. I believe in my son. Sometimes,

no longer want felt strong or ag with. We don’ terrified.

But to even ad because we don that allows for f day-to-day sadn all.

There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I don’t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years. I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. I’m not advocating a quick fix. There isn’t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

I used to have this one-liner: “If you want to emasculate a guy friend, when you’re at a restaurant, ask him everything that he’s going to order, and then when the waitress comes ‌ order for him.â€? It’s funny because it shouldn’t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity — but it is. Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and too many other sites of American carnage. What do these shootings have in common? Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls aren’t pulling the triggers. It’s boys. It’s almost always boys. America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us.

many boys are ed in the same cating, outdated l of masculinity, e manhood is ured in strength,� “Boys are broken, and I want to help.� The Boys Are Not All Right



though, I see him, 16 years old, swallowing his frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us what’s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I can’t. Because I was a boy once, too.

A

A

Masculinity

The Boys Are Not All Right

A



And so the ma preserve his fu choices: withdr withdrawal and School shootin tragedies. Othe across the coun among shooter women.

Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. It’s no longer enough to “be a man� — we no longer even know what that means.

The brokenness of the country’s boys stands in contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on.

Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.

The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming

Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them — their strength, aggression and competitiveness — are

A

Case in point: A thread about th ing I would rec I got dozens manhood; the m boy� (a commo links soy intake

boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.

To be clear, m Most men will navigate the de out ever engag Most will grow

“America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us.�

Masculinity

We will probab young man dec But we can se pattern is glarin I believe in boys though, I see h

The Boys Are Not All Right

A

“Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength,�

A

Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. It’s no longer enough to “be a man� — we no longer even know what that means.

And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. We’ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women.

Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.

To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not. We will probably never understand why any one young man decides to end the lives of others. But we can see at least one pattern and that pattern is glaringly obvious. It’s boys.

Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them — their strength, aggression and competitiveness — are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We don’t know how to be, and we’re terrified.

I believe in boys. I believe in my son. Sometimes, though, I see him, 16 years old, swallowing his frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us what’s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I can’t. Because I was a boy once, too. There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I don’t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.

“America

I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. I’m not advocating a quick fix. There isn’t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

I used to have emasculate a restaurant, ask to order, and th order for him.� be that easy to but it is.

But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we don’t have a model of masculinity that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all. Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a “soy boy� (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

The Boys Are Not All Right

A

A

Masculinity

The Boys Are Not All Right

A

Masculinity

I used to have this one-liner: “If you want to emasculate a guy friend, when you’re at a restaurant, ask him everything that he’s going to order, and then when the waitress comes ‌ order for him.â€? It’s funny because it shouldn’t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity — but it is. Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and too many other sites of American carnage. What do these shootings have in common? Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls aren’t pulling the triggers. It’s boys. It’s almost always boys.

to be a way to expand what it means an without losing our masculinity. I w how we open ourselves to the rich y of our manhood. I think we would om the same conversations girls and ve been having for these past 50 years.

A

The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.

Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. It’s no longer enough to “be a man� — we no longer even know what that means.

strength, aggression and competitiveness — are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We don’t know how to be, and we’re terrified.

Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.

But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we don’t have a model of masculinity that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all.

Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them — their

Masculinity

The Boys Are Not All Right

A

A

And so the ma preserve his fu choices: withdr withdrawal and School shootin tragedies. Othe across the coun among shooter women.

To be clear, m Most men will navigate the de out ever engag Most will grow

We will probab young man dec But we can se pattern is glarin

Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a “soy boy� (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

Masculinity

The Boys Are Not All Right

A



Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a “soy boy� (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen). And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. We’ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women. To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not.

The Boys Are Not All Right

A

A

Masculinity

Masculin



America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us.

lp.� A

A

The brokenness of the country’s boys stands in contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on.

ke men to use feminism as an inspithe same way that feminists used the s movement as theirs. I’m not advouick fix. There isn’t one. But we have e conversation. Boys are broken, and help.

A

America’s boys

The Boys Are Not All Right



, burying his worry, stomping up the hout telling us what’s wrong, and I ow him what it looks like to be vulneropen but I can’t. Because I was a boy

The Boys Are Not All Right

Last week, 17 agers, were sh Marjory Ston now joins the Tech, Columbi American carn have in comm Girls aren’t pu almost always b

“Boys are broken, and I want to help.�

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We will probably never understand why any one young man decides to end the lives of others. But we can see at least one pattern and that pattern is glaringly obvious. It’s boys. I believe in boys. I believe in my son. Sometimes, though, I see him, 16 years old, swallowing his frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us what’s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I can’t. Because I was a boy once, too. There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I don’t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years. I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. I’m not advocating a quick fix. There isn’t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and

The Boys Are Not All Right

A

Figure E | Early Spread Thumbnails for “The Boys Are Not All Right�

Process Book: Poster 15

A

Masculin


Figure F | Early Page Layouts (Letters)

16 Typography I


To contrast the article grid structure, I created looser leading and centered the text. As a result, I designed each letter body within my original margins and with the same leading (13pt).

Process Book: Poster 17


18 Typography I


Process Book: Poster 19


20 Typography I


I decided to create large type as image in Franklin Gothic in order to emphasize the importance of this issue and capture masculinity in a metaphorical sense, type acting as masculinity. In this process, I came upon the notion that the definition of masculinity is upside down per say. In response, I flipped the “Y� in masculinity to achieve that sensibility. In addition, I attempted to interact text with image. To show this article acts specific to the United States, I multiplied and gradient mapped red and blue onto my collected photographs. Once I edited the photographs, I placed text in Baskerville MT and Franklin Gothic to emphasize terminology. Although these images (Figure H) did not end in the final book, they evolved into later interaction between type and image.

Figure G | Type as Image Experiements

Process Book: Poster 21


Noticing I only wanted to emphasize certain words on the photographs, I decided the remove the entire quote, and instead selected a few words with Franklin Gothic alone to transform the quotes into bolder imagery.

22 Typography I


Figure H | Type and Image Interaction Experiment

Process Book: Poster 23


24 Typography I


Process Book: Poster 25


26 Typography I


Refinement Throughout the process of refining the layout of the design, I heard feedback from peers. Very often I heard the spreads featuring letters to the author were overly simple, and the decider spread was more confusing than beneficial. As a result, I began to add color to the spreads featuring letters such as in the type and later in the background. For the divider spread. I recognized the trouble distinguishing articles also came from all the photographs being blue. Therefore, I later changed the photographs in the letters section to have a red overlay compared to the initial blue overlay. I also added “ A New Model of� in the divider as a mechanism to shed light on the image and also added greater difference from the intro spread. Besides the divider and letter spreads, I consistently looked over the justification of my body text and ensured there would be no rivers or tight lines. Because the construction of this publication is a key role in the design, I began doing test bindings early on. I tried a perfect bind and continued practicing because it worked well with the editorial inspiration of the book.

Process Book: Poster 27


Figure I | Letter Spread Development

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MASCUL N TY 







feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine. Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them — their strength, aggression and competitiveness — are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We don’t know how to be, and we’re terrified.

“America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us.�

But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we don’t have a model of masculinity that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all. I used to have this one-liner: “If you want to emasculate a guy friend, when you’re at a restaurant, ask him everything that he’s going to order, and then when the waitress comes ‌ order for him.â€? It’s funny because it shouldn’t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity — but it is.

The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.

Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and too many other sites of American carnage. What do these shootings have in common? Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls aren’t pulling the triggers. It’s boys. It’s almost always boys.

<PM*Wa[)ZM6W\)TT:QOP\

Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us.

A version of this article appears in print on February 21, 2018, on Page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: The Boys Are Not All Right.

The brokenness of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys stands in contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;And so the man who feels ls lost lostt is fully fullyy but wishes to preserve his tw woo w masculine self has only two aggge.â&#x20AC;? age. age.â&#x20AC;? choices: withdrawal or rage.â&#x20AC;?

Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have the language to talk about how they

Micheal Ian Black

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Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a â&#x20AC;&#x153;soy boyâ&#x20AC;? (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no longer enough to â&#x20AC;&#x153;be a manâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; we no longer even know what that means.

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THE BOYS ARE NOT ALL R GHT feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.

Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them â&#x20AC;&#x201D; their strength, aggression and competitiveness â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to be, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re terrified.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us.â&#x20AC;?

But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a model of masculinity that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all. I used to have this one-liner: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you want to emasculate a guy friend, when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at a restaurant, ask him everything that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to order, and then when the waitress comes â&#x20AC;Ś order for him.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny because it shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but it is.

COLOPHON

The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve absorbed the message: Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.

Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and too many other sites of American carnage. What do these shootings have in common? Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pulling the triggers. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost always boys.

Qui vel ium eniet provit ut remqui quuntet vendam hillupta dolo berspie tusdam res moditistius atistibus.Ellutaturem ipsam, suntiis et atianis quia as et harcid eume imolupisquis ipiendam, nus. Vid quatiatiam aut voluptatur? Agnim quam illa nost, est, quatur, to ium, inctur?Eceat. It acipsant id exererr uptatem lis simolupti volor sam estiisit ium eum id que corro commolu ptates nim facimin cidipsa preritas sed quatus am quiatem acepel ius eos sitestor si oditat quos ipsunti id quuntia epeliquat. Ut res audiscilitae nis pro officit ut occatibus et volestium idem. Fugit, estor molorro tempost ommolup taspici unditam entiur

<PM*Wa[)ZM6W\)TT:QOP\

Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no longer enough to â&#x20AC;&#x153;be a manâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; we no longer even know what that means. Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others. They are trapped, and they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have the language to talk about how they

Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us.

Micheal Ian Black

The brokenness of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys stands in contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on.

A version of this article appears in print on February 21, 2018, on Page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: The Boys Are Not All Right.

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And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women.

 

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ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON New York, NY To the Editor

Mr. Black asks how we can help boys. Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught. Parents, caretakers, teachers and coaches must teach boys empathy by showing them affection, compassion and understanding. By responding to their needs. By giving them a safe place to express emotions and an ear to discuss them. By nurturing them.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us.â&#x20AC;?

F gu e K Ea y Open ng Sp ead Concep â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.â&#x20AC;? COLOPHON 11

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When someone tells my 5-year-old son, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cry,â&#x20AC;? he answers, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true.â&#x20AC;? Boys cry as much as girls until theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re scolded or insulted when they do. When our son cries, we let him. When he hurts himself, we comfort him. When heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s angry, we try to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bothering him. The result? His teachers tell us how kind, gentle and thoughtful he is to other children. He is still a confident, outgoing, pirate-loving boy. But we have raised him without false, demeaning, sexist views about what it means to be male or female. To us, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about love. I used to have this one-liner: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you want to The past 50 years have redefined what it means emasculate a guy friend, when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at a to be female in America. Girls today are told restaurant, ask him everything that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going that they can do anything, be anyone. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve to order, and then when the waitress comes â&#x20AC;Ś absorbed the message: Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re outperformorder for him.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny because it shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ing boys in school at every level. But it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity â&#x20AC;&#x201D; just about performance. To be a girl today is but it is. to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, many forms and expressions. were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory 14 Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the Boys, though, have been left behind. No ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine commensurate movement has emerged to help and too many other sites of American carnage. them navigate toward a full expression of their What do these shootings have in common? gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no longer enough to â&#x20AC;&#x153;be a manâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pulling the we no longer even know what that means. triggers. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost always boys. Too many boys are trapped in the same suffoAmericaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us. cating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasThe brokenness of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys stands in culated, where manliness is about having power contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance over others. They are trapped, and they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t of obstacles but go into the world increasingly even have the language to talk about how they well equipped to take them on.

)6M_5WLMTWN 5I[K]TQVQ\a Letters to the Editor

A version of this article appears in print on March 3, 2018, on Page SR8 of the New York edition with the headline: A New Model of Masculinity.

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<PM*Wa[)ZM6W\)TT:QOP\ Micheal Ian Black

A version of this article appears in print on February 21, 2018, on Page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: The Boys Are Not All Right.

35 3

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And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women.





ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON New York, NY To the Editor

Mr. Black asks how we can help boys. Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught. Parents, caretakers, teachers and coaches must teach boys empathy by showing them affection, compassion and understanding. By responding to their needs. By giving them a safe place to express emotions and an ear to discuss them. By nurturing them.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.â&#x20AC;? COLOPHON

)6M_5WLMTWN 5I[K]TQVQ\a Letters to the Editor

A version of this article appears in print on March 3, 2018, on Page SR8 of the New York edition with the headline: A New Model of Masculinity.

11

Qui vel ium eniet provit ut remqui quuntet vendam hillupta dolo berspie tusdam res moditistius atistibus.Ellutaturem ipsam, suntiis et atianis quia as et harcid eume imolupisquis ipiendam, nus. Vid quatiatiam aut voluptatur? Agnim quam illa nost, est, quatur, to ium, inctur?Eceat. It acipsant id exererr uptatem lis simolupti volor sam estiisit ium eum id que corro commolu ptates nim facimin cidipsa preritas sed quatus am quiatem acepel ius eos sitestor si oditat quos ipsunti id quuntia epeliquat. Ut res audiscilitae nis pro officit ut occatibus et volestium idem. Fugit, estor molorro tempost ommolup taspici unditam entiur

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<PM*Wa[)ZM6W\)TT:QOP\



Micheal Ian Black



A version of this article appears in print on February 21, 2018, on Page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: The Boys Are Not All Right.

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BILL YOUMANS

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ALAN FRANK

New York, NY

New York, NY

To the Editor

To the Editor

Michael Ian Black raises a compelling question about American masculinity. In America, the popular conception of manhood has always come primarily from movies. The male protagonists of the silver screen, from John Wayne to Sean Connery to Harrison Ford to George Clooney to Denzel Washington, have defined our ideal of what a man should be. In movies, menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cleaned-up, choreographed, heroic representations of gunfire and fistfights have presented for us romanticized, highly unrealistic notions of what violence is all about. We have accordingly developed a warped sense of how to handle aggression.

Superheroes, from Superman to the Black Panther, are likewise fearless, intrepid and invulnerable. This ideal hardly squares with our inner life as women. Obviously movies are not to blame for the mental illness that sometimes causes gun violence. But they play an underrated part in the roles we assign to gender identity.

By continuing to look at gender, and specifically at boys, through a heteronormative lens, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re solidifying a binary: men as emoAnd so the mantionally who repressed, feels lost but wishes I believe in boys.and I believe in my testosterone-driven predators, women as son. Sometimes, to preserve his fully masculine self has only and though, him,rage. 16 years old, swallowing his emotionally available caregivers targetsIofseemenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tragitwo choices: withdrawal orobliterating rage. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen frustration, his worry, stomping up cally, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re men who fall outside thisburying narrow template what withdrawalofand rage haveThis the encourages potential a culture the stairs telling us whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, and masculinity. thatwithout does not recognize to do. School shootings are only the most selves. I want to show him what it looks like to be men as complex individualized No less than women, men public of tragedies. Others, oncollapsed a smallerinto scale, vulnerable andgender open but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Because I was should not be a rigidly stereotyped identity. take place across the country daily; another a boy once, too. commonality among a historyculture, of In ourshooters current isAmerican where women, in many areas abuse toward women. There has to bemen, a wayfeminine to expand what it means threads and of their lives, incorporate masculine to multigendered be a man without ones, many men today actually live lives.losing Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t itour masculinity. I To be clear, mosttime mentowill turnâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;violent. donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know expansively? how we openOnly ourselves to the rich looknever at men and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more Most men will turn outcan fine. to men complexity manhood. then weMost beginwill to learn recognize not onlyofasour producers andI think we would navigate the deeppredators waters ofbut their feelings with- in young benefiboysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; t from theâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;same conversations girls and as the guardians lives fathers, unout ever engagingcles, in any form coaches of destruction. women have havingselves for these past 50 years. teachers, â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who encourage thesebeen malleable Most will grow uptotoembrace be kind. their But many will not. own and othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; uniqueness. I would like men to use feminism as an inspiWe will probably never understand why any one ration, in the same way that feminists used the young man decides to end the lives of others. civil rights movement as theirs. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not advoBut we can see at least one pattern and that cating a quick fix. There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one. But we have pattern is glaringly obvious. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys. to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

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The hero (we tend to see ourselves as the hero in the movies of our lives) says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bring it on,â&#x20AC;? and starts firing automatic weapons. Unlike, say, Shakespearean protagonists, he has no serious character flaws, conflicted feelings, fears, guilt or regrets. He always knows what is right and acts on it unfailingly. He has, in short, no vulnerability.

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ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON New York, NY

Ernest Hemingwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nick Adams stories feature a

To the Editor

Re â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Boys Are Not All Right,â&#x20AC;? by Michael Ian Black (Op-Ed, Feb. 22), which links violence by boys and men to our concepts of masculinity: Mr. Black asks how we can help boys. Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught. Parents, caretakers, teachers and coaches must teach boys empathy by showing them affection, compassion and understanding. By responding to their needs. By giving them a safe place to express emotions and an ear to discuss them. By nurturing them.

New York, NY

To the Editor

The hero (we tend to see ourselves as the hero in the movies of our lives) says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bring it on,â&#x20AC;? and starts firing automatic weapons. Unlike, say, Shakespearean protagonists, he has no serious character flaws, conflicted feelings, fears, guilt or regrets. He always knows what is right and acts on it unfailingly. He has, in short, no vulnerability. Superheroes, from Superman to the Black Panther, are likewise fearless, intrepid and invulnerable. This ideal hardly squares with our inner life as women. Obviously movies are not to blame for the mental illness that sometimes causes gun violence. But they play an underrated part in the roles we assign to gender identity.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively?â&#x20AC;?

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Jersey City, NJ

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ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;And so the man who feels ls lost lostt is fully fullyy but wishes to preserve his tw woo w masculine self has only two aggge.â&#x20AC;? age. age.â&#x20AC;? choices: withdrawal or rage.â&#x20AC;? 7

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RON HELLENDALL Chapel Hill, NC To the Editor I play pool with a friend of mine three to four times a month. Pool is just the excuse â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the vehicle to get together to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives. Implicit in those conversations is the expression of understanding of manhood. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all indirect, often subtle, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unquestionably there.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught.â&#x20AC;?

Women just need to listen to men converse without assumptions. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll rarely use such terms as mindfulness, journey, vulnerability etc. They simply do not suit our gender. But we cover these topics all the time. Women and men discuss identity differently. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s O.K. Really. But the last thing men want to do is talk about such stuff directly. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being discussed all the time. All the time.

ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON

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GRIFFITH R. DYE Oberlin, OH To the Editor



â&#x20AC;&#x153;One way to begin to fix them is through books.â&#x20AC;? JAMES TACKACH

My heroes today are children, both boys and girls, who take unpopular stands against injustice and cruelty. They might teach adult leaders about real courage: compassion, honesty, restraint and truthfulness.

RON HELLENDALL Chapel Hill, NC To the Editor

I play pool with a friend of mine three to four times a month. Pool is just the excuse â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the vehicle to get together to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives. Implicit in those conversations is the expression of understanding of manhood. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all indirect, often subtle, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unquestionably there.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught.â&#x20AC;?

Women just need to listen to men converse without assumptions. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll rarely use such terms as mindfulness, journey, vulnerability etc. They simply do not suit our gender. But we cover these topics all the time. Women and men discuss identity differently. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s O.K. Really. But the last thing men want to do is talk about such stuff directly. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being discussed all the time. All the time.

ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON

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Bristol, RI

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively?â&#x20AC;?

GRIFFITH R. DYE Oberlin, OH

To the Editor

To the Editor

Michael Ian Black is correct when he asserts that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken.â&#x20AC;? One way to begin to fix them is through books. In this digital age, too few American boys take the time to read great literary texts. That is sad because studies have shown that engagement with great literature builds empathy and fosters healthy self-reflection.

Michael Ian Black points out the difficulties boys have in finding a reasonable model for manhood among the conflicting expectations in our society. For many of us our earliest examples of how men should behave involved physical power and violence. As a boy I wanted the opportunity to demonstrate physical courage, which I equated with manhood. But I missed the many opportunities I had to exercise moral courage.

We need to encourage boys to put down their phones and pick up good books that deal with the issues that growing boys face. Begin with Mark Twainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great classic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,â&#x20AC;? the story of an abused teenage boy who runs away and bonds with a kind runaway slave.

ALAN FRANK

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JAMES TACKACH

To the Editor

â&#x20AC;&#x153;One way to begin to fix them is through books.â&#x20AC;? JAMES TACKACH

My heroes today are children, both boys and girls, who take unpopular stands against injustice and cruelty. They might teach adult leaders about real courage: compassion, honesty, restraint and truthfulness.

Ernest Hemingwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nick Adams stories feature a boy who grows into manhood and experiences the horrors of war. To regain his emotional balance after the war, Nick reconnects with the natural world that he loved as a boy. He regains control of his life with a fishing rod, not a gun, in his hands. James Baldwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fine short story â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sonnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluesâ&#x20AC;? is narrated by an older brother who has survived the hazards of ghetto life but whose younger brother Sonny has surrendered to drugs. But after a prison term, Sonny gets high by stroking the keys of a piano. Please send your boys to the libraries.

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MARIE J. BOTTICELLI New York, NY

To the Editor

To the Editor

After reading â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Boys Are Not All Right,â&#x20AC;? I was struck by the similarities between gun violence and the sexual misconduct/ harassment cases that have flooded the media. As Michael Ian Black states, â&#x20AC;&#x153;manhood is measured in strengthâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;manliness is about having power over others.â&#x20AC;? Some men turn to guns as an expression of rage, violence or revenge, while other men, perhaps with more fame, money and recognition, use their power to express themselves through sexual acts involving domination and control.

This was a great article about the complexities of growing to a different manhood. The boys are not all right, but then a large portion of our business, social and personal lives are controlled by men who still promote this â&#x20AC;&#x153;suffocating, outdated model of masculinity.â&#x20AC;? We do have some different models of masculinity, such as Barack Obama, John Lewis, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, many religious leaders and more. They are mocked and belittled by the macho culture of our society. Changing this macho culture is the solution for our boys as well as our girls.

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To the Editor By continuing to look at gender, and specifically at boys, through a heteronormative lens, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re solidifying a binary: men as emotionally repressed, testosterone-driven predators, and women as emotionally available caregivers and targets of menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rage. Tragically, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re obliterating men who fall outside this narrow template of masculinity. This encourages a culture that does not recognize men as complex individualized selves. No less than women, men should not be collapsed into a rigidly stereotyped gender identity.

GEORGE HEYMONT San Fransisco, CA To the Editor

JAMES TACKACH

LINDA GILMAN

Bristol, RI

To the Editor Michael Ian Black is correct when he asserts that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken.â&#x20AC;? One way to begin to fix them is through books. In this digital age, too few American boys take the time to read great literary texts. That is sad because studies have shown that engagement with great literature builds empathy and fosters healthy self-reflection.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively?â&#x20AC;?

In our current American culture, where women, in many areas of their lives, incorporate masculine threads and men, feminine ones, many men today actually live multigendered lives. Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively? Only then can we begin to recognize men 27 not only as producers and predators but as the guardians in young boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fathers, uncles, teachers, coaches â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who encourage these malleable selves to embrace their own and othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; uniqueness.

24

We need to encourage boys to put down their phones and pick up good books that deal with the issues that growing boys face. Begin with Mark Twainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great classic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,â&#x20AC;? the story of an abused teenage boy who runs away and bonds with a kind runaway slave.

ALAN FRANK 28

CLAY STOCKTON Oakland, CA



To the Editor Michael Ian Black is right, technically, when he says thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no movement for men thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;commensurateâ&#x20AC;? with feminism. But if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s implying that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movement, period, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;But if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s implying that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movement, period, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong.â&#x20AC;?

I know because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m one of the thousands of men in it. Every week, I meet with about a dozen other men in the poorly ventilated library of a church, on a night when A.A. isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t using it. Some of us are fathers, some not; some are straight, some not; some were born into male bodies, some not. All we have in common is that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re men and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to embody a mature masculinity that welcomes the whole male experience â&#x20AC;&#x201D; shame and sadness, anger and desire, tenderness and joy. I think of us as trying to, as Oberlin, W. H. Auden wrote, â&#x20AC;&#x153;give back toOH the son the motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s richness of feeling.â&#x20AC;?

GRIFFITH R. DYE

CLAY STOCKTON

To the Editor

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard, slow work. But men are out there doing it. Get on the Michael Ian Black points the difficulties boys have in finding internet and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find out them. a reasonable model for manhood among the conflicting expectations in our society. For many of us our earliest examples of how men should behave involved physical power and violence. As a boy I wanted the opportunity to demonstrate physical courage, which I equated with manhood. But I missed the many opportunities I had to exercise moral courage.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;One way to begin to fix them is through books.â&#x20AC;? JAMES TACKACH

My heroes today are children, both boys and girls, who take unpopular stands against injustice and cruelty. They might teach adult leaders about real courage: compassion, honesty, restraint and truthfulness.

Ernest Hemingwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nick Adams 30 stories feature a boy who grows into manhood and experiences the horrors of war. To regain his emotional balance after the war, Nick reconnects with the natural world that he loved as a boy. He regains control of his life with a fishing rod, not a gun, in his hands.

29

Superheroes, from Superman to the Black Panther, are likewise fearless, intrepid and invulnerable. This ideal hardly squares with our inner life as women. Obviously movies are not to blame for the mental illness that sometimes causes gun violence. But they play an underrated part in the roles we assign to gender identity.

25



Michael Ian Black writes: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood.â&#x20AC;? Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very simple answer. Make sure boys grow up with some gay male friends in their life. That would go a long way to help them understand that empathy, vulnerability and sensitivity are not to be feared. They might also benefit from better modeling on how to treat and get along with women.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was struck by the similarities between gun violence and the sexual misconduct/harassmentâ&#x20AC;?

New York, NY

To the Editor

23





ALAN FRANK

Michael Ian Black raises a compelling question about American masculinity. In America, the popular conception of manhood has always come primarily from movies. The male protagonists of the silver screen, from John Wayne to Sean Connery to Harrison Ford to George Clooney to Denzel Washington, have defined our ideal of what a man should be. In movies, menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cleaned-up, choreographed, heroic representations of gunfire and fistfights have presented for us romanticized, highly unrealistic notions of what violence is all about. We have accordingly developed a warped sense of how to handle aggression. The hero (we tend to see ourselves as the hero in the movies of our lives) says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bring it on,â&#x20AC;? and starts firing automatic weapons. Unlike, say, Shakespearean protagonists, he has no serious 26 character flaws, conflicted feelings, fears, guilt or regrets. He always knows what is right and acts on it unfailingly. He has, in short, no vulnerability.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught.â&#x20AC;?

Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a â&#x20AC;&#x153;soy boyâ&#x20AC;? (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

A version of this article appears in print on March 3, 2018, on Page SR8 of the New York edition with the headline: A New Model of Masculinity.

New York, NY

32 Typography I New York, NY

feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine. Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them â&#x20AC;&#x201D; their strength, aggression and competitiveness â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to be, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re terrified. But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a model of masculinity that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all.

Michael Ian Black points out the difficulties boys have in finding a reasonable model for manhood among the conflicting expectations in our society. For many of us our earliest examples of how men should behave involved physical power and violence. As a boy I wanted the opportunity to demonstrate physical courage, which I equated with manhood. But I missed the many opportunities I had to exercise moral courage.

When someone tells my 5-year-old son, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cry,â&#x20AC;? he answers, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true.â&#x20AC;? Boys cry as much as girls until theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re scolded or insulted when they do. When 22 our son cries, we let him. When he hurts himself, we comfort him. When heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s angry, we try to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bothering him. The result? His teachers tell us how kind, gentle and thoughtful he is to other children. He is still a confident, outgoing, pirate-loving boy. But we have raised him without false, demeaning, sexist views about what it means to be male or female. To us, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about love.

21



LINDA GILMAN



To the Editor

Letters to the Editor

By continuing to look at gender, and specifically at boys, through a heteronormative lens, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re solidifying a binary: men as emotionally repressed, testosterone-driven predators, and women as emotionally available caregivers and targets of menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rage. Tragically, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re obliterating men who fall outside this narrow template of masculinity. This encourages a culture that does not recognize men as complex individualized selves. No less than women, men should not be collapsed into a rigidly stereotyped gender identity.

18

BILL YOUMANS

9

)6M_5WLMTWN 5I[K]TQVQ\a

In our current American culture, where women, in many areas of their lives, incorporate masculine threads and men, feminine ones, many men today actually live multigendered lives. Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively? Only then can we begin to recognize men not only as producers and predators but as the guardians in young boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fathers, uncles, teachers, coaches â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who encourage these malleable selves to embrace their own and othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; uniqueness.



Whether it be with a gun or sex organ, the harm that these groups of men and boys are inflicting on society needs to be understood.

Bristol, RI

New York, NY

Superheroes, from Superman to the Black Panther, are likewise fearless, intrepid and invulnerable. This ideal hardly squares with our inner life as women. Obviously movies are not to blame for the mental illness that sometimes causes gun violence. But they play an underrated part in the roles we assign to gender identity.



Chapel Hill, NC

To the Editor

Ernest Hemingwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nick Adams stories feature a boy who grows To the Editor into manhood and experiences the horrors of war. To regain his emotional balance after the war, Nick reconnects with the natural Reworld â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thethat BoysheAre NotasAlla Right,â&#x20AC;? Michael Ian Black loved boy. He by regains control of his(Op-Ed, life with a Feb. 22), which links violence boys and men to our concepts fishing rod, not a gun, in his by hands. of masculinity:

ALAN FRANK

To the Editor

JAMES TACKACH

ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON



New York, NY

RON HELLENDALL I play pool with a friend of mine three to four times a month. Pool is just the excuse â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the vehicle to get together to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives. Implicit in those conversations is the expression of understanding of manhood. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all indirect, often subtle, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unquestionably there. Women just need to listen to men converse without assumptions. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll rarely use such terms as mindfulness, journey, vulnerability etc. They simply do not suit our gender. But we cover these topics all the time. Women and men discuss identity differently. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s O.K. Really. But the last thing men want to do is talk about such stuff directly. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being discussed all the time. All the time.

Michael Ian Black is correct when he asserts that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken.â&#x20AC;? One way to begin to fix them is through books. In this digital age, too few American boys take the time to read great literary texts. That is sad because studies have shown that engagement with great literature builds empathy and fosters healthy self-reflection.

James Baldwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fine short story â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sonnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluesâ&#x20AC;? is narrated by Mr.anBlack how who we can boys. the Humans areofnot bornlife em-but olderasks brother hashelp survived hazards ghetto pathetic. Empathybrother is taught. Parents, caretakers, whose younger Sonny has surrendered to teachers drugs. Butand after coaches must teach boysgets empathy showing a prison term, Sonny high bybystroking thethem keys affection, of a piano. compassion and understanding. By responding to their needs. By Please send your boys to the libraries. giving them a safe place to express emotions and an ear to discuss them. By nurturing them.

11

BILL YOUMANS

17

8



We need to encourage boys to put down their phones and pick up good books that deal with the issues that growing boys face. Begin with Mark Twainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great classic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,â&#x20AC;? the story of an abused teenage boy who runs away and bonds with a kind runaway slave.

ALAN FRANK

19



Michael Ian Black raises a compelling question about American masculinity. In America, the popular conception of manhood has always come primarily from movies. The male protagonists of the silver screen, from John Wayne to Sean Connery to Harrison Ford to George Clooney to Denzel Washington, have defined our ideal of what a man should be. In movies, menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cleaned-up, choreographed, heroic representations of gunfire and fistfights have presented for us romanticized, highly unrealistic notions of what violence is all about. We have accordingly developed a warped sense of how to handle aggression.

16

â&#x20AC;&#x153;And so the man who feels ls lost lostt is fully fullyy but wishes to preserve his tw woo w masculine self has only two aggge.â&#x20AC;? age. age.â&#x20AC;? choices: withdrawal or rage.â&#x20AC;? 7



â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.â&#x20AC;?

The hero (we tend to see ourselves as the hero in the movies of our lives) says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bring it on,â&#x20AC;? and starts firing automatic weapons. Unlike, say, Shakespearean protagonists, he has no serious character flaws, conflicted feelings, fears, guilt or regrets. He always knows what is right and acts on it unfailingly. He has, in short, no vulnerability.

15

A version of this article appears in print on March 3, 2018, on Page SR8 of the New York edition with the headline: A New Model of Masculinity.

13

To the Editor

10

ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON

Letters to the Editor

By continuing to look at gender, and specifically at boys, through a heteronormative lens, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re solidifying a binary: men as emoAnd so the man tionally who feels lost buttestosterone-driven wishes I believe in boys. I and believe in myasson. Sometimes, repressed, predators, women to preserve his fully masculineavailable self hascaregivers only though, I see years old, swallowing his emotionally and targets of him, menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s16rage. Tragitwo choices: withdrawal or rage. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve men seen whofrustration, burying histemplate worry, stomping up cally, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re obliterating fall outside this narrow what withdrawal and rage have the stairs that without us whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, and of masculinity. Thispotential encourages the a culture does telling not recognize to do. School shootings only individualized the most I wantNo to less show him what men it looks like to be men as are complex selves. than women, public of tragedies.should Others,not onbea collapsed smaller scale, vulnerable and open butidentity. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Because I was into a rigidly stereotyped gender take place across the country daily; another a boy once, too. commonality among is aAmerican history ofculture, where women, in many areas In shooters our current abuse toward women. Therethreads has to be way tofeminine expand what it means anda men, of their lives, incorporate masculine a man withoutlives. losing ones, many men today actually tolivebemultigendered Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tour it masculinity. I To be clear, most men neverat turn donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; know we open ourselves to the rich timewill to look men violent. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender morehow expansively? Only Most men will turnthen out fican ne. we Most will to learn to complexity of our manhood.and I think we would begin recognize men not only as producers navigate the deep waters of their feelings with- inbenefi from lives the same conversations girls and predators but as the guardians youngt boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fathers, unout ever engaging in anyteachers, form ofcoaches destruction. women have beenmalleable having forselves these past 50 years. cles, â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who encourage these Most will grow up totobeembrace kind. But many will not. their own and othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; uniqueness. I would like men to use feminism as an inspiWe will probably never understand why any one ration, in the same way that feminists used the young man decides to end the lives of others. civil rights movement as theirs. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not advoBut we can see at least one pattern and that cating a quick fix. There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one. But we have pattern is glaringly obvious. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys. to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

18

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught.â&#x20AC;?

Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a â&#x20AC;&#x153;soy boyâ&#x20AC;? (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

)6M_5WLMTWN 5I[K]TQVQ\a

12

ALAN FRANK

New York, NY

feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine. Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them â&#x20AC;&#x201D; their strength, aggression and competitiveness â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to be, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re terrified. But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a model of masculinity that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all.



When someone tells my 5-year-old son, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cry,â&#x20AC;? he answers, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true.â&#x20AC;? Boys cry as much as girls until theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re scolded or insulted when they do. 22When our son cries, we let him. When he hurts himself, we comfort him. When heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s angry, we try to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bothering him. The result? His teachers tell us how kind, gentle and thoughtful he is to other children. He is still a confident, outgoing, pirate-loving boy. But we have raised him without false, demeaning, sexist views about what it means to be male or female. To us, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about love.

21



BILL YOUMANS



To the Editor

Michael Ian Black is correct when he asserts that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken.â&#x20AC;? One way to begin to fix them is through books. In this digital age, too few American boys take the time to read great literary texts. That is sad because studies have shown that engagement with great literature builds empathy and fosters healthy self-reflection. We need to encourage boys to put down their phones and pick up good books that deal with the issues that growing boys face. Begin with Mark Twainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great classic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,â&#x20AC;? the story of an abused teenage boy who runs away and bonds with a kind runaway slave.

ALAN FRANK

11

Michael Ian Black raises a compelling question about American masculinity. In America, the popular conception of manhood has always come primarily from movies. The male protagonists of the silver screen, from John Wayne to Sean Connery to Harrison Ford to George Clooney to Denzel Washington, have defined our ideal of what a man should be. In movies, menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cleaned-up, choreographed, heroic representations of gunfire and fistfights have presented for us romanticized, highly unrealistic notions of what violence is all about. We have accordingly developed a warped sense of how to handle aggression.

Chapel Hill, NC



â&#x20AC;&#x153;Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively?â&#x20AC;?

20



When someone tells my 5-year-old son, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cry,â&#x20AC;? he answers, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true.â&#x20AC;? Boys cry as much as girls until theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re scolded or insulted when they do. When our son cries, we let him. When he hurts himself, we comfort him. When heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s angry, we try to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bothering him. The result? His teachers tell us how kind, gentle and thoughtful he is to other children. He is still a confident, outgoing, pirate-loving boy. But we have raised him without false, demeaning, sexist views about what it means to be male or female. To us, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about love. I used to have this one-liner: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you want to The past 50 years have redefined what it means emasculate a guy friend, when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at a to be female in America. Girls today are told restaurant, ask him everything that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going that they can do anything, be anyone. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve to order, and then when the waitress comes â&#x20AC;Ś absorbed the message: Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re outperformorder for him.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny because it shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ing boys in school at every level. But it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity â&#x20AC;&#x201D; just about performance. To be a girl today is but it is. to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, many forms and expressions. were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory 14 Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the Boys, though, have been left behind. No ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine commensurate movement has emerged to help and too many other sites of American carnage. them navigate toward a full expression of their What do these shootings have in common? gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no longer enough to â&#x20AC;&#x153;be a manâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pulling the we no longer even know what that means. triggers. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost always boys. Too many boys are trapped in the same suffoAmericaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us. cating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there The brokenness of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys stands in is no way to be vulnerable without being emascontrast to its girls, who still face an abundance culated, where manliness is about having power of obstacles but go into the world increasingly over others. They are trapped, and they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have the language to talk about how they well equipped to take them on.

6



â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.â&#x20AC;? 10

RON HELLENDALL I play pool with a friend of mine three to four times a month. Pool is just the excuse â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the vehicle to get together to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives. Implicit in those conversations is the expression of understanding of manhood. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all indirect, often subtle, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unquestionably there.



Re â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Boys Are Not All Right,â&#x20AC;? by Michael Ian Black (Op-Ed, Feb. 22), which links violence by boys and men to our concepts of masculinity:

I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not advocating a quick fix. There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

We will probably never understand why any one young man decides to end the lives of others. But we can see at least one pattern and that pattern is glaringly obvious. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys.

10

9

I believe in boys. I believe in my son. Sometimes, though, I see him, 16 years old, swallowing his frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Because I was a boy once, too.

There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.

To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not.



8

Women just need to listen to men converse without assumptions. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll rarely use such terms as mindfulness, journey, vulnerability etc. They simply do not suit our gender. But we cover these topics all the time. Women and men discuss identity differently. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s O.K. Really. But the last thing men want to do is talk about such stuff directly. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being discussed all the time. All the time.



F gu e L Layou Deve opmen  

7



Re â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Boys Are Not All Right,â&#x20AC;? by Michael Ian Black (Op-Ed, Feb. 22), which links violence by boys and men to our concepts of masculinity:

I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not advocating a quick fix. There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

We will probably never understand why any one young man decides to end the lives of others. But we can see at least one pattern and that pattern is glaringly obvious. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys.

34 2

â&#x20AC;&#x153;And so the man who feels ls lost lostt is fully fullyy but wishes to preserve his tw woo w masculine self has only two aggge.â&#x20AC;? age. age.â&#x20AC;? choices: withdrawal or rage.â&#x20AC;?

I believe in boys. I believe in my son. Sometimes, though, I see him, 16 years old, swallowing his frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Because I was a boy once, too. There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.

To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not.

10

Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a â&#x20AC;&#x153;soy boyâ&#x20AC;? (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

A NEW MODEL OF MASCUL N TY

31

32

33

James Baldwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fine short story â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sonnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluesâ&#x20AC;? is narrated by an older brother who has survived the hazards of ghetto life but whose younger brother Sonny has surrendered to drugs. But after a prison term, Sonny gets high by stroking the keys of a piano. Please send your boys to the libraries.

18

19

LINDA GILMAN

MARIE J. BOTTICELLI



20



21

22

23

GEORGE HEYMONT

CLAY STOCKTON



24



25




And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women.

 











I believe in boys. I believe in my son. Sometimes, though, I see him, 16 years old, swallowing his frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Because I was a boy once, too. There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.

To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not.

ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON New York, NY To the Editor Re â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Boys Are Not All Right,â&#x20AC;? by Michael Ian Black (Op-Ed, Feb. 22), which links violence by boys and men to our concepts of masculinity:

I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not advocating a quick fix. There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

We will probably never understand why any one young man decides to end the lives of others. But we can see at least one pattern and that pattern is glaringly obvious. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys.

Mr. Black asks how we can help boys. Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught. Parents, caretakers, teachers and coaches must teach boys empathy by showing them affection, compassion and understanding. By responding to their needs. By giving them a safe place to express emotions and an ear to discuss them. By nurturing them.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.â&#x20AC;? COLOPHON 10

When someone tells my 5-year-old son, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cry,â&#x20AC;? he answers, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true.â&#x20AC;? Boys cry as much as girls until theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re scolded or insulted when they do. When our son cries, we let him. When he hurts himself, we comfort him. When heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s angry, we try to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bothering him. The result? His teachers tell us how kind, gentle and thoughtful he is to other children. He is still a confident, outgoing, pirate-loving boy. But we have raised him without false, demeaning, sexist views about what it means to be male or female. To us, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about love. I used to have this one-liner: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you want to The past 50 years have redefined what it means emasculate a guy friend, when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at a to be female in America. Girls today are told restaurant, ask him everything that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going that they can do anything, be anyone. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve to order, and then when the waitress comes â&#x20AC;Ś absorbed the message: Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re outperformorder for him.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny because it shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ing boys in school at every level. But it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity â&#x20AC;&#x201D; just about performance. To be a girl today is but it is. to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, many forms and expressions. were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory 14 Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the Boys, though, have been left behind. No ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine commensurate movement has emerged to help and too many other sites of American carnage. them navigate toward a full expression of their What do these shootings have in common? gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no longer enough to â&#x20AC;&#x153;be a manâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pulling the we no longer even know what that means. triggers. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost always boys. Too many boys are trapped in the same suffoAmericaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us. cating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasThe brokenness of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys stands in culated, where manliness is about having power contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance over others. They are trapped, and they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t of obstacles but go into the world increasingly even have the language to talk about how they well equipped to take them on.

)6M_5WLMTWN 5I[K]TQVQ\a Letters to the Editor

A version of this article appears in print on March 3, 2018, on Page SR8 of the New York edition with the headline: A New Model of Masculinity.

11

12

Qui vel ium eniet provit ut remqui quuntet vendam hillupta dolo berspie tusdam res moditistius atistibus.Ellutaturem ipsam, suntiis et atianis quia as et harcid eume imolupisquis ipiendam, nus. Vid quatiatiam aut voluptatur? Agnim quam illa nost, est, quatur, to ium, inctur?Eceat. It acipsant id exererr uptatem lis simolupti volor sam estiisit ium eum id que corro commolu ptates nim facimin cidipsa preritas sed quatus am quiatem acepel ius eos sitestor si oditat quos ipsunti id quuntia epeliquat. Ut res audiscilitae nis pro officit ut occatibus et volestium idem. Fugit, estor molorro tempost ommolup taspici unditam entiur

13

<PM*Wa[)ZM6W\)TT:QOP\ Micheal Ian Black

A version of this article appears in print on February 21, 2018, on Page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: The Boys Are Not All Right.

34 2

35 3

4



And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily; another commonality among shooters is a history of abuse toward women.

 

5

6









ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON New York, NY To the Editor

Mr. Black asks how we can help boys. Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught. Parents, caretakers, teachers and coaches must teach boys empathy by showing them affection, compassion and understanding. By responding to their needs. By giving them a safe place to express emotions and an ear to discuss them. By nurturing them.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.â&#x20AC;? COLOPHON

)6M_5WLMTWN 5I[K]TQVQ\a Letters to the Editor

A version of this article appears in print on March 3, 2018, on Page SR8 of the New York edition with the headline: A New Model of Masculinity.

11

Qui vel ium eniet provit ut remqui quuntet vendam hillupta dolo berspie tusdam res moditistius atistibus.Ellutaturem ipsam, suntiis et atianis quia as et harcid eume imolupisquis ipiendam, nus. Vid quatiatiam aut voluptatur? Agnim quam illa nost, est, quatur, to ium, inctur?Eceat. It acipsant id exererr uptatem lis simolupti volor sam estiisit ium eum id que corro commolu ptates nim facimin cidipsa preritas sed quatus am quiatem acepel ius eos sitestor si oditat quos ipsunti id quuntia epeliquat. Ut res audiscilitae nis pro officit ut occatibus et volestium idem. Fugit, estor molorro tempost ommolup taspici unditam entiur

12

13

<PM*Wa[)ZM6W\)TT:QOP\





Micheal Ian Black

A version of this article appears in print on February 21, 2018, on Page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: The Boys Are Not All Right.

34 2

BILL YOUMANS New York, NY

35 3

ALAN FRANK New York, NY

4

5

15





JAMES TACKACH Bristol, RI

RON HELLENDALL Chapel Hill, NC

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively?â&#x20AC;?

MASCULINIT ALAN FRANK

19

20

New York, NY To the Editor

18

12

13

15

14





â&#x20AC;&#x153;Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively?â&#x20AC;?

MASCULINIT ALAN FRANK

19

10

20

GRIFFITH R. DYE Oberlin, OH

17

â&#x20AC;&#x153;And so the man who feels ls lost is fully but wishes to preserve his masculine self has only two age.â&#x20AC;? choices: withdrawal or rage.â&#x20AC;? 8

9



â&#x20AC;&#x153;One way to begin to fix them is through books.â&#x20AC;? JAMES TACKACH

My heroes today are children, both boys and girls, who take unpopular stands against injustice and cruelty. They might teach adult leaders about real courage: compassion, honesty, restraint and truthfulness.

RON HELLENDALL Chapel Hill, NC To the Editor

I play pool with a friend of mine three to four times a month. Pool is just the excuse â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the vehicle to get together to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives. Implicit in those conversations is the expression of understanding of manhood. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all indirect, often subtle, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unquestionably there.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught.â&#x20AC;?

Women just need to listen to men converse without assumptions. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll rarely use such terms as mindfulness, journey, vulnerability etc. They simply do not suit our gender. But we cover these topics all the time. Women and men discuss identity differently. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s O.K. Really. But the last thing men want to do is talk about such stuff directly. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being discussed all the time. All the time.

ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON

23

24

25

15

16

17



JAMES TACKACH Bristol, RI

Oberlin, OH To the Editor

Michael Ian Black points out the difficulties boys have in finding a reasonable model for manhood among the conflicting expectations in our society. For many of us our earliest examples of how men should behave involved physical power and violence. As a boy I wanted the opportunity to demonstrate physical courage, which I equated with manhood. But I missed the many opportunities I had to exercise moral courage.

ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON New York, NY

Ernest Hemingwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nick Adams stories feature a boy who grows To thethe Editor into manhood and experiences horrors of war. To regain his emotional balance after the war, Nick reconnects with the natural Re â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Are Not Right,â&#x20AC;? by Michael Ian (Op-Ed, world thatBoys he loved as aAll boy. He regains control ofBlack his life with a Feb. 22), which by boys and men to our concepts fi shing rod, not alinks gun,violence in his hands. of masculinity: James Baldwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fine short story â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sonnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluesâ&#x20AC;? is narrated by Mr. Blackbrother asks how wehas cansurvived help boys. not born an older who theHumans hazards are of ghetto life embut pathetic. Empathy is taught. Parents, caretakers, teachers and whose younger brother Sonny has surrendered to drugs. But after by showing themof affection, acoaches prison must term, teach Sonnyboys gets empathy high by stroking the keys a piano. compassion and understanding. By responding to their needs. By Please send your boys to the libraries. giving them a safe place to express emotions and an ear to discuss them. By nurturing them. When someone tells my 5-year-old son, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cry,â&#x20AC;? he answers, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true.â&#x20AC;? Boys cry as much as girls until theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re scolded or insulted when they do. 22When our son cries, we let him. When he hurts himself, we comfort him. When heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s angry, we try to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bothering him. The result? His teachers tell us how kind, gentle and thoughtful he is to other children. He is still a confident, outgoing, pirate-loving boy. But we have raised him without false, demeaning, sexist views about what it means to be male or female. To us, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about love.

21

GRIFFITH R. DYE

To the Editor Michael Ian Black is correct when he asserts that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken.â&#x20AC;? One way to begin to fix them is through books. In this digital age, too few American boys take the time to read great literary texts. That is sad because studies have shown that engagement with great literature builds empathy and fosters healthy self-reflection. We need to encourage boys to put down their phones and pick up good books that deal with the issues that growing boys face. Begin with Mark Twainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great classic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,â&#x20AC;? the story of an abused teenage boy who runs away and bonds with a kind runaway slave.



â&#x20AC;&#x153;One way to begin to fix them is through books.â&#x20AC;? JAMES TACKACH

My heroes today are children, both boys and girls, who take unpopular stands against injustice and cruelty. They might teach adult leaders about real courage: compassion, honesty, restraint and truthfulness.

RON HELLENDALL Chapel Hill, NC To the Editor

I play pool with a friend of mine three to four times a month. Pool is just the excuse â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the vehicle to get together to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives. Implicit in those conversations is the expression of understanding of manhood. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all indirect, often subtle, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unquestionably there.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught.â&#x20AC;?

Women just need to listen to men converse without assumptions. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll rarely use such terms as mindfulness, journey, vulnerability etc. They simply do not suit our gender. But we cover these topics all the time. Women and men discuss identity differently. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s O.K. Really. But the last thing men want to do is talk about such stuff directly. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being discussed all the time. All the time.

ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON

23

24

25

16

17

)6M_5WLMTWN 5I[K]TQVQ\a Letters to the Editor

A version of this article appears in print on March 3, 2018, on Page SR8 of the New York edition with the headline: A New Model of Masculinity.

11



16



7



â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.â&#x20AC;?



ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON

A version of this article appears in print on March 3, 2018, on Page SR8 of the New York edition with the headline: A New Model of Masculinity.

Y

ALAN FRANK By continuing to look at gender, and specifically at boys, through a heteronormative lens, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re solidifying a binary: men as emoAnd so the mantionally who repressed, feels lost but wishes I believe in boys.and I believe in my testosterone-driven predators, women as son. Sometimes, to preserve his fully masculine self has only and though, him,rage. 16 years old, swallowing his emotionally available caregivers targetsIofseemenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tragitwo choices: withdrawal orobliterating rage. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen frustration, his worry, stomping up cally, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re men who fall outside thisburying narrow template what withdrawalofand rage haveThis the encourages potential a culture the stairs telling us whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, and masculinity. thatwithout does not recognize to do. School shootings are only the most selves. I want to show him what it looks like to be men as complex individualized No less than women, men public of tragedies. Others, oncollapsed a smallerinto scale, vulnerable andgender open but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Because I was should not be a rigidly stereotyped identity. take place across the country daily; another a boy once, too. commonality among a historyculture, of In ourshooters current isAmerican where women, in many areas abuse toward women. There has to bemen, a wayfeminine to expand what it means threads and of their lives, incorporate masculine to multigendered be a man without ones, many men today actually live lives.losing Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t itour masculinity. I To be clear, mosttime mentowill turnâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;violent. donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know expansively? how we openOnly ourselves to the rich looknever at men and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more Most men will turn outcan fine. to men complexity manhood. then weMost beginwill to learn recognize not onlyofasour producers andI think we would navigate the deeppredators waters ofbut their feelings with- in young benefiboysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; t from theâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;same conversations girls and as the guardians lives fathers, unout ever engagingcles, in any form coaches of destruction. women have havingselves for these past 50 years. teachers, â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who encourage thesebeen malleable Most will grow uptotoembrace be kind. their But many will not. own and othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; uniqueness. I would like men to use feminism as an inspiWe will probably never understand why any one ration, in the same way that feminists used the young man decides to end the lives of others. civil rights movement as theirs. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not advoBut we can see at least one pattern and that cating a quick fix. There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one. But we have pattern is glaringly obvious. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys. to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

When someone tells my 5-year-old son, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cry,â&#x20AC;? he answers, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true.â&#x20AC;? Boys cry as much as girls until theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re scolded or insulted when they do. 22When our son cries, we let him. When he hurts himself, we comfort him. When heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s angry, we try to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bothering him. The result? His teachers tell us how kind, gentle and thoughtful he is to other children. He is still a confident, outgoing, pirate-loving boy. But we have raised him without false, demeaning, sexist views about what it means to be male or female. To us, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about love.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught.â&#x20AC;?

Letters to the Editor



To the Editor

New York, NY

feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine. Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them â&#x20AC;&#x201D; their strength, aggression and competitiveness â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to be, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re terrified.

)6M_5WLMTWN 5I[K]TQVQ\a

11

Michael Ian Black raises a compelling question about American masculinity. In America, the popular conception of manhood has always come primarily from movies. The male protagonists of the silver screen, from John Wayne to Sean Connery to Harrison Ford to George Clooney to Denzel Washington, have defined our ideal of what a man should be. In movies, menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cleaned-up, choreographed, heroic representations of gunfire and fistfights have presented for us romanticized, highly unrealistic notions of what violence is all about. We have accordingly developed a warped sense of how to handle aggression.

ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON

James Baldwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fine short story â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sonnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluesâ&#x20AC;? is narrated by Mr. Blackbrother asks how wehas cansurvived help boys. not born an older who theHumans hazards are of ghetto life embut pathetic. Empathy is taught. Parents, caretakers, teachers and whose younger brother Sonny has surrendered to drugs. But after by showing themof affection, acoaches prison must term, teach Sonnyboys gets empathy high by stroking the keys a piano. compassion and understanding. By responding to their needs. By Please send your boys to the libraries. giving them a safe place to express emotions and an ear to discuss them. By nurturing them.

21

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.â&#x20AC;?



We need to encourage boys to put down their phones and pick up good books that deal with the issues that growing boys face. Begin with Mark Twainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great classic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,â&#x20AC;? the story of an abused teenage boy who runs away and bonds with a kind runaway slave. Ernest Hemingwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nick Adams stories feature a boy who grows To thethe Editor into manhood and experiences horrors of war. To regain his emotional balance after the war, Nick reconnects with the natural Re â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Are Not Right,â&#x20AC;? by Michael Ian (Op-Ed, world thatBoys he loved as aAll boy. He regains control ofBlack his life with a Feb. 22), which by boys and men to our concepts fi shing rod, not alinks gun,violence in his hands. of masculinity:



Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a â&#x20AC;&#x153;soy boyâ&#x20AC;? (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

To the Editor

Superheroes, from Superman to the Black Panther, are likewise fearless, intrepid and invulnerable. This ideal hardly squares with our inner life as women. Obviously movies are not to blame for the mental illness that sometimes causes gun violence. But they play an underrated part in the roles we assign to gender identity.

9

But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a model of masculinity that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all.

Michael Ian Black points out the difficulties boys have in finding a reasonable model for manhood among the conflicting expectations in our society. For many of us our earliest examples of how men should behave involved physical power and violence. As a boy I wanted the opportunity to demonstrate physical courage, which I equated with manhood. But I missed the many opportunities I had to exercise moral courage.

New York, NY

17

To the Editor

To the Editor

BILL YOUMANS

8

I play pool with a friend of mine three to four times a month. Pool is just the excuse â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the vehicle to get together to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives. Implicit in those conversations is the expression of understanding of manhood. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all indirect, often subtle, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unquestionably there.

Michael Ian Black is correct when he asserts that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken.â&#x20AC;? One way to begin to fix them is through books. In this digital age, too few American boys take the time to read great literary texts. That is sad because studies have shown that engagement with great literature builds empathy and fosters healthy self-reflection.

The hero (we tend to see ourselves as the hero in the movies of our lives) says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bring it on,â&#x20AC;? and starts firing automatic weapons. Unlike, say, Shakespearean protagonists, he has no serious character flaws, conflicted feelings, fears, guilt or regrets. He always knows what is right and acts on it unfailingly. He has, in short, no vulnerability.

16

Women just need to listen to men converse without assumptions. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll rarely use such terms as mindfulness, journey, vulnerability etc. They simply do not suit our gender. But we cover these topics all the time. Women and men discuss identity differently. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s O.K. Really. But the last thing men want to do is talk about such stuff directly. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being discussed all the time. All the time.

To the Editor

10

ABIGAIL ROSE SOLOMON

â&#x20AC;&#x153;And so the man who feels ls lost is fully but wishes to preserve his masculine self has only two age.â&#x20AC;? choices: withdrawal or rage.â&#x20AC;? 7

By continuing to look at gender, and specifically at boys, through a heteronormative lens, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re solidifying a binary: men as emoAnd so the mantionally who repressed, feels lost but wishes I believe in boys.and I believe in my testosterone-driven predators, women as son. Sometimes, to preserve his fully masculine self has only and though, him,rage. 16 years old, swallowing his emotionally available caregivers targetsIofseemenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tragitwo choices: withdrawal orobliterating rage. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen frustration, his worry, stomping up cally, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re men who fall outside thisburying narrow template what withdrawalofand rage haveThis the encourages potential a culture the stairs telling us whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, and masculinity. thatwithout does not recognize to do. School shootings are only the most selves. I want to show him what it looks like to be men as complex individualized No less than women, men public of tragedies. Others, oncollapsed a smallerinto scale, vulnerable andgender open but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Because I was should not be a rigidly stereotyped identity. take place across the country daily; another a boy once, too. commonality among a historyculture, of In ourshooters current isAmerican where women, in many areas abuse toward women. There has to bemen, a wayfeminine to expand what it means threads and of their lives, incorporate masculine to multigendered be a man without ones, many men today actually live lives.losing Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t itour masculinity. I To be clear, mosttime mentowill turnâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;violent. donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know expansively? how we openOnly ourselves to the rich looknever at men and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more Most men will turn outcan fine. to men complexity manhood. then weMost beginwill to learn recognize not onlyofasour producers andI think we would navigate the deeppredators waters ofbut their feelings with- in young benefiboysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; t from theâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;same conversations girls and as the guardians lives fathers, unout ever engagingcles, in any form coaches of destruction. women have havingselves for these past 50 years. teachers, â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who encourage thesebeen malleable Most will grow uptotoembrace be kind. their But many will not. own and othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; uniqueness. I would like men to use feminism as an inspiWe will probably never understand why any one ration, in the same way that feminists used the young man decides to end the lives of others. civil rights movement as theirs. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not advoBut we can see at least one pattern and that cating a quick fix. There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one. But we have pattern is glaringly obvious. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys. to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

18

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Humans are not born empathetic. Empathy is taught.â&#x20AC;?

Case in point: A few days ago, I posted a brief thread about these thoughts on Twitter, knowing I would receive hateful replies in response. I got dozens of messages impugning my manhood; the mildest of them called me a â&#x20AC;&#x153;soy boyâ&#x20AC;? (a common insult among the alt-right that links soy intake to estrogen).

To the Editor

The hero (we tend to see ourselves as the hero in the movies of our lives) says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bring it on,â&#x20AC;? and starts firing automatic weapons. Unlike, say, Shakespearean protagonists, he has no serious character flaws, conflicted feelings, fears, guilt or regrets. He always knows what is right and acts on it unfailingly. He has, in short, no vulnerability.

feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine. Men feel isolated, confused and conflicted about their natures. Many feel that the very qualities that used to define them â&#x20AC;&#x201D; their strength, aggression and competitiveness â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are no longer wanted or needed; many others never felt strong or aggressive or competitive to begin with. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to be, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re terrified. But to even admit our terror is to be reduced, because we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a model of masculinity that allows for fear or grief or tenderness or the day-to-day sadness that sometimes overtakes us all.

Michael Ian Black raises a compelling question about American masculinity. In America, the popular conception of manhood has always come primarily from movies. The male protagonists of the silver screen, from John Wayne to Sean Connery to Harrison Ford to George Clooney to Denzel Washington, have defined our ideal of what a man should be. In movies, menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cleaned-up, choreographed, heroic representations of gunfire and fistfights have presented for us romanticized, highly unrealistic notions of what violence is all about. We have accordingly developed a warped sense of how to handle aggression.

Superheroes, from Superman to the Black Panther, are likewise fearless, intrepid and invulnerable. This ideal hardly squares with our inner life as women. Obviously movies are not to blame for the mental illness that sometimes causes gun violence. But they play an underrated part in the roles we assign to gender identity.



When someone tells my 5-year-old son, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boys donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cry,â&#x20AC;? he answers, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true.â&#x20AC;? Boys cry as much as girls until theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re scolded or insulted when they do. When our son cries, we let him. When he hurts himself, we comfort him. When heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s angry, we try to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bothering him. The result? His teachers tell us how kind, gentle and thoughtful he is to other children. He is still a confident, outgoing, pirate-loving boy. But we have raised him without false, demeaning, sexist views about what it means to be male or female. To us, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about love. I used to have this one-liner: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you want to The past 50 years have redefined what it means emasculate a guy friend, when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at a to be female in America. Girls today are told restaurant, ask him everything that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going that they can do anything, be anyone. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve to order, and then when the waitress comes â&#x20AC;Ś absorbed the message: Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re outperformorder for him.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny because it shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ing boys in school at every level. But it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be that easy to rob a man of his masculinity â&#x20AC;&#x201D; just about performance. To be a girl today is but it is. to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its Last week, 17 people, most of them teenagers, many forms and expressions. were shot dead at a Florida school. Marjory 14 Stoneman Douglas High School now joins the Boys, though, have been left behind. No ranks of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine commensurate movement has emerged to help and too many other sites of American carnage. them navigate toward a full expression of their What do these shootings have in common? gender. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no longer enough to â&#x20AC;&#x153;be a manâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Guns, yes. But also, boys. Girls arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pulling the we no longer even know what that means. triggers. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost always boys. Too many boys are trapped in the same suffoAmericaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s killing us. cating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there The brokenness of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys stands in is no way to be vulnerable without being emascontrast to its girls, who still face an abundance culated, where manliness is about having power of obstacles but go into the world increasingly over others. They are trapped, and they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have the language to talk about how they well equipped to take them on.

6

Y





To the Editor



Re â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Boys Are Not All Right,â&#x20AC;? by Michael Ian Black (Op-Ed, Feb. 22), which links violence by boys and men to our concepts of masculinity:

I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not advocating a quick fix. There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help.

We will probably never understand why any one young man decides to end the lives of others. But we can see at least one pattern and that pattern is glaringly obvious. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys.

10

Chapel Hill, NC

I believe in boys. I believe in my son. Sometimes, though, I see him, 16 years old, swallowing his frustration, burying his worry, stomping up the stairs without telling us whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, and I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Because I was a boy once, too. There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood. I think we would benefit from the same conversations girls and women have been having for these past 50 years.

To be clear, most men will never turn violent. Most men will turn out fine. Most will learn to navigate the deep waters of their feelings without ever engaging in any form of destruction. Most will grow up to be kind. But many will not.



RON HELLENDALL I play pool with a friend of mine three to four times a month. Pool is just the excuse â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the vehicle to get together to understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives. Implicit in those conversations is the expression of understanding of manhood. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all indirect, often subtle, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unquestionably there. Women just need to listen to men converse without assumptions. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll rarely use such terms as mindfulness, journey, vulnerability etc. They simply do not suit our gender. But we cover these topics all the time. Women and men discuss identity differently. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s O.K. Really. But the last thing men want to do is talk about such stuff directly. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being discussed all the time. All the time.

12

13

14



15





After reading â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Boys Are Not All Right,â&#x20AC;? I was struck by the similarities between gun violence and the sexual misconduct/ harassment cases that have flooded the media. As Michael Ian Black stat

New York, NY To the Editor

ALAN FRANK

MASCULINIT â&#x20AC;&#x153;Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively?â&#x20AC;? ALAN FRANK

19



20

LINDA GILMAN Jersey City, NJ

MARIE J. BOTTICELLI New York, NY

To the Editor

To the Editor

After reading â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Boys Are Not All Right,â&#x20AC;? I was struck by the similarities between gun violence and the sexual misconduct/ harassment cases that have flooded the media. As Michael Ian Black states, â&#x20AC;&#x153;manhood is measured in strengthâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;manliness is about having power over others.â&#x20AC;? Some men turn to guns as an expression of rage, violence or revenge, while other men, perhaps with more fame, money and recognition, use their power to express themselves through sexual acts involving domination and control.

This was a great article about the complexities of growing to a different manhood. The boys are not all right, but then a large portion of our business, social and personal lives are controlled by men who still promote this â&#x20AC;&#x153;suffocating, outdated model of masculinity.â&#x20AC;? We do have some different models of masculinity, such as Barack Obama, John Lewis, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, many religious leaders and more. They are mocked and belittled by the macho culture of our society. Changing this macho culture is the solution for our boys as well as our girls.

BILL YOUMANS

ALAN FRANK

Whether it be with a gun or sex organ, the harm that these groups of men and boys are inflicting on society needs to be understood.

New York, NY To the Editor

To the Editor By continuing to look at gender, and specifically at boys, through a heteronormative lens, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re solidifying a binary: men as emotionally repressed, testosterone-driven predators, and women as emotionally available caregivers and targets of menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rage. Tragically, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re obliterating men who fall outside this narrow template of masculinity. This encourages a culture that does not recognize men as complex individualized selves. No less than women, men should not be collapsed into a rigidly stereotyped gender identity.

The hero (we tend to see ourselves as the hero in the movies of our lives) says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bring it on,â&#x20AC;? and starts firing automatic weapons. Unlike, say, Shakespearean26protagonists, he has no serious character flaws, conflicted feelings, fears, guilt or regrets. He always knows what is right and acts on it unfailingly. He has, in short, no vulnerability.

In our current American culture, where women, in many areas of their lives, incorporate masculine threads and men, feminine ones, many men today actually live multigendered lives. Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively? Only then can we begin to recognize27men not only as producers and predators but as the guardians in young boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fathers, uncles, teachers, coaches â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who encourage these malleable selves to embrace their own and othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; uniqueness.

Superheroes, from Superman to the Black Panther, are likewise fearless, intrepid and invulnerable. This ideal hardly squares with our inner life as women. Obviously movies are not to blame for the mental illness that sometimes causes gun violence. But they play an underrated part in the roles we assign to gender identity.

18

22



Bristol, RI

To the Editor

MASCULINIT 28

20

29

Jersey City, NJ

To the Editor

Ernest Hemingwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nick Adams 30 stories feature a boy who grows into manhood and experiences the horrors of war. To regain his emotional balance after the war, Nick reconnects with the natural world that he loved as a boy. He regains control of his life with a fishing rod, not a gun, in his hands.

21

22

27

LINDA GILMAN

MARIE J. BOTTICELLI



GEORGE HEYMONT San Fransisco, CA To the Editor Michael Ian Black writes: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood.â&#x20AC;? Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very simple answer. Make sure boys grow up with some gay male friends in their life. That would go a long way to help them understand that empathy, vulnerability and sensitivity are not to be feared. They might also benefit from better modeling on how to treat and get along with women.

28

29

To the Editor This was a great article about the complexities of growing to a different manhood. The boys are not all right, but then a large portion of our business, social and personal lives are controlled by men who still promote this â&#x20AC;&#x153;suffocating, outdated model of masculinity.â&#x20AC;? We do have some different models of masculinity, such as Barack Obama, John Lewis, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, many religious leaders and more. They are mocked and belittled by the macho culture of our society. Changing this macho culture is the solution for our boys as well as our girls.

32

33

23

24

25

CLAY STOCKTON Oakland, CA To the Editor Michael Ian Black is right, technically, when he says thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no movement for men thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;commensurateâ&#x20AC;? with feminism. But if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s implying that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movement, period, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong.

Y

29

â&#x20AC;&#x153;But if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s implying that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movement, period, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong.â&#x20AC;?

I know because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m one of the thousands of men in it. Every week, I meet with about a dozen other men in the poorly ventilated library of a church, on a night when A.A. isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t using it. Some of us are fathers, some not; some are straight, some not; some were born into male bodies, some not. All we have in common is that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re men and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to embody a mature masculinity that welcomes the whole male experience â&#x20AC;&#x201D; shame and sadness, anger and desire, tenderness and joy. I think of us as trying to, as W. H. Auden wrote, â&#x20AC;&#x153;give back to the son the motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s richness of feeling.â&#x20AC;?

CLAY STOCKTON

CLAY STOCKTON

32

33



To the Editor

28

JAMES TACKACH

31

GEORGE HEYMONT San Fransisco, CA

MASCULINIT

CLAY STOCKTON

â&#x20AC;&#x153;One way to begin to fix them is through books.â&#x20AC;?

My heroes today are children, both boys and girls, who take unpopular stands against injustice and cruelty. They might teach adult leaders about real courage: compassion, honesty, restraint and truthfulness.

31

LINDA GILMAN

27

â&#x20AC;&#x153;But if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s implying that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movement, period, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong.â&#x20AC;?

To the Editor

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard, slow work. But men are out there doing it. Get on the Michael Ian Black out the difficulties boys have in finding internet and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll fipoints nd them. a reasonable model for manhood among the conflicting expectations in our society. For many of us our earliest examples of how men should behave involved physical power and violence. As a boy I wanted the opportunity to demonstrate physical courage, which I equated with manhood. But I missed the many opportunities I had to exercise moral courage.

30

Michael Ian Black writes: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood.â&#x20AC;? Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very simple answer. Make sure boys grow up with some gay male friends in their life. That would go a long way to help them understand that empathy, vulnerability and sensitivity are not to be feared. They might also benefit from better modeling on how to treat and get along with women.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was struck by the similarities between gun violence and the sexual misconduct/harassmentâ&#x20AC;?



To the Editor



New York, NY

To the Editor

Whether it be with a gun or sex organ, the harm that these groups of men and boys are inflicting on society needs to be understood.

Oakland, CA

GRIFFITH R. DYE

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard, slow work. But men are out there doing it. Get on the internet and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find them.

MASCULINIT 

After reading â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Boys Are Not All Right,â&#x20AC;? I was struck by the similarities between gun violence and the sexual misconduct/ harassment cases that have flooded the media. As Michael Ian Black states, â&#x20AC;&#x153;manhood is measured in strengthâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;manliness is about having power over others.â&#x20AC;? Some men turn to guns as an expression of rage, violence or revenge, while other men, perhaps with more fame, money and recognition, use their power to express themselves through sexual acts involving domination and control.

CLAY STOCKTON



LINDA GILMAN

26

25

Michael Ian Black is right, technically, when he says thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no movement for men thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;commensurateâ&#x20AC;? with feminism. But if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s implying that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movement, period, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong. I know because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m one of the thousands of men in it. Every week, I meet with about a dozen other men in the poorly ventilated library of a church, on a night when A.A. isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t using it. Some of us are fathers, some not; some are straight, some not; some were born into male bodies, some not. All we have in common is that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re men and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to embody a mature masculinity that welcomes the whole male experience â&#x20AC;&#x201D; shame and sadness, anger and desire, tenderness and joy. I think of us as trying to, as OHson the motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s richness W. H. Auden wrote, â&#x20AC;&#x153;giveOberlin, back to the of feeling.â&#x20AC;?



â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was struck by the similarities between gun violence and the sexual misconduct/harassmentâ&#x20AC;?

Whether it be with a gun or sex organ, the harm that these groups of men and boys are inflicting on society needs to be understood.

24

James Baldwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fine short story â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sonnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluesâ&#x20AC;? is narrated by an older brother who has survived the hazards of ghetto life but whose younger brother Sonny has surrendered to drugs. But after a prison term, Sonny gets high by stroking the keys of a piano. Please send your boys to the libraries.

New York, NY

This was a great article about the complexities of growing to a different manhood. The boys are not all right, but then a large portion of our business, social and personal lives are controlled by men who still promote this â&#x20AC;&#x153;suffocating, outdated model of masculinity.â&#x20AC;? We do have some different models of masculinity, such as Barack Obama, John Lewis, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, many religious leaders and more. They are mocked and belittled by the macho culture of our society. Changing this macho culture is the solution for our boys as well as our girls.

26

We need to encourage boys to put down their phones and pick up good books that deal with the issues that growing boys face. Begin with Mark Twainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great classic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,â&#x20AC;? the story of an abused teenage boy who runs away and bonds with a kind runaway slave.

MARIE J. BOTTICELLI

To the Editor

Jersey City, NJ

Michael Ian Black is correct when he asserts that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken.â&#x20AC;? One way to begin to fix them is through books. In this digital age, too few American boys take the time to read great literary texts. That is sad because studies have shown that engagement with great literature builds empathy and fosters healthy self-reflection.

Y

LINDA GILMAN

San Fransisco, CA

JAMES TACKACH

LINDA GILMAN



After reading â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Boys Are Not All Right,â&#x20AC;? I was struck by the similarities between gun violence and the sexual misconduct/ harassment cases that have flooded the media. As Michael Ian Black states, â&#x20AC;&#x153;manhood is measured in strengthâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;manliness is about having power over others.â&#x20AC;? Some men turn to guns as an expression of rage, violence or revenge, while other men, perhaps with more fame, money and recognition, use their power to express themselves through sexual acts involving domination and control.

GEORGE HEYMONT To the Editor

ALAN FRANK

JAMES TACKACH



Michael Ian Black writes: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There has to be a way to expand what it means to be a man without losing our masculinity. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how we open ourselves to the rich complexity of our manhood.â&#x20AC;? Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very simple answer. Make sure boys grow up with some gay male friends in their life. That would go a long way to help them understand that empathy, vulnerability and sensitivity are not to be feared. They might also benefit from better modeling on how to treat and get along with women.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was struck by the similarities between gun violence and the sexual misconduct/harassmentâ&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively?â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;One way to begin to fix them is through books.â&#x20AC;?

23





19



To the Editor

My heroes today are children, both boys and girls, who take unpopular stands against injustice and cruelty. They might teach adult leaders about real courage: compassion, honesty, restraint and truthfulness.

James Baldwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fine short story â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sonnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bluesâ&#x20AC;? is narrated by an older brother who has survived the hazards of ghetto life but whose younger brother Sonny has surrendered to drugs. But after a prison term, Sonny gets high by stroking the keys of a piano. Please send your boys to the libraries.

New York, NY

Michael Ian Black raises a compelling question about American masculinity. In America, the popular conception of manhood has always come primarily from movies. The male protagonists of the silver screen, from John Wayne to Sean Connery to Harrison Ford to George Clooney to Denzel Washington, have defined our ideal of what a man should be. In movies, menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cleaned-up, choreographed, heroic representations of gunfire and fistfights have presented for us romanticized, highly unrealistic notions of what violence is all about. We have accordingly developed a warped sense of how to handle aggression.

Oberlin, OH

Michael Ian Black points out the difficulties boys have in finding a reasonable model for manhood among the conflicting expectations in our society. For many of us our earliest examples of how men should behave involved physical power and violence. As a boy I wanted the opportunity to demonstrate physical courage, which I equated with manhood. But I missed the many opportunities I had to exercise moral courage.

Ernest Hemingwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nick Adams stories feature a boy who grows into manhood and experiences the horrors of war. To regain his emotional balance after the war, Nick reconnects with the natural world that he loved as a boy. He regains control of his life with a fishing rod, not a gun, in his hands.

21



GRIFFITH R. DYE

To the Editor Michael Ian Black is correct when he asserts that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boys are broken.â&#x20AC;? One way to begin to fix them is through books. In this digital age, too few American boys take the time to read great literary texts. That is sad because studies have shown that engagement with great literature builds empathy and fosters healthy self-reflection. We need to encourage boys to put down their phones and pick up good books that deal with the issues that growing boys face. Begin with Mark Twainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great classic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,â&#x20AC;? the story of an abused teenage boy who runs away and bonds with a kind runaway slave.

Y



Bristol, RI

To the Editor

Superheroes, from Superman to the Black Panther, are likewise fearless, intrepid and invulnerable. This ideal hardly squares with our inner life as women. Obviously movies are not to blame for the mental illness that sometimes causes gun violence. But they play an underrated part in the roles we assign to gender identity.

18

JAMES TACKACH

New York, NY

By continuing to look at gender, and specifically at boys, through a heteronormative lens, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re solidifying a binary: men as emotionally repressed, testosterone-driven predators, and women as emotionally available caregivers and targets of menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rage. Tragically, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re obliterating men who fall outside this narrow template of masculinity. This encourages a culture that does not recognize men as complex individualized selves. No less than women, men should not be collapsed into a rigidly stereotyped gender identity. In our current American culture, where women, in many areas of their lives, incorporate masculine threads and men, feminine ones, many men today actually live multigendered lives. Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it time to look at men â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and gender â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more expansively? Only then can we begin to recognize27men not only as producers and predators but as the guardians in young boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives â&#x20AC;&#x201D; fathers, uncles, teachers, coaches â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who encourage these malleable selves to embrace their own and othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; uniqueness.

Y

BILL YOUMANS Michael Ian Black raises a compelling question about American masculinity. In America, the popular conception of manhood has always come primarily from movies. The male protagonists of the silver screen, from John Wayne to Sean Connery to Harrison Ford to George Clooney to Denzel Washington, have defined our ideal of what a man should be. In movies, menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cleaned-up, choreographed, heroic representations of gunfire and fistfights have presented for us romanticized, highly unrealistic notions of what violence is all about. We have accordingly developed a warped sense of how to handle aggression. The hero (we tend to see ourselves as the hero in the movies of our lives) says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bring it on,â&#x20AC;? and starts firing automatic weapons. Unlike, say, Shakespearean26protagonists, he has no serious character flaws, conflicted feelings, fears, guilt or regrets. He always knows what is right and acts on it unfailingly. He has, in short, no vulnerability.

Oakland, CA To the Editor

Michael Ian Black is right, technically, when he says thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no movement for men thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;commensurateâ&#x20AC;? with feminism. But if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s implying that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movement, period, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;But if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s implying that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movement, period, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong.â&#x20AC;?

I know because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m one of the thousands of men in it. Every week, I meet with about a dozen other men in the poorly ventilated library of a church, on a night when A.A. isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t using it. Some of us are fathers, some not; some are straight, some not; some were born into male bodies, some not. All we have in common is that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re men and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to embody a mature masculinity that welcomes the whole male experience â&#x20AC;&#x201D; shame and sadness, anger and desire, tenderness and joy. I think of us as trying to, as W. H. Auden wrote, â&#x20AC;&#x153;give back to the son the motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s richness of feeling.â&#x20AC;?

CLAY STOCKTON

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard, slow work. But men are out there doing it. Get on the internet and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find them.

30

31

32

33

Process Book: Poster 33


Figure M | Cover Iterations

34 Typography I


Almost completed with the bookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s layout, I generated over 45 iterations for the cover. I inteded to continue the upside down â&#x20AC;&#x153;Y,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and liked incorporating the orginal photo from both articles.

Process Book: Poster 35


36 Typography I


Figure N | Bookbinding (Perfect Bind) Overall 6 Dummy Books

Process Book: Poster 37


38 Typography I


Criticism Overall, I am pleased with the end product of this project. I appreciate having something to hold in my hands, and find the challenge of integrating two articles into one as a hard working success. I received positive feedback about the design by my peers and faculty, with most criticism on my craft. I intend to create more book dummies in the future before submitting my final book. For exploration and Creative process, I could have done significantly more throughout the project. For example, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do much exploration with my photographs. As a result, I did receive comments from peers the photos look slightly like stock photos, and I agree. Also, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t not change any layout significantly for almost 2 weeks, which was plenty of time to at least try experimenting. In conclusion, I learned significantly more about typography and book design, and recognize experimentation as an area for growth in the future.

Process Book: Poster 39


40Typography I


Process Book: Poster 41


42 Typography I


Process Book: Poster 43


Typography 1 Process Book: Identity  
Typography 1 Process Book: Identity  
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