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The Magazine of the Men's Resource Center of Western Massachusetts SP R I N G 1 9 9 9

Supporting Men • Challenging Violence Published Since 1983

Inside: • Fathers After Divorce: A Precious Resource • Y2K and the Denial of Privilege • 50 Health Ideas for Men • In the Lap of the Buddha • Poetry by Martin Espada • Out of Body, Out of Mind

By Rob Okun

From the Editor


Fathers After Divorce


a Precious Resource

mong the scores of calls that come into the Men's Resource 'Center each week, many are from separated or divorced fathers. These men share a primary concern wanting to stay connected to their children while experiencing distress over j ust how to do so. In addition to the struggle they may be going through with their former wives or partners, many feel betrayed by the courts and angry at society's negative stereotyping of fathers in general. They feel at an extreme disadvantage in establishing postdivorce parenting schedules that maximize the time they spend with their children. Often, there is bitterness and resignation in their voices, or fear and confusion. Some choke up with tears on the other end of the line. While their circumstances may vary widely, they call in search of an equitable way of staying involved with their sons and daughters. They feel they are being thwarted in their efforts to do so. Some blame current divorce laws for their plight; some the lawyer representing their former partner; some the mother of their children; and some all three. As justi-. fiable as it may seem, however, blaming others or adopting the role of victim may produce little more than a short-term feeling of righteousness. It won't do much to change the circumstances of those men · deeply committed to attaining (or maintaining) a full measure of parental rights. Rather, evidence must be produced to refute popular notions suggesting that after a divorce fathers are uninterested in their children, don't follow through on child support payments, leave the mother of their children (and the children themselves) economically disadvantaged, and recover more quickly from the emotional upheaval caused by the dissolution of the family. Until, or unless, divorced fathers and their allies are willing to contest those widely held contentions, then adversarial, high conflict divorces-where children end up the losersmay well continue to outnumber amicable cooperative divorces. ' Many fathers searching for allies to aid them in their quest for sustaining close connections with their children don't easily locate groups that champion close cooperation and good communication between mother and father after divorce. Instead, what they often find are organizations that,



while well-intentioned in their desire to assist disenfranchised fathers, frequently take an adversarial approach to their children's mothers and their attorneys, the courts, and the popular media. The result? just at the moment when cool heads are called for, too often these vulnerable frustrated, confl)sed fathers find themsel~es being encouraged to "fight fire with fire ." We can do better; for the sake of our children we have to. Recent studies suggest that many widely held notions about divorced fathers are beginning to be dispelled, but changes in perception won't happen overnight. Some of the findings point the way to unraveling many of the myths, but one key to successful father involvement may lie in championing mothering. The truth is, barring criminal or other aberrant behavior, it is good news for mothers to have involved, engaged fathers sharing parenting responsibilities. Not only does such involvement alleviate some of the stress of primary, single parenting (the lot of many mothers after a divorce), it also provides children with opportunities to deepen their bond with their other parent. And, if he feels enfranchised, valued, such a father is more likely to comply with the terms of a divorce decree . While there are, no doubt, some fathers who will continue to shirk their responsibilities (one need only recall any of the high-profile "deadbeat dad" stories of recent memory) , there are also fathers who feel pushed away, thwarted at every turn, in their desire to build meaningful relationships with their sons and daughters. Fathers have little to gain from feeling victimized by social institutions that have not yet caught up with contemporary trends in parenting. Better to prod court officials and legislators to look more closely into changing family patterns, to see clearly the role fathers can play and are playing in families before and after divorce. In the mean. time, society would be well served to examine more critically the cultural assumptions that too often leave fathers feeling disenfranchised, devalued and isolated from their children. After ~ll. fathers-are a precious natural resource we need today more than ever.

From the Editor From the Director Mail Bonding Men@Work Fathering: Chi(lnging Tables By Donald Unger Men &:. Health: 50 Ideas By Joe Zaske Notes from Survivors By Oscar Daryl Thank You Resources MRC Programs and Services Calendar Courageous Hearts

2 3 4 5 l3

14 15 20 22 25 26 28

ARTICLES & OPINION Cover Story: Local Heroes By Michael Burke and Rob Okun 8 Book Review: Michael Gurian's A Fine Young Man By Carl Erikson 10 Memoir: Me and joe Black By George Moonlight Davis 11 Poetry: Because Gemente Means Merciful By Marttn Espada 12 Cover photos: Buzz Buzzewitz. George Moonlight Davis

The mission of the Men~ Resource Center of Western Masscuhusetts is to support men and develop men~ leadership in challenging all forms of oppression in our lives, our families, and our communities. Our programs support men to overcome the damaging effects of rigid and stereotyped masculinity, and simultaneously confront men~ patterns of personal and societal violence and abuse toward women, children, and other men.


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· 236 North Pleasant Street • Amherst, MA 01002 413.253.9887 • Fax: 413.253.4801 ISSN 1092-4795 • Email: Web Site: Voice Male

From the Director

By Steven Botkin

Y2K and the Denial of Privilege Administrative Staff

Executive Director - Steven Botkin Associate Director- Rob Okun Business Manager - Carl Erikson Office Manager - George Moonlight Davis Outreach Coordinator - Steven Jacobsen Development Associate - Tim Van Ness Men Overcoming Violence

Directors- Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Rob Okun Clinical Supervisor - Steven Botkin Partner Services Coordinator- Sara Elinoff Group Leaders - Juan Carlos Arean, Steven Jefferson. Steve Trudel Youth Education

MARS Program - Russell Bradbury-Carlin, Javiera Benavente Springfield Initiative

Director - Juan Carlos Arean Voice .Male

Editor - Rob Okun Senior Editor - Steven Botkin Managing Editor- Michael Burke Production - Mark Bergeron Ad Sales Director - Steven Jacobsen Copy Editor - Michael Dover ·Support Groups

Director - Juan Carlos Arean Board of Directors

Chair - Michael Dover Vice-Chair - AI Sax Clerk/Treasurer - Peter Jessop Members -Jenny Daniell, Nancy Girard, Thom . Herman, Sean Hutchinson, Yoko Kala, Tom Kovar. Brenda Lopez, She/lie Taggart Editors' Note The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinions of all staff ar board of the MRC. We encourage letters to the editor. articles, and news. Address submissions to: Editor. Voice Male. Membership The MRCis funded by individual and organizational contributions, and by fees for services. Please join us iii our vision of men healing, growing, and ending violence. Annual subscription and membership is $25. Send to-MRC, 236 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002. . Advertising For rates and deadlines call Steven Jacobsen at 413-253-9887.

Voice Male

admit, I am both scared and excited about the approaching year 2000. I am scared because· a bizarre technical problem, embedded in computer systems throughout the world, has . the potential to disrupt some· of the security, stability and comfort of our lives. I am afraid of the potential for increased human suffering, especially among the poor people of this country and those around the world who already live on the edges of security, stability and comfort. I am especially afraid of the pervasive human tendency for denial, whe~her about oppression, violence, environmental destruction, or a failure of technology As many of us in the men's movement have learned, denial can serve to protect o;nselves from facing the damage our privilege does to others. It has become so easy for most of us in .the United States to take for granted an endless, always. available stream of water, electriCity, oil, gasoline, and food, supplied to us by · ever-moving fleets of trucks, boats, trains and planes. We find it impossible to imagine life without any of these immediately at our disposal , ever:1 though · these resources are not available to most of the people in the world. Activists in the environmental movement and the movements for economic justice have been telling us for many years that our system of technological privilege is based on human and environmental exploitation, and is ultimately self-destructive. However, for many 9f us this privilege remains largely invisible. We give a passing shake of our heads about the destruction·of the rain forest global warming, increasing pove~ty, ' pomelessness and starvation. Predicted crises seem continually to recede into the future. We don't 'k now what to do and we really don't have to do anythin~. As many of us in the men's movement also know, having our denial challenged, being confronted by the reality of our privilege, can be a profoundly threatening experience. We may become very defensive, rationalizing the privileges and minimizir:1g their damaging effects. We may resist feeling the shame, anger and


fear that would come with an understanding of the extent of the violation that has occurred. Often it takes an·immediate crisis to make the foundations of privilege visible to its beneficiaries-an abused woman leaves her husband, a riot breaks out in a ghetto, foreign economies collapse. The direct experience of personal pain or deprivation can awaken us to the. problem. Here, I believe, is where the year 2000 c·omputer problem offers us an exciting opportunity. Can the threat to the technologically privileged of the world cause us to see through our denial to the sources of our privilege? Can we get beyond our defensiveness and fear and examine the costs of this privilege? At the Men's Resource Center over the past 17 years we have learned that male privilege comes at great cost. In order to . buy the privileges of masculinity we are required to buy a social role that is inherently unstable and self-destructive. And then, we're supposed to act as if we are not being damaged. Denial, after all, takes two forms : the denial of how we hurt others , and the denial of how we · ourselves are hurting. The costs of technological privilege to those of us who are its beneficiaries are sometimes difficult 'to recognize. Some are familiar, however, to those of us who work in the mens movement: human isolation, emotional repression, spiritual disconnection. Our relationship to the natural environment (including our · physical bodies) is severely constricted, based on control and domination. If preparatio;n for potential disruptions in our technological systems can bring us into more equitable, mutually supportive contacts with our neighborhoods and communities, if they can motivate us to create more emotionally sustainable lifestyles, if they cali us to deepen our faith, and if they require that we return to a balanced connection with nature, then let us welcome the challenges of the new millennium with gratitude.


- - - - - M A I L BONDING----WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU Write us! Please send typewritten, double-spaced letters to: VOICE MALE., MRC, 236 North Pleasant Street, Amherst , MA 01002 or FAX us at (413) 253-4801, E-mail:; include address and phone. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.Deadline for the Summer '99 issue is May 10.

Great Heart

Dictionary Lauded

My brief exposure to your efforts gives me great heart, I think your work is important, powerful, and transformative. Please accept my donation for any purpose you deem appropriate.

A very dear friend sent me A Male Survivor's Dictionary by Steven jacobsen. Thank you for having the courage to publish it! It's been a source of strength to me and I've shared it with my therapist. The wealth of information in it is invaluable. I only wish the Dictionary had been there lO years ago when I began my therapy. It would have made things much easier to explain, not ronly to my therapist, but to my friends and loved ones. I was a "victim" of sexual abuse . Today I'm a "survivor!" My father sexually abused me from the age of four to 19. My mother took out her rage about my father's behavior by physically abusing me because she was angry at "someone" for what was 路happening and it was easier to beat a child than a 6'2" , 200-pound man . The abuse left me emotionally crippled for many years until I finally had the strength to "recover" my life. I've worked very hard in going from "victim" to "survivor" as the abuse left numerous scars: alcoholism, multiple personality disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome, self-mutilation, and depression that has led to hospitalized suicide attempts. 1 Definitely not an easy life to recover, but through years of therapy I've managed ,to do it. Steven Jacobsen$ Dictionary is a wonderful breakthrough. He has eliminated so much that we victim/survivors spend years trying to explain to our therapists, friends, family. just give them the Dictionary and they will understand!

Daria Bolton Fisk Greenfield, Mass.

Moving from Inner to Outer Work I very much enjoyed reading the latest issue of Voice Male, in which the lead editorial concerned "taking the work into the world" ["Can Changing Men Make Social Change?" Winter 1999) . As the leader of a burgeoning community of men in New England, I [know] that many men doing their "inner work" do not extend themselves into the service of the greater community. One of the tenets of our New Warrior trainings is th~t each human being is called to define and pursue his or her unique mission of service. Men enter our community through being initiated by other men ; they then form local groups which support them in their growth and in their missions. For some of these men and groups , service projects are being launched. For others, there will be continued pursuit of inner growth work, and a necessary period of mtegration to arrive at a balance point between personal, family, job and community demands. As our community grows and ages, I suspect that many a man will build a service component into his life that is not transient and fleeting, but will have evolved as an authentic representation of who he is. This year, New Warrior Training Adventure weekends will be held at Bullard Farm in New Salem, Mass. If any \ reader wishes to explore joining our community, he or she may contact Will Flanders at (413) 259-1955 or send an email inquiry to

Wayne Cobb Center Director The Mankind Project New England Portland, Me. r


Charlie Wolfe via e-mail Editor's Note: To order a copy please send $5, plus $2 postage to MRC, 236 No. Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002

A Handle on My Life Thank you all .at the Men's Resource Center for being there. I walked in off the street and was greeted gracefully by two members of the staff on a morning of despair. I was allowed to sit down and look through your books of referral and found a therapist that turned out to be the best thing to happen to me in 45 years. His name is Doug Arey and he has done

wonders for me in helping me get a handle on my life . I am nowhere near there but for the first time feel as though I have someone on my side to get me there . Without this center I most likely would be floundering around still, and when I am back on my feet financially I am joining up with a donation, so that my part in supporting you will be there. I have recommended both Doug and your center to many of my friends and wish you all well in the future . .

Peter S. Baumann Millers Falls, Mass.

Integrating Spirit I've read Voice Male for some time (under previous names), but yours ( Sara Elinoff's "What's a Nice Feminist Like Me Doing in a Place Like This?" Winter 1999) is the first article I've ever felt like responding to. A great piece, particularly what you say about "power" and "power-over." I admire your guts, sister; it seems to me you've made a really creative, an integrating leap of spirit, holding out hope for a healthy, holistic paradigm for repairing gender relations, if not all social relations . Thank you for taking on this challenge, this .i mportant work. I've been caught up in the "war of the sexes" for a long time , well before it was declared a "war." I came to Massachusetts after attending a men's conference in New York, 1973 or so, where I met up with some people I'd been with in the Peace Corps, and was subsequently invited to visit them. That exciting first trip up here caused me to sell everything I could, put . the remainder in a rental van and move here-but not till I had .posted and convened the first meeting of a NOW chapter in the small Virginia town where I was living. I was the only male who showed up; the second meeting of that group of angry women was not announced to me, so I made the natural conclusion that I should butt out. My feelings were hurt , but I yielded-more or less gracefully. In Massachusetts, I was drawn to the rrien's movement in Amherst for awhile , where I began a painful , and still incomplete, discovery or rather retrieval of the

continued on page 24 Voice Male

MEN(®WORK A Man on the MOVE from MARS:

Russell Bradbury-Carlin By Mi-chael Burke


earned ,an M.A. in counseling psychol-ssell Bradbury-Carlin someogy in 1996), he returned to become lmes spells his name for peoone of the first facilitators of the open le by explaining that it's men' s drop-in group. "Things at the radbury like the sci-fi writer MRC kind of fell into place for me," he (Ray), Carlin like the comedian "I was on the board. I really wantsays. (George). And it seems oddly appropried to work with young people against ate, because he brings to his work with That kept me connected." violence. the Men's Resource Center an approach His work with MOVE (he's been its that is at ·once scientific, grounded in co-di~ector since 1997) the theory and practice of includes running a trea ting men who are abuweekly group , conductsive, and also leavened ing individual interviews with a sense of humor. of men coming into the More than that, he brings program, coordinating a passion an'd enthusiasm the eight weekly groups , to his work with men and and making connections with youth that is infec~ with other organizations, tious and inspirational. \3 as well as with governBradbury-Carlin actual] ment agencies such as ly has two positions at the the District Attorney's MRC, as co-director of the and the office Men Oyercoming Violence . Massachusetts (MOYE) program , workDepartment of Publi~ ing with men who Have a Russell Bradbwy -Carlin Health. And that's just problem with abuse, and part of it. The evaluation as an education coordinaprocess for men who may need MOVE tor for the Mentor Advocates for can involve talking to partners, exRespect and Safety (MARS) program, spouses, therapists, the Department of which works with area youth. To both Social Services, and the courts to deterjobs he brings his experience of the mine what the issues are and if the world, his coqtic spirit, and his educaMOVE program is appropriate for an tion and training in psychotherapy and individual man. The intake interview batterers' treatment. for men actually entering the program Bradbury- Carlin became involved involves learning a man's personal hiswith the MRC in 1990 when he was tory-with violence, with drugs and running the October Wood Company alcohol, and family history. in Thorne's Marketplace in NorthAnd what is the reward Bradbury- · ampton. He had hired longtime MRCer gets from working in MOVE? Carlin juan Carlos Arean, who told him about men 'get it'-seeing that their "Seeing the MRC. "I was really starting to look behavior has been harmful or destrucinward," ·he remembers . "It was sometive to someone they have been intithing I was looking for. I didn't have mate with," he says. " 'Getting it' any deep male friendships at the time." me,ans they start taking responsibility, Attending MRC brunches and classes and that begins the process of change. "was really powerful," he found , "one The hardest part is that what we're tryof the major turning points in my life. " ing to do is bring the best out of the He began working with the MRC in men, and at the same time confronting 1992, beginning as a volunteer with them on the worst. I think both need the High School Education Proj ect to happen. " (HEP). After leaving to attend graduate "It's a long-term process. It's hard to school at Antioch New England (he go from being controlling and abusive continued on page 6


Voice Male

Connecting with Fathers Celebrating fatherhood. Connecting with young children. Connecting with other dads. These are the themes that will guide a . new networking opportunity for fathers with young kids. The goal is to get to know each other, have fun together with our kids, and talk about those things in our lives that make us successful dads and .those things that create struggles for us. . Thanks to the Hampshire County Family Network which provided 'funding, and a collaboration between the REACH Program of ServiceNET and Children's Aid and Family Service, fathers in Hampshire County (dads from other areas welcome, too!) will have an opportunity to gifher together at four or five events this spring. Some of the events will be for dads and their kids together and some will be just for the dads. Meetings will be at the Hampshire Regional YMCA in Northampton where the kids (and dads) can play in the great new climbing structure. There will be other fun activities for the kids and a chance for the dads to address important issues and plan · for future events. "Most fathers would agree that as we near the tum of the century, dads are still faced with a number of day-to-day struggles that tum our focus away from fath erhoo ~ , said Pete Crisafulli, Hampshire County Fathers' Connection Coordinator. "As fathers , we are challenged to make peace between our ideal concept of fatherhood and our real experience as fathers so far. So many of the best dads I know are often frustrated by what they have not been as fathers so far. Ultimately, as we connect with each other, support and mentor each other, and become friends with each other, we learn to be mentors and teachers and friends to our children." For more information about the.Hampshire County Fathers Network, call the REACH program at (413) 585-1400.

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• continued from page 5

Russell Bradbury-Carlin




a c



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rotally letting go of all that control. I don't think you should feel sorry for · them, but just to understand that. Tve seen men change. I've been blown away by some of them. I think our program is unique in that half the men come in on their OWJl (the other half are court·mandated) . So the culture of the group tends to be one of change, not resistance." The MARS program, Bradbury~arlin's other responsibility at the MRC, is a collaborative venture with tht; Everywoman's Center at Umass. Funded by the Department of Public Health to train high school and college males to lead workshops on sexual assault in area middle schools, "the way the program was originally conceived. wasn't broad enough," Bradbury-Carlin says. "So we made it coeducational. We expdnded it to include other issuesviolence in general, racism, homophobia. We wanted to create a program to foster youth empowerment." In the fall of 1997, 16 volunteers were trained to run a 10-week program in Amherst and Belchertown middle schoools which was regularly attended

by 30 to 40 students after school. "It was really successful," Bradbury-Carlin says. "It became a safe place, without adults , where young people could come in and talk about the issues in their lives." · In the program's second year, "A lot of the original volunteers returned, plus we have a whole new batch." As a demonstration project, however, the funding for MARS runs out in May, and it's uncertain whether or how it will be renewed. Right now the MRC is working with the Everywoman's Center to explore the possibilities. "It's got great momentum, we're accepted in both school systems, but the future is unclear." Bradbury-Carlin's future with the MRC , however, is certain. Whatever happens with MARS , he will stay on with MOVE, and hopes to do more youth work as well. BornI in Boston and raised on the North Shore, he has lived in Northampton since 1987, most recently with his wife , Candace, whom he married in 1997. "When I left graduate school I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do," he recalls . "Now I can't imagine working anywhere else."

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MRC to Receive Community Service Award The Mens Resource Center of Western Massachusetts has been selected by the Amherst (Mass.) Area Chamber of Commerce to receive the Millicent H. Kauffman Distinguished Service Award for extraordinary s~rvice to the community. The award will be presented at the Chamber's annual dinner on Friday April 23 , at the University of Massachusetts Campus Center Auditorium. More than three hundred area business people, educators and friends will gather to honor several outstanding members of the community, highlighted by the MRCS award. Each year the Ch~mber presents the .Kauffman Award for community service for promoting the educational, civic, . social, commercial, agricultupl, and economic welfare of the people of Amherst and vicinity. "In the past, the award has been given to an individual," said Chamber executive director, john Coull. "This is the first time that the Chamber has elected to present it to an organization."

Ticktts to the gala are $35 and includes hors d'oeuvres, an elegant dinner, music and entertainment. For reservations call the Chamber office at 253-0700.

Who's Your Candidate for the 1999 Award? Is there someone you know who personifies the ideals of positive masculinity that we foster here at the MRC? We are beginning the process of selecting the candidates to receive the MRC's 1999 Challenge and Change Award, and we welcome your ideas. We have honored educators , community leaders, activists, and counselors in the past; your candidate could be in any of these occupations or some other calling. If you think a man might be appropriate for consideration, contact Michael Dover at the MRC, 236 North Pleasant Street, Amherst MA 01002, or call (413) 253-9887, Ext. 16

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Voice Male

MEN@)WORK June Conference Promotes Healthy Men Thousands of men, and those interested in men's health, are expected to converge on Philadelphia from june 3rd to the 6th for the first National Men's Health & Fitness Conference and Exposition at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. More than 1000 health professionals will be on hand offering seminars and forums on a variety of topics ranging from the psychosocial influences on wellness, managing disease, improving access and utilization of mens health services, men's life role and managing stress. the socialization of boys to men, and initiating and nurturing healthy relationships, among a host of presentations at the three-day expo. Numerous booths and consumer displays will be featured at the weekend. For more information about the gathering, call the Center for Men's Health at (609) 342-2742, or email:

Nonviolent Football In a sport known for hard hitting both on and off the field , the New England Patriots have come up with a peace play: The National Football League team has established a scholarship fund for women and -children who have been victims of violence. The scholarship program is a part of the Boston-based R.O:S.E. Fund (Regaining One's Self Esteem), which supports education and public awareness programs and assists individual women survivors of violence and their children to rebuild their lives and regain their self-esteem. The Patriots' scholarship fund is designed to help break the cycle of domestic violence and give women and children tools, primarily through education, to improve their lives. A particular focus of the fund is assisting children who have been "victims of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse by a caretaker or who have witnessed similar abuse of a caretaker in their home." "With former Patriot Dave Meggett the latest in a series of professional athletes accused of domestic violence, it is 路 fitting that the team has taken the initiaVoice Male

tive to address an important aspect of the problem," said Steve jefferson, a group leader for the Men Overcoming Violence (MOVE) program at the Mens Resource Center, and a former AllAmerican college basketball player and current men's and women's college basketball official. To learn more about the scholarship fund , or to receive an application, contact the R.O.S.E. Fund, New England Patriots' Scholarship fund, 186 South Street, 4th Floor, Boston, Mass. 0211; (617) 482-5400.

Male Survivors' and Allies to Rally The first annual Male Survivors and their Allies Rally, will be Saturday, May 22 on the Amherst (Mass.) Town, not far from the Men's Resource Center offices. The theme for. the event is "Creating Safety, Demanding Respect." "This is believed to be the first public demonstration of support for male survivors of childhood and adolescent trauma and abuse in our region, said Steven jacobsen, MRC's SurVivors' Program Coordinator. "It's a very necessary and exciting step towards destigmatizing the subject, sharing information with others, and establishing solidarity with female survivors, partners of abused ones, and our various allies and supporters," said jacobsen. The rally will feature a ribbon campaign for male survivors and their supporters to signify support for the cause of male survivors. The rally is scheduled from 3- 5 PM and will include speeches, music and refreshments. Literature and informational tables, describing a路 range of suppmt services for survivors, male and female will be on site.

For more information, contact jacobsen at (413) 253-9887, Extl4.

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CoverStory --------------------------------------------

By Michael Burke

Sokhen Mao:

A Bridge Between Worlds weekends, as well as performing an he first time I spoke to Sokhen almost indescribable array of "outreach" Mao for this story, I explained to activities in the local Cambodian commuhim what we wanted to do: nity, he can be nearly impossible to catch write profiles of the Men's up with. Resource Center's two recent "Challenge "He's elusive, but he's everywhere," and Change" Award winners, himself and says Panick Tangredi, who works as a Gavin Harrison. Typically, Sokhen said liaison between New World Theater and nothing about himself in that first conversation. Instead he immediately asked , "How is Gavin?" Another story I was told also seems representative. Driving around Amherst with a colleague, en route to buy food for some of the kids he wo.rks with, he spotted the MRC building on North Pleasant Street. "See that building'" he suddenly shouted to his passenger, pointing. "They gave me an award! I couldn't believe it!" "He's very modest," explains Ronnie Booxbaum, liaison for the Khmer Growers of Western Sokhen Mao, his mothe1; left, and brother preparing to leave for US. Massachusetts, who has worked local community groups , such as the with Sokhen on a number of community Cambodian kids Sokhen helps to orgaprojects for the past seven years . "What nize. "He's such a unique person. He's the counts most in Cambodian culture is the lightning rod, he's like the grease in the family, not the individual." wheels. The kids galvanize around him, Indeed, Sokhen is not only modest, even when he's not there, it's like he and preferring not to speak about himself; he's presence-he doesn't even have to has a also a very hard man to track down. say anything." Between teaching English as a Second "They ¡couldn't write a job description Language at Amherst-Pelham Regional for him," says Booxbaum. "I don't know High School, running after-school proanybody in the community who does grams, working for the Hampshire what he does. He's a vital link-he's well Community Action Commission (HCAC), liked and well accepted in both helping with Easthampton's Cambodian [Cambodian and Anglo] communities. school and New World Theater's youth The elders respect him, Buddhist monks drama groups in the evenings and on


What is alive, and open, . and active, is good. All that makes for inertia, lifelessness, dreariness, is bad. This is the essence of morality. =--~

Books and Resources for Life â&#x20AC;˘ Call for our Events Calendar/

-- D.H. Lawrence

respect him-usually you don't get that respect until you're an elder yourself." In his acceptance speech at the MRC awards banquet in December, Sokhen noted that, unlike in Vietnam, in his native Cambodia "the war never ended." In the early 1980s, when Sokhen was still a teenager, he and his family were living in a refugee camp in Indonesia, the third camp they had been in since fleeing the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge . The first camp, on the Thai-Cambodian border, was horrible-"No one controlled anything. It was chaos, no food , nothing"-the second, run by the United Nations inside Thailand, was merely bad. "The Thais were not happy to have us there ," Sokhen says. "Sometimes they beat people up , there were rapes by gangs orchestrated by the Thai soldiers." In the Indonesian camp, where they spent six months, Sokhen and his family were once again in limbo, waiting to be allowed to immigrate to the United States. They first received sponsorship to go to Portland, Oregon. While at the camp they were taught lessons in English and American culture, and at night would watch American movies-Hollywood westerns, Charlie Chaplin, football movies , and films with Christian themes. One night they saw a shoot-'em-up set in frontier Oregon. "There was a lot of fighting, shooting, and I told my family, 'We're not going there. "' Having seen more than enough violence already in their lifetimes, Sokhen's family immediately applied to the camp officials and asked to be sent elsewhere. Thus did they ultimately end up in the relatively peaceful precincts of Amherst. Sokhen and his mother arrived here in April1 982, when he was 18. His older brother had come the year before, part of the second Cambodian family to come to Amherst. With area churches sponsoring them, a number of Cambodian families, more than 80 individuals in all, came to settle in the town from the early to the

continued on page 17 8


Voice Male

Cover Story

By Rob Okun

Face to Face with Mortality

Gavin Harrison:

By Gavin Harrison

Transforming Suffering into Hope In july 1989, two weeks after arriving back in the U.S. from South Africa, Gavin discovered that he was HIVpositive. In the decade since, Gavin has used the diagnosis and his indefatigable spirit to confront and embrace the new avin Harrison is a model for reality in his life and to more closely men-for all of us . One of learn about himself. As he describes in two recipients of the Men's his book In the Lap of the Buddha [an Resource Center's excerpt from which is "Challenge and Change" published here (see Award in 1998, Gavin lives sidebar)], shortly after a life worth examining. learning of his diagnosis , Born in South Africa in Gavin abandoned his 1950, Gavin was a longfinancial consultant's time, active opponent of career and began teaching apartheid in his homeland. meditation, something he He left South Africa in had been encouraged by 1974 and lived in Europe his teachers to do . and the Middle East before ., In addition to teaching moving to the U.S. in ~ meditation, Gavin has a lot 1979. After living and ~ to teach people about askworking in Boston and ~ ing for and accepting help , 0 New York, he moved to McVeigh says, particularly Gavin Harrision southern Vermont and men. "He is a role model then western in that way for men. He Massachusetts. A former financial condeeply values the role of friendship in sultant, Gavin is a committed student of his life. He puts a priority on friendships , Buddhism, and is both a student and working to maintain them. He has a way of nurturing friendships that makes peoteacher of Vipassana (insight meditation.) But none of these biographical ple feel he is one their closest friends ," notes touch the melody of the life he has McVeigh says. created over the past 10 years. His own Perhaps his biggest gift to men is his words, and those of a close friend , better choice to exercise self-care. In a male capture his essence. culture that advocates toughing it out, "I first became aware of Gavin in the Gavin models treating himself well. He early eighties," recalls his friend Kevin allows himself to be pampered and valMcVeigh, volunteer and housing coordiues being surrounded by comforts. nator for AIDS Services of Franklin Virtually from first learning of his County, Massachusetts. "We met through diagnosis, Gavin has acted as his own Interhelp, an international network of case manager, something most people educators, psychologists, and activists with HIV don't do , says McVeigh, who working for nuclear disarmament and coordinates services for Gavin through a ecological healing. It was just the right network of friends and supporters. place to meet. " Conducting research, locating informaDuring that decade Gavin worked tion, networking, coordinating health with several for-profit businesses and providers, finding and utilizing complenon-profit organizations as a financial mentary therapies from both Western consultant, and divided his time among and alternative medicine are some of New England, the Caribbean, and return what's required in managing his case. "It's extraordinary that he's able to do trips to his parents' home in Zululand, South Africa. that, " says McVeigh. In addition, Gavin

"There are times when I feel gratitude for the AIDS virus. Not often, mind you, but there are times. There have been blessings. I live now with an unshakable resolve to inquire, to care, and to love."


continued on page 12 Voice Male

In May of 1989, I returned to my parents' home in Zululand, South Africa. I was sitting with my mother in the living room when my father cried out from the bedroom. We rushed in and found him in the throes of a massive heart attack After calling the doctor, my mother and I knelt down beside him, held him in our arms, and whispered words of encouragement, love, and letting go in his ears. He was clearly in enormous pain. We felt a great sadness. There was also great presence in those moments as we held him. I watched each o( my fathers breaths more closely than any breaths of my own that I had ever watched. Recalling that moment, I am reminded of the words of Nagarjuna, a great second-century Buddhist philosopher: "Life is so fragile, more so than a bubble blown to and fro by the wind. How truly astonishing are those who think that after breathing out, they will surely breathe in, or that they will awaken after a night's sleep." My father died in our arms. When the doctor arrived, I arranged for us to be with the body for a long while before it was removed from the house. We washed him and combed his hair, put fresh pajamas on him, and changed the sheets. We lit candles. For many hours we sat and held him, meditated, and prayed. We kidded him, too, and said all the things we wished we had said while he was still alive. As his hands turned slowly cold in ours, I realized that this was one of the most sacred and special times of my life. It was two weeks after I returned to the United States that I found out that I too was HIV-positive. In the moment of my diagnosis, I took my place in the community of 50 or so路 of my friends who have been affected by the AIDS virus, some of whom are still alive, many of whom have died. What I had feared so much was now a part of my life. I suddenly found myself in that fragility and unknowing that the Buddha had spoken of so

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Review------------------------ By Carl Erikson

Adolescent Boys: On the Road to Manhood

F a (



ichael Gurian$ new book, A Fine Young Man, carries into


the difficult adolescent years the very special understanding and affinity for young men he introduced in The Wonder of Boys. He convinces us that boys are not 'just boys," but highly stressed human beings who need infinitely more help to mature than we give them. Emotionally and developmentally very fragile, adolescent boys ,require enormous assistance, particularly male assistance, to find and absorb attitudes and behaviOrs that will be good for them and their communities Our society rarely provides this assistance to any degree, usually letting them go with a "boys will be boys" shrug. Boys pay a terrible price for this treatment, and often tum on their families and communities as a result. More recently both men and women have assumed that a female model of development is the "right" one. When an adolescent boy fails to follow this expected pattern, he becomes a "bad boy" or "unmanageable" and is punished or pushed away. Gurian fervently disagrees with this assumption, pointing out biolog-· ical differences in boys and men that suggest it is important to understand a uniquely male model of development.

The two primary differences are in the male hormone· testosterone and in the structure of the male brain. Testosterone surges through an adolescent boy (and man) five or more times per day and at a level several times that in the female . These surges propel boys into reactions and mind-sets that make "orderly" behavioral, emotional, and attitudinal development difficult and sometimes risky. The male brain is structured differently from the female brain, particularly in ways that affect emotional and interrelationship development, and these effects show up most strongly during the .adolescent years. Gurian carefully identifies three stages of the adolescent development process: transformation (ages 9-13), self-determination (14-17), and consolidation (18-21 ). Each of these has its special needs and pitfalls. For each stage, the author suggests how to help the young man and how to acknowledge the passage of the stage. Two significant dangers lurk everywhere in this process: that the young man will (by choice or necessity) rely on himself alone or on his peers for help in negotiating his path to manhood, and that the virtual reality of the electronic media will engulf him. Although Gurians subject is adolescent boys, much of what he says applies also to adult men. In particular, his discussion of male biology provides some strong foundations on which to build an answer to the popular current question, "What does it mean to be a man?" Near the end of the book he also lays out some specific elements of an answer. First, he gives his Core of Manhood: compassion, honor,

responsibility, .and enterprise. Then, he presents the Ten Integrities, which, although containing sound observations and expectations regarding male maturity, verge on the ideal and even the pretentious. As useful and wise as Gurian's ideas and observations are, his presentation of them finally strains the reader. So certain is Gurian of what he is saying that he leaves few gray areas, and the reader begins to look for cracks in his theories and reality challenges for his conclusions. Also, he focuses his attention almost totally on the "classic" adolescent in terms of testosterone and brain structure. Several times he acknowledges the existence of variations in both of these and admits that a particular boy might biologically lie elsewhere on the spectrum, but he rarely talks about the needs ofthese boys (who are no doubt numerous) and how his observations and suggestions should be altered to help them. These difficulties leave the reader wondering how to translate the messages of the book to his or her particular son, nephew, or grandson. Regardless of these problems, this is a must-read for anyone who is a part of a male adolescents experience, whether as parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, mentor, sibling, or a boy himself. Women raising boys alone should find this an invaluable aid in retaining their hope, sanity, and patience. Male adolescence is a trying time for everybody, the boy in par~ ticular, but Gurian shows us that it is utterly normal, natural, and absolutely necessary passage.

Carl Erikson is an artist, writer, and the MRC business manager:

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Voice Male

Men's Lives

By George Moonlight Davis

Me and Joe Black: A Memoir The story "Me and joe Black" is part of a memoir-in-progress by MRC office manager George Moonlight Davis. In this installment, Moonlight offers a slice of his life as a 16-year old growing up in the early sixties in Philadelphia. oe Black was a tall, lean, clean, sometimes mean brown-skinned man, one of the first pimps I had any real knowledge of. It was 1962 and I had just started visiting West Philadelphia a little more in the daytime (it was safer then) , but I had lived in North Philly all of my life. Which meant I walked, talked, ate, slept, and thought like a Nort!l Philly hood . I had just turned 16. There was a gay bar on 52nd street, the "Flamingo," that would let me come in if I came alone. It was on the strip where I first met joe Black. The strip had 10 or 12 bars, Chinese restaurants everywhere, a furniture store or two, a variety of newsstands and candy. stores and some churches. It was a major transportation stop, where the Eland all the connecting bus routes came together, useful for those of us who didn't have cars. joe would hang out on the strip pushing numbers, drugs, women, and information if he had any If you'd heard him rap, though, you would never believe he could do such a thing. For most people like joe, it was safer for them if no one knew where they lived. In fact, it was one of the things most known about joe Black. If he wasn't on the corner, in one of the bars on the strip, he could not be found. He spent most of his time in the Flamingo; thats where the action was. joe also liked cars, and drove a big shiny red Cadillac with leather everything inside, and whitewall tires. Women on the block - street walkers- always wanted to ride in路 his car (if they didn't know better). I never saw him with any .one woman for more than a night. No, not for more than a few hours at a time. There was lots of talk and jokes about people like joe living out of their cars, although nobody would ever say this to joe's fac路e for fear of losing their life. Most


Voice Male

of the women who rode in his car, and gave it up, were doing real good if he took them to a motel. He was known for using the back of his car. The thing that made me wonder about joe the most was no matter where 'he was staying, how could he hide that big shiny red Caddy he was so proud of? Where in the world could he put it? Sight unseen?

One hot and muggy summer night I went to see a fine young lady named Nina in West Philly, near 39th and Fairmount Ave. We had met on 52nd Street, when she caught my eye walking with some of her girlfriends. I asked if I could come by and see her sometime. I left North Philly about 8:30, with some daylight left, trying not to look like a North Philadelphia hoodlum. I wore a pair of brown bell-bottom pants, and a gold shirt with a wide , flare collar, disco style. I had my Sunday shoes on, and I looked real clean! As I jumped off the trolley at 37th and Girard Ave ., I could feel that ever-familiar sensation in my body. It told me l was about to get in some serious trouble. Like I had just done something that would get my butt beat all over the place if I got caught. This was always the way I got in trouble , chasing some girl in the wrong part of town. On nights like this the city didn't go to sleep until late, so that meant that the corners would be filled with the local gangs. I knew most of the back

alleys in this West Philly neighborhood, so I was within a block of my destination when I ran up on some boys qrinking wine in an alley at 38th and Poplar St. I almost ran them over, I was going so fast. There was no time to think, just run as fast as I could. Too dark in the alley to go any faster, trashcans and. broken bottles, and dead animals, I broke for the street. It was then that I realized I had worn the wrong shoes. I wished I had worn my sneakers . . I came out of the alley at 38t):l and Fairmount, but could not risk going to Ninas house because they were too close and gaining on me fast. I knew if I stayed on Fairmount Ave. I would draw unwanted attention from other gangs in the 'hood. Gangs like 39th and Poplar, 40th and Fairmont, and any of the "wanna be's" out that night. As I crossed 38th Street I started looking for two things-a moving bus, or a place to hide. There is never a bus when you need one. The street was semi-dark, and very quiet except for the slapping of feet behind me on the pavement, and words like; "Get that #@$% %&:*@#* ", or."Who the %$#*&is he anyhow7" That question would not be answered tonight if I could help it. Across Lancaster Avenue and up 40th Street seemed to be the best route to take. I just didn't want to run into any more gangs hanging out on the corner. 路And it seemed like these boys had run out of steam, and I was putting some distance between us . But I knew I wasn't out of the woods yet, as we would say downtown. I knew from past experience that they could be waiting at the next corner in a car. So I ducked into another alley, and found that it had two ways out so I could change direction. I came o~t of the alley on Lancaster Avenue and 41st Street. Looking around, I saw no one in sight. My heart was pumping like it was going to jump out of my body If someone had said "boo" right then, I think I would have died right there.

continued on page 18 11

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Gavin Harrison monthly and provides for a variety of Gavin's needs. At the MRC's. awards banquet when Gavin spoke after receiving his award, he said he was accepting it on behalf of his revered meditation teacher, Joseph Goldstein, and his father. The same father who abused him when he was a boy. Despite the fact that his father has been dead for nearly lO yea;s, Gavin had the audience envisioning a quiet man stqnding at the back of the room watching his son being honored. His ability to forgive and make peace with his abuser is a testament to Gavin's meditation practice and to his character. He's come full circle with his father, with his healing, with his reconciliation. "In times of confusion, struggle, chaos, physical pain, and difficult emotion, I try to remember to give this pain a love and respect I did not receive long ago .. ." Gavin writes in his book. "Difficulty and challenge are the compost out of which healing can grow and flower." If that is so , then Gavin Harrison is a radiant sunflower, 10 feet tall , head raised toward the sun.

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Fathering - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - By Donald Unger

Turning the (Changing) Tables


ometime this year, men with babies may finally be able to drive the .Merritt Parkway through Connecticut and New York. I know, the signs only mention that trucks and commercial vehicles are banned. ·The rest stops, however, have always told a different story. And facilities speak louder than words. In the three and a half years since the bmh of my daughter, Rebecca, on our more-than-monthly trips to New York, my most enduring memory is of changing her diapers in the back seat of the car. The door is open, of course, and I'm standing in the parking lot. Spring, summer, fall, or winter, it always seems to be about twenty degrees 'out, and its usually hailing. She is unclothed, from the waist doWn, on a makeshift changing pad, squirming and uncomfortable. My fingers are numb with cold and, naturally, I'm fuming. A few feet away, inside the rest ·stop, there's a changing table. But it is in the women$ bathroom and I'v:e never been either radical enough or brave. enough to use it. We can't quite decide what we want men to do, can we? We want them more involved with childreR, yet we're some- . times suspicious when they comply. And we're missing a lot of infrastructure, from changing tables to language. The men that I know who are active fathers are not caring for their children out of ideological commitment. Yes, the personal is political. But its personal first. Many of them, now past thirty-five, are · begmmng to look back with regret on the relatwnships they had with their own

fathers, the business and working men of the 1960s and 1970s, who were breadwinners first and caretakers second, if at all. · "I don't want to wake up one day and discover that my kid is 28, and doesn't know me" is the way a lot of them put it. While we work to redefine our roles, we haven't quite figured out how to adjust the language around parenting: to mother is to care for, to father: still means basically to inseminate, to parent has more the flavor of science than of nurture. And what we call things matters. Ask my daughter: she says she won't be a fireman

"Women will never be fully equal outside the home until men are fully equal inside the home. " - Gloria Steinem but might be a firewoman. As ·for firefighter, apparently, this sounds too violent for her; she says she'd rather just sit by the fire and watch it. For my own part, I'm getting tired of being called a mother. Though this is rarely said with malicious intent-people are generally trying to be supportive and humorous-it very quickly became grating. Most important, it isn't accurate. And the subtext, that a caring parent could only be described as mother, is offensive. It is easy to ridicule these kinds of complaints, I know. In the hierarchy of families, and in the larger society, we

don't generally think of men as being oppressed. But this isn't really a mens issue, at base. It is, first and .foremost, a children$ issue. Our kids are in trouble, nationwide. It's a mistake not to fully utilize and encourage the nurturing potential of half of our population. This is also fundamentally a women$ issue. As Gloria Steinem has put it, "Women will never be fully equal outside the home until men are fully equal inside the home." The legal machinery of equality, in this area as in others, only works when you kick it. Hard. And often. Civil rights law in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts bans discrimination in public lacilities based on gender. The fun part is getting the law enforced. For the changing tables which are to be installed in the mens rooms, up and down Route 15, you can thank Deborah Ellis, a professor of law at NYU, former legal director for NOW, whose husband, also a lawyer, sued the Lord &: Taylor department store, a few years back, over exactly the same issue. And won. You can thank my daughter, as well, a ~relentless campaigner. Even now that . shes toilet trained, almost any time I take her into a public bathroom, her first question is "Are you going to make them put a changing table in here, too?'' The answer is yes.

Donald Unger is a graduate student in English at the University of Massachusetts and lives in Worcester. This column was origi~ally broadcast as a commentary on public radio station WFCR.

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By joe Zoske

Men & Health

Men's Health and Wellness:

Fifty ·Health Ideas for Men or the past five and a half years I have been speaking, teaching, and writing on issues of mens physical health and wellness. While some real achievements have occurred dunng this time, I've also experienced cons1derable personal isolation and ongoing struggle. Yet, I continue-as many of us do in our chosen aspect of men's work-fueled by equal amounts of passwn and frustration. ' ' Unfortunately, a cultural disconnect contmues. While there's a lot of talk about men and our attitudes and behaviors, theres a lingering inattention and lessthan-caring about the well-being of our bodies and health. While society does not hesitate to criticize us, it has a blind spot when it comes to our early deaths and the physical pain and injury we endure throughout our lives. It is in this realm that I have chosen to apply my concern for men, where I desire to help create · change. When I propose doing a presentation on men's health at a professional health care conference, its still not uncommon for me to hear an initial "Huh?" When I ask organizations about their public health plans for this years Sixth Annual National Mens Health Week, they most often say, "What's that?" And when I approached publishers about my mens health book idea, I was usually told, "Hmm, well, we could help you make it, but we don't want a contract with you because we wouldn't know how to successfully market it." Well ... I went ahead anyway, choosing to self-publish. After learning as much about making a book as • about writing a book in December of last year, I published Men's Health & Wellness:


50 Health Promotion Ideas for Educators, Practitioners & Planners. Knowing that my intended professional audience cares about men, but are not very gender-sensitive to our needs, I try in the book to give them practical ideas to · awaken their gender awareness. At times, this is remarkably easy: For example, I once turned around an unsuccessful health education program at a manufacturing plant, merely by having the occu14

pational health nurse place her health education pamphlets in racks in men's room stalls! Other times, its more challenging, as when I urge professionals to "Remember the historical tragedies of men as medical guinea pigs." Knowing the memory of involuntary injury, disease, and death brought by medical and military authorities during such experiments as the 40-year Tuskegee syphilis study and atomic bomb testing helps us grasp the depth of mistrust some men have of '" medical care. Still other times, humor is a doorway into awareness. Dave Barry writes, "Guys will generally not seek medical treatment. .. ex<;ept in clear-cut situations, such as decapitation. And even then, guys are not going to be 100% certain. 'Let's put his head back on with duct tape and see if he can play a couple more innings' is the prevailing attitude." Often, humor will get a realization across about the power of male psychology without my having to preach it. Throughout the book, I try to capture the spectrum of male concerns in many quotes and citations, as when a 16-yearold boy poignantly writes, "If I ever have to ask someone for help, it really makes me feel like less of a man. I don'rlike asking for help at all. You know, even if I could use some, I'll usually not ask just because I can't. I just hate asking . .. ." Male bodies come in many varieties, as do our identities. Whether teens, fathers, gays, men of color, elders, athletes, unemployed, caregivers, or soldiers seeking medical care, each has unique male concerns that require specific assessment and treatment. Gendered understanding of disease and health-seeking behavior is crucial. "Gender is one of the central identities that make people listen to · health advice. It also makes people ignore such advice," says researcher Leslie Reagan. Our practitioners need to know that. Politics must also not be avoided. Its important that professionals "anticipate organizational resistance"·to new male health services, and "challenge gender bias in medical research and media health reporting." After all, "The interplay

between health, self, body and ge~der is linked to the creation and re-creation of a sense of healthiness in the body politic of society," according to social scientist Robin Saltonstall. And, to avoid the myopic trap that

"Guys will generally not seek medical treatment... except in clear-cut situations, such as decapitation. " -Dave Barry prostate cancer is the core health concern of men, I stress "Start young: healthier babies make healthier boys, make healthier men." So, by developing cooperative game options, contradicting "tough guy" images, and raising boys' medical literacy by teaching them male anatomy and physiology, the next generation can become smarter about how they treat their bodies. There is a solid beginning of positive change taking place in both public and professional circles. Research money for prostate cancer has significantly increased, while more and more studies and articles are found regarding men's health. However, a large gap between scholarship and practice remains, and the barriers are weakening only incrementally: I hope that my contributions help bridge this gap, bring the mens movement, men's studies, and mens health closer together, and aid our collective physical well-being. As Aaron Kipnis writes in Knights Without Armor, "Men are beautiful. Masculinity is life-affirming and life-supporting .. ..The male body needs and deserves to be nurtured and protected." Male action, scholarship, and wellness are all parts of the journey toward wholeness. I'm proud to be a part of the process, and grateful to share a piece of my story: Peace and health.

joe Zoske is Voice Male health columnist. To order a copy of Men's Health and Wellness, send a check or money order for $12._95 plus $3 postage to joe Z.osk~, PO. Box 8852, Academy Station, Albany, N.Y 12208. Voice Male

Notes from S u r v i v o r s - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - By Oscar Daryl

Can Mind Control Matter?

B'raining the Body Into Healing If ever the lid gets off my head And lets the brain away The fellow will go where he belonged Without a hint from me -Emily Dickinson


ile the physical and physological effects of abuse n male survivors are genrally acknowledged as they journey back to health, the relationship between a survivors physical and mental states has rarely been adequately explored. Despite most survivors having dissociative responses and out-of-body experiences, how those physical and mental states are reached is poorly understood (if at all). These enormously powerful and potentially useful tools are described in the most allusive of terms, ranging from "That was a way you learned to protect yourself' to "Its a type of s~lf-hypnosis ," and even "Its a very spiritual response." Which is fine for starters, but provi~es neither nuts and bolts information nor much insight to the survivor.

Why we survivors experience the phenomena we do is a relatively easy question to answer; how we do it is quite another subject. The various dissociative skills which all survivors possess, and which reach a crescendo with survivors who have Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), suggest strongly that all people have the potential to tap into an impressively fluidic and useful co-dynamic between the physical and the mental. This phenomena represents an ancient fascination of humanity: can mind control matter? Most people hope the answer is yes, but such an answer only tantalizes us - if it is possible for me to do this, how do I learn how to do it? . This question has long been pursued and often answered within spiritual and religious contexts. In contrast, as a man with MPD I'd like to provide some firsthand information on how a multiple brain can not only create an assortment of "multiple bodies," each with a distinctive reality, but also how a healed multiple brain can consciously utilize those same abilities within a whole, fully Voice Male

singular body. The phrase "multiple bodies" may sound delusional, if you are neither MPD yourself or well acquainted with multiples. But the facts are simple and have been well- documented for 50 years. The scientific community does not use the phrase "multiple body;" they understand and describe it as a symptom of MPD, as an extreme mental illness. Multiple Body means that there are both observable and measurable physical and physiological distinctions between a multiples alters, some quite subtle, others profound. These range from the most common manifestations - alters within any multiple system of consciousness tend to look and sound different from one another (and behave quite differently among themselves) - to the gross and severe (as in Christine Sizemores case - the famous Three Faces Of Eve). Eve Whites body was allergic to nylon and could not wear hosiery without breaking out in a rash. Eve Black, on the other hand, delighted in wearing nylons and experienced no ill effects. Other multiples exhibit even more remarkable biologic divergences; one alter may be diabetic, while the other members are healthy. Even though the diabetic alter requires insulin, the other alters never experience any significant ill-effects from the medicine. For a non-diabetic to use insulin is a very dangerous idea, as any doctor would attest. It is also known that multiples generate very different responses to EKGs and other neurological tracings, depending on which alter is present. In short, when the multiple mind switches, the physical brain changes. This subject became important to me a year ago when I had a painful abscessed tooth. Because I was unable to see a dentist, I lay in bed unable to sleep, the pain unrelenting. I knew I could end the pain by "numbing out," but I did not wish to put off feelings so soon after I'd been able to reclaim them. I remembered my first therapist, then struggling with breast cancer, had told me she was arming herself with every available approach to fight her disease, including visualizations. She

explained that she imagined firing "magic bullets" at the cancerous cells. Being adept at trancing and hypnagopgic skills by diagnosis, I decided to "attack" the hurtful abscess with my own magic bullets, and visualized a whole bat:tery of silver-slielled missiles bombarding the infection. It didn't work at all. Then it struck me - dentists don't use bullets so what good are bullets against infections? Instead, I tried to recall what I knew about infections, inflammations and teeth. I determined I needed to accomplish two things: shrink the inflammation and dry the infection. I directed images and sensations of heat into the tooth and gums to "evaporate" the liquid infection, and restore my tooth and gum tissue to their proper states. Within less than an hour the pain in my tooth stopped, the swelling in my gums vanished. I felt fine . Further, I was able to sustain that condition for two weeks until I finally saw a dentist. There were minor re-swellings and incidents of pain, but I was able to effectively deal with each episode. During one of the brief flare-ups, I decided I'd take my temperature before and after my internal "heat treatment." I was amazed; my temperature was a full four degrees higher after I'd "treated" the tooth than it was before! I was startled_at my success but felt skeptical. It was much easier for me to dismiss my hoodoo-voodoo goofings as coincidence rather than reality. Nevertheless, the truth of my experience has since been confirmed to me repeatedly. The niost dTIJ,matic example.involved not just internal visualization, but also out-of-body work. For close to 30 years I've had a grapesized, benign cyst on my backside. It has generally not given me much difficulty, but every four or five years it becomes inflamed and painful, and partially paralyzes my left leg during the worst part of a flare-up . Doctors have either lanced the cyst or aspirated it, which always brought relief but did not prevent a recurrence. When I simply lanced the engorged cyst myself in the past--hey, everybodys on a

continued on page 19


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Face to Face with Mortality often. Of course, l would not choose to have the AIDS virus, but it is now a given in my life . l've certainly learned lessons that l believe l would never have learned otherwise. The first days after the diagnosis were a surprise: l felt a sense of excitement, anticipation, and joy. The feeling was strong and quite bewildering. I now realize that it had to do with the relief of knowing the truth, after having been fearful for so long. It also had to do with my heart protecting itself from the enormity of the information that l had received. But most of the feeling had to do with a deep knowing that there were going to be some big changes in my life. l knew that l could no longer postpone the things that for so long l had most wanted to do. The first thing l did was end my career as a financial consultant. Also, many relationships that were serving neither me nor the other person began to fall away. There seemed to be much greater honesty in my dealings with people. Ways of being in the world that were petty, unnecessary, or hurtful began to fall away. The most wonderful decision l made during this time was to begin teaching meditation and sharing the Dharma. My teachers had been encouraging me to do this. l had felt unprepared and consequently had not followed their advice. Now, doing this work brings great joy and the deepest sense of fulfillment l have ever known. I am able to reach out to others and to life when l might be tempted to withdraw instead. Unfortunately, the honeymoon didn't last long. The next months were a nightmare of blood tests and medical examinations. The stream of specialists and alterna-

tive-health-care people with whom l began working seemed endless and exhausting. In the fall of 1989 I decided to sit a three-month silent meditation retreat at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. This time felt like a rite of passage into a future that of course l knew nothing about. When l began the retreat, it seemed as though a volcano erupted within me. Huge fear, terror, and rage moved within me, greater than any l'd felt before. Early one morning I was standing under a tree. The leaves were very beautiful in their fall colors. As the sun came up and touched the top of the tree, a multitude of leaves dropped down upon me . Something within me broke and I began crying. I cried and cried and cried. Initially it was for my father. Then l wept for my own lot. This was a terrible grieving for what I felt was the loss of my fut).lre. I felt almost betrayed. Then it changed into a deep sadness. There was no part of me that assumed I would be around even to see the next leaf fall from the branches above my head and land on the ground at my feet. Everything appeared fragile and uncertain. There were times when I felt the deepest gratitude for the fact that I really knew I was going to die one day. I sat in the back of the meditation hall and looked at the heads of all the people sitting in front of me. l wondered how many of them were going to die before me without being shaken and woken up as 1 had been. Around Thanksgiving, when the snow came, my mind started to quiet down. I began to experience a peace and a calm in the meditation practice that 1 had never known before. This was a time of great appreciation and gratitude. I felt deep reverence for every breath, for every moment, for life itself. I felt aglow with this radiance, and

very protected路. Not protected from dying, because I knew that I would die sorn,e day, but protected by the understanding that 1 was not a victim of this disease. "Letting go" had always been an easy phrase for me to say, yet this has been the hardest lesson of all. The phrase will never roll off my tongue as easily as it used to. Letting go of the idea of future, of good health, and of physical ability has been difficult for me. Some days it feels as if everything 1 experience is a reflection of what is no longer possible in my life. ln the fire of this teaching, I realize that out of compassion and love for myself, l must die to the way things used to be-to Gavin the athlete , Gavin the tennis player, and Gavin the skier. 1 have let go of the way things were, so that these memories are no longer a yardstick against which l measure the present moment. This feels like the ultimate act of inner compassion. And this is the challenge for all of us as we get older, as ill health comes our way or we experience other losses, such as deaths of close ones or even just changes in our accustomed way of life. Dying to our history and to the way things used to be would seem to be the biggest challenge and the greatest gift of all.

Excerpted from In the Lap of the Buddha by Gavin Hamson (Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1994). Copyright 漏 1994



路 79 Main Street Amherst


Voice Male

continued from page 8

Bridge Between Worlds mid-1980s. Sokhen acknowledges that, although they still send money back to their homeland to support family members, buy medicines, and rebuild Buddhist temples-known as warsdestroyed by war, most Cambodians living here will not return, fearing political instability, economic hardship, and renewed threats of violence. His own father and another brother died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. "I wish to go back really bad," he admits. "But theres nothing left for me in Cambodia. Everything has been taken, but I wish to see whats going on. People continue to be suffering. Theres too many clans and groups of people who want power. A pocketful of people try to control the land. It became very dangerous, a place of senseless death. It's hard to farm, the government doesn't support anything, and there's no way of helping the poor people. So the rich get richer." Sokhen says that the Khmer people who have settled in the Amherst area are here to stay. "We came here with almost nothing," he recalls, ''just a box with rice, clothes, pans, utensils, and spices that we could take on the plane. Amherst had no idea about Cambodia. But now we're here, we've brought our culture and customs. Amherst needs to add another chapter to its history, and we should continue to preserve our Khmer culture." Sokhen attended high school in Amherst, graduating in 1986, and went on to UMass, eventually earning a master's in education. And hes still taking classes: "I love to learn," he says, "l never tire of learning. I tell my students, just keep learning." Almost from the moment of his arrival on these shores, Sokhen rolled up his sleeves and went to work, giving to the community that had taken him, his family, and his extended family. Early on he used to drive down to Bradley International Airport to greet incoming Cambodian families , and he also conducted programs for children at Amhersts jones Library. He began working for the Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) programs Cambodian division at the Fort River Elementary School in Amherst, and ran workshops and gave presentations across Massachusetts around issues Khmer families have regarding education, parents' expectations, and kids' struggles in Voice Male

school. These days Sokhen teaches in the TBE program at Amherst High School, works with the Khmer Organizing Project at HCAC, and in his "off hours" works with kids, helping them learn Cambodian language and culture, including traditional dance, and organizing them to perform their own plays under the direction of the New World Theater. He also acts as an unofficial translator/mediator/liaison, serving as a bridge between Cambodians and the wider, English-speaking community. He works with families on problems involving runaway children, dating issues, medical issues, and situations where someone must go to court. "l try to teach, chase after children when they are not in school, and I try to help out with their parents," he explains. "Family and togetherness is most important of all. It's like recycling-this is the culture in Cambodia. The children are right there with the parents, working in the fields , and when the parents retire to the Buddhist temple, the children take over. Everyone helping one another is endless. "But now the culture is dying," he laments. "In Amherst, children are pregnant early, they get into boyfriends and girlfriends early. In Cambodia, theres no dating. Here, kids just want to fit in, but the parents feel like they have daggers in

their chests, they go to sleep Crying. This new generation has rewritten their own culture. They will probably call themselves Cambodian, but there's not much left to show it. These kids are getting older, going off to college. Its a struggle for the elders, and I can't just sit back and see that. There's no one else to do it." Indeed, Sokhen plays a unique role in this community, and everyone I spoke to expressed amazement at just how many things he does and how universally wellliked and well-respected he is. "It's very important," Ronnie Booxbaum says of Sokhens wide-ranging activities. "Most of it is unpaid. They couldn't even begin to compensate him for all he does. He's so adept, so good. I marvel at his ability to translate at meetings, for example-the concepts are so different , not just the words. Sokhen is one of the brightest people I know. He's got an incredible sense of humor-he's got that ability to put people at ease in all situations, and I've been with him in the best of times and the worst of times. He reminds me of the Lone Ranger: he may be hard to find sometimes, but when there's a crisis hes there, and it's 'Hiyo, Silver!"' "He does have that superhero-like quality," agrees Patrick Tangredi. "He's a magician. I often wonder what else he's out there doing. He has that place in the

Take This Quiz: • Have you ever called your partner names? • Have you ever tried to "guilt trip" your partner? • Do you have difficulty admitting you're wrong? • Are you overly jealous? • Have you ever forbidden your partner to see friends or relatives? • Have you ever made angry or threatening gestures toward your partner? • Have you ever punched a wall or destroyed possessions in anger? • Have you ever hit or slapped your partner or children?

If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, you may have a problem with abuse. At Men Overcoming Violence, we can help you evaluate your situation. Call us to schedule .a confidential appointment with one of our trained staff. We can help .


Men Overcoming Violence

(413) 253-9588 17

continued from page 11


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The plan now was to head for Market Street, and get the El back downtown. But I would still have to be watchful all the way there: you never know who could be out there. As I was walking down 41st Street, I heard a car corning down the street. I saw a house that looked abandoned, with boards on the windows and trash in the yard. So I ducked down low and headed for this house. As I reached the door, I heard someone in the car say "Slow up! I think I saw something move over there." I stayed very still; even my heart knew when to be qujet. As the car passed by and I was sure they had not seen me, I turned the knob of the door and slipped in the house. I closed the door behind me and went to take a step but couldn't move. I was having the same feelings I had when I got off the trolley at Girard Avenue, but stronger this time. There was something about this house that did not feel vacant. A smell of some sweet perfume filled the air, clean floors and dim lights all started screaming at me to "get the hell out of here." But I could not move. My knees began to shake, and I went down on one knee to steady myself. I felt that I had walked into a movie or a bad dream, or someone had slipped me something without me knowing it and it was just taking effect. I wondered if it wasn't better to go back outside and let the boys have me. Maybe I stood a better chance with them; at least I knew what I was up against. But I just couldn't move. I heard a voice from one of the dark comers that seemed to come from far away. This voice , low and quiet, soft, husky, and threatening said, "What do you want in my house?" The words came out of my mouth as fast as my feet had been running from the gang. "Some boys was chasing me, I'm not a thief, I was just hiding and I didn't know anyone lived here:" There was silence for what seemed like a long time, as if this voice was trying to decide whether to believe me or not. Then the lights got brighter. There in his bathrobe with a 45-caliber pistol in

his hand stood Joe Black. "I could have blown your@&:*$%$# head right off your body, boy," he said. "God was on your side this night." I tried to apologize for corning in on him like that, but the words would not come out. I just kept looking around with my mouth open at what I thought was an abandoned house. It looked like a $50,000 apartment on the first floor alone, gold-lined wallpaper, hardwood floors with tiger rugs on them, waxed banisters, carpeted stairs. In the living room sat the biggest TV I had ever seen in my life sitting between two gigantic speakers. Everything was immaculate. .It was all too much to take in at that very moment. I still could not move a step. As Joe lowered the gun, I heard a second voice say from the top of the stairs,"Is everything all right, Joe?" I looked up to see Peter, the owner of the Flamingo bar, coming down the stairs in his bathrobe. Again, silence fell on the room as the three of us looked at each other not knowing what to say I knew, in a quiet way, that they were lovers. Joe Black never went out of his way for anyone that I knew of- until that night. He knew that I could not go back out in the street with boys looking for me in a car. He also knew that he could no longer hide who he really was from me. I stayed by the door while Joe and Peter disappeared and returned dressed. Joe gestured to me to follow him and the three of us went down the hallway to a door leading into the basement. As Peter passed me going down the stairs I smelled that sweet odor again, the one I smelled when I first came in the house: it was him. The cellar was deep, many steps going down and dark until Joe turned on the lights. There before my eyes sat his big red shiny car, backed in. In the front of the car stood a wall with pictures on it that didn't look any different from the other walls. lt slid open, revealing a ramp. As we got in the car I saw Peter .slide a reassuring hand over to Joe and without a sound say "It will be all right." We didn't speak much more that ·night, Joe Black and me, or ever again. But it was clear that I should never speak of that house, or of his lover, to anyone. And I never did until now. Voice Male

continued from page 15

Braining the Body Into Healing budget- the results were identical: the pam and infection cleared, but the cyst remained. So when my cyst flared up again, I felt frustrated and worried. What if it wasn't benign but malignant? I elected to have it surgically removed. Before scheduling urgery, though, I decided to try my new approach first. It had worked with my tooth, after all. So I zapped the cyst with my internal heat. Nothing happened. I hadn't really expected it to work, but I was still sorely disappointed. Then I thought, well, where's the stuff tns1de the cyst going to go, after all? It won't drain into the tissue .. .its already there. Its got to go outside my body, to be destroyed. Since I had promised myself not to cut my body anymore - the incidence of self-mutilation -is prevalent

among survivors, and ubiquitous among MPDs - (that subject is for a future column) I didn't want to break my vow But clearly the skin needed to be burst. I resolved to attempt combining my physically internal assaults with out-of-body assistance. I would go out of my body and ask of my skin a great blessing: open, and let the heat drive the infection out. . It worked - the cyst is gone. There is no bump. There is no scar. There is simply clear, healthy skin, and firm, smooth tissue under it. It has been several months since this experience, and there has been no recurrence, nothing to suggest the cyst ever existed. I do not expect it to return. I treasure and lionor this great gift I've been given, whlch was wrested accidentally from the horrors of abuse, torture, and r~pe. My first therapist - who has since lost her battle with breast cancer once described my diagnoses of MPD as such:


There are fierce dragons behind all of your doors. They are terrifying, because they guard something precious. They are guarding treasure chests, Oscar they are guarding treasures beyoncL belief and imagination! All those treasures belong to you, Oscar! They are all yours! Open the doors Walk past the dragons Claim all of your treasure chests. Even under the direst of circumstances , it is possible for everyone to claim their rightful inheritance: richness beyond our dragons. As a multiple who has reached a place of wholeness, I know that being incomplete is not simply a problem facing MPDs. Everyone in this culture must confront our dragons. It is far more difficult for the human spirit - and body - of any person to "come together" rather than "fall apart," as mental sanity and mental illness are often described. The struggle is worth it. Lets walk past the dragons.


Subway of Amherst offers fresh 6" and · footlong subs, delicious salads and, for ,s maller appetites, 4" round sandwiches.

4 Main Street,· Amherst • 256-1919 Sunday - Thursday 10 am - Midnight 'Friday & Saturday 10 am- 2 am

Voice Male

Available through the Men's Resource Center, 236 North Pleasant St. , Amh~rst, MA 01002, and at many bookstores.


THANK YOU Mentor/Advocates for Respect &Safety {MARS) Volunteers

hank You ! The Mens Resource Center is truly a community organization . We have grown to where we are now because thousands of people have shared our insptration and comni~tment, and contributed their time, services, and money toward a vision of personal and social transformation. As our programs and ser-· vtces contmue to grow in size and scope, we see that the size and scope of our community support also expands. We are filled with &ep gratitude at the outpouring of your support. Please support the businesses who support us! If you patronize any of the listed businesses, tell them you appreciate the support they give to the MRC!


Stammel Stringed Instruments, Zlmna Flowers, Donated Services Always In Bloom, Everywpman's Center, Meg Gage, Hadley Garden Center, Integrity Builders, Yoko Kato, Knowles Flowers, Earl Shumway, Katrin V~rclas

Vafa Ansarifar, Laila Berstein, Elena Botkin-Levy, Holli Chmela, Meredith Dimola, Ali Feely, Faith Kares, Marisol Lopez, Bethany Smyers, Steven Theberge, Dominick Usher

Northampton House Reception First Annual Open House Celebration

Tom WaTtenberg and Wendy Berg, Hosts Yoko Kato, Speaker Refreshments Bela's Vegetarian Restaurant, Gwen and Deb's, Green Street Cafe, Fire & Water Cafe, Mezza Luna Caffe, Paul & Elizabeth's, Sylvester's

Volunteers Adi Bemak, Elena and Micah BotkinLevy, Candace Bradbury-Carlin, Roz Cook, Anthony and Phillip Jacobsen, Joan Levy, Diane Mandie , Nathan McCaskill, Aviva and Jonah Okun, Nancy Raines Dedication Ceremony Rep . Steve Kulik, Brenda Lopez, Sen. Stan Rosenberg, Rep . Ellen Story, Carol Wallace Refreshments Bread & Circus , Donatello's Bakery, Henion's Bakery, Nancy Janes Restaurant, The Pub , Super Stop & Shop, Walker's Grill Entertainment Juan Carlos Arean, Moonlight and Morningstar, Tim Van Ness Raffle Prizes Always In Bloom Florist, BodyWorks, Bicycle World Two , Cha! Cha! Cha! , Eastside Grill, Food For Thought Books, Guild Art Center, Hackworth Fitness Center, HairEast, Hannoush Jewelry, .· Jonathan Klate of Amherst Acupuncture, Nuttleman's Florist , Spaghetti Freddy's, .

Office and Reception Volunteers Rachel Bernstein, Rachael Burnson, Elena Botkm-Levy, Casey Forest, Jerry Garofalo, Karen Mandeville, Diane ' Mandie, Bok Oh, Maurice Posada, Alicia Schuyler, Gabriela Saralyn, Tom Schuyt, Gary Stone, Sara Tapply MOVE Intern Davtd Schlafman Support Group Facilitators Paul Abbott, Michael Burke, Michael Dover, Tim Gordon, Michael Greenebaum, Ken Howard , Steven Jacobsen, Gabor Lukacs, Rick Martin , Bob Mazer, Jim Napolitan, Sheldon Snodgrass

Third Annual Challenge and Change Awards Banquet Volunteers Ron Baer, Judith Breier, Michael Burke, Michael Dover, Dick Gilluly, Steve Jefferson, Peter Jessop, Yoko Kato, Joan Levy, Geoff Lobenstine, Nathan McCaskill, Mark Nickerson , Maurice Posada, Tom Schuyt, Llan Starkweather, Sheri Vanetzian Food Amber Waves', Amherst Deli, Ben & Bills Chocolate Emporium, Bertucci's , Bread & Circus, Bruegger's Bagels, Dean's Beans, Knowles Florist, Lord Jeffrey Inn, Bueno y Sano, the Pub, Fitzwilly's, Henion's Bakery, Super Stop & Shop · S.pecial Thanks Terrific support at Hampshire College by Saga Food Service and Doug Martin


Volunteer Appreciation Party

s~@Ys~~ Boltwood Walk • Amherst

Food and Beverages Antonio's Pizza, Au Lys Bleu, Black Sheep Cafe, Bread & Circus, Charlie's Tavern, Nancy Jane's Door Prizes Eastern Mountain Sports Hotel Northampton Special Thanks Michael Dover

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Finally, we want to express our gratitude · to the MRC Board of Directors for the ongoing guidance and support they give to this organization and all who are a part of it.

Voice Male

The Men's Health Collaborative invites you to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 3-6, 1999 for the

National Men's Health Uonferenue and Exposition -an historic 4-day event for health care professionals and men who want to speak up and take actionFor further information, call 215-685-5357

Kailo Consulting & DramaWorks Interactive Business Theatreâ&#x201E;˘ in cooperation with The Mankind Project of New England


The Inner Sovereign Training Courting the Wisdom of the Soul May 20-23, 1999 at EarthDance/Nine Mountains Retreat Center Plainfield, Massachusetts For More Information Contact: Erik Muten @ 413.585.8408, Fax: 413.585.9348 email:

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RESOURCES Men's Resources AIDS CARE/Hampshire County (413) 586-8288 Transportation, support groups and much more free of charge to people living with HIV. The American Cancer Society (413) 734-6000 Prostate support groups, patient support groups, nutritional supplements, dressings and supplies, literature, lowcost housing, and transportation. Children's Aid and Family Service (413) 584-5690 Special needs adoption services. Counseling for individuals, families and children, with a play therapy room for working with children. Parent aid program for parents experiencing stress. Interfaith Community Cot Shelter 582-9505 (days) or 586-6750 (evenings) Overnight shelter for homeless individuals123 Hawley St. , Northampton. Doors open at 6 PM.

HIV Testing Hotline (800) 750-2016 GLBT (Gay, lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered) Counseling & Therapy Referral Service (413) 586-2627-16 Center Street, Northampton, MA 01060. Free group for people 15 to 20 who are gay, lesbian or questioning their sexual orientation. Meets in Springfield Friday afternoons. The Gay & Bisexual Men's Program (802) 254-4444 Brattleboro, VT. Weekly/monthly social gatherings & workshops, and volunteer opportunities. Contact Carey Johnson. Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project, Cambridge, Mass. Information and support for gay and bisexual men suffering from relationship violence. Phone (617) 497-7317, email: GMDVP@JUNO.COM life Course Counseling Center (413) 253-2822 Individual, couples and group

Groups For Men In Committed Relationships Individual Therapy Sliding Fee Scale. Call for Brochure.

Peter Corbett, LMHC, LCSW at (413) 586-4802

Aeadv to Change Your Life? Men's Group Therapy Psychotherapy for:

Couples - Families Individuals


Reed Schimmelfing MSW, LICSW 路 Offices in Northampton

counseling for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. Web site,, Email: Men's Divorce/Separation Counseling (413) 253-7918 Contact: Rob Okun Men's Drop-In Group First and third Tuesday 7-8:30 pm , Athol (MA) YMCA (978) 249-9926 Men Against Violence First and third Tuesday 5-6 pm, Athol (MA) YMCA (978) 249-9926 Men's Therapy Group (413) 586-7454 Reed Schimmelfing, MSW Men in Relationships Group (413) 586-4802 Peter Corbett, LICSW For heterosexual men in committed relationships Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) (800) 749-6879 Referrals available for 12-step groups throughout New England. The Stonewall Center (413) 545-4824 University of Mass., Amherst. A lesbian, bisexual, gay & transgender educational resource center. Valley Gay Alliance (413) 746-8804 P.O. Box 181 , Northampton, MA 01061-0181 . Western Massachusetts' gay social and service organization. Brattleboro Area AIDS Project (802) 254-4444; free, confidential HIV/AIDS services, including support, prevention counseling and volunteer opportunities. TRY Resource/Referral Center for Adoption Issues Education and support services for adoptees, adoptive parents, professionals, etc. Support group meetings first Wednesday and third Sunday of each month. Ann Henry- (413) 584-6599. Valuable Families Gatherings and newsletter for everyone who supports, cherishes and respects our lesbian, gay and bisexual families of origin and of choice. PO Box 60634, Florence, MA 01 062; Queer Teens - GLBT Youth Group of the Pioneer Valley Meetings 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month at Kidsports, Hadley for socializing , discussions, and games. (413) 586-0633. Out Now! - GLBT Youth Group of Greater Springfield For confidential information about weekly meetings call (413) 739-4342.


Individual and group psychotherapy Therapy groups for m:Ue survivors ofch.ildhood abuse


Men's Resource Center of Western Massachusetts: National Men's Resource Center National calendar of events, directory of men's services and a listing of books for positive change in men's roles and relationships. The Men's Issues Page: 100 Black Men, Inc.: Voice Male

RESOURCES Pro-feminist men's groups listing: www.femi· Pro-feminist mailing list: Fathers At Home Dad:· room/athomedad The Fathers Resource Center: National Fatherhood Initiative: The Fatherhood Project: Magazines Achlles Heel (from Great Britain): www.stejon· XY:men , sex politics (from Australia): http://coombs.anu .edu .au/-gorkin/XY/xyin· tro.htm Ending Men 's Violence Real Men: The Men's Rape Prevention Project: Quitting Pornography, Men Speak Out:· porn.html

MEDIATION Jon E. Kent Divorce, Family, Business

"Transforming Conflict Into Opportunity" 413-586-0512 JonK

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Volunteers Needed AIDS CARE/ Hampshire County (413) 586-82898 Help make life easier and friendlier for our neighbors affected by HIV or AIDS. Men are especially needed. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Hampshire County (413) 253-2591 Bangs Community Center, Boltwood Walk, Amherst, Massachusetts. Men's Resource Center (413) 253-9887 Variety of needs for volunteers at the MRC office. Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project, Cambridge, Mass. Seeking volunteers for the nation's first safe home network serving gay and bisexual men and transgendered people. In need of safe home providers and other volunteers. Extensive training and stipend provided. Phone Mark Green at (617) 497-7317, email GMDVP@JUNO.COM





Robert Mazer • Divorce • Parenting • New Fathering

psychotherapy for men in transition, men seeking movement in their lives free initial consultation I flexible fees

Office in Amherst

(413) 253-7918 Voice Male

staff member at the Synthesis Center in Amherst



KoNZA MAsSAGE deep tissue, sports, structural body work and relaxation therapy for men joseph Babcock, L. M. T. Amherst 413.587.4334 A.M.T.A. Member

Thomas M. Kovar, MSW Licensed Independant Clinical Social Worker individual and Family Psychotherapy Ph. 413-585-9003 Email: tmkovar@ Office in downtown Northampton sliding fee scale continued from page 4

Letters load of issues I carried my whole life: sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. But after awhile. I fell away from the men's movement as such, feeling that I was no longer "workmg through" but rather participating m what I came to perceive as a struggle to forge a new ideology of maleness. A more "enlightened" one, but ideology all the same. I simply could not relate to any ·sort of "warrior" metaphor. In fact , I was dis-

covering deeper pathologies in myself that underlay external relations. What began to emerge was the violence in my own makeup; displaced in cruelly damaging ways onto others, rooted in early history. I turned inward (regressed?) to intense and painful self-absorption, with bouts of depression-mixed with some healthy sublimation (painting, studying natural history). That was a dangerous initiative, however, for it led back to the vortex: to the positive feedback loop of clinically pathological

narcissism, tied tightly to a pattern of selfviolence. Somehow I've persisted, helped immensely by true community and the natural splendor of my surrounds, with time and opportunity to study, work through, and begin healing. All well and good, but theres still today to get through-peacefully. I'm able to say all this freely because I too entered on a new paradigm, about a year ago, related but distinct: the new/old Reinventing justice program in [Franklin] county. To sit in a circle conscious of "all our relations," with a clear mind and open heart, with respect felt and given by each for all, to listen to offenders and their victims work through matters of explosive potential and heart-rending sadness, hard stuff, to watch healing consensus and forgiveness emerge, slowly, painfully but magically, from the creativity of the group with no leader, ah, that was to bask in emotional and spiritual satisfaction of a kind I've never felt in my life, because: I'm an offender; but I've joined the circle, which took me in as an equal.

Bob Ellis Millers River Watershed Wendell, Mass.

DIVORCE & SEPARATED MEN'S SUPPORT GROUP May 13, 27, and june 3, 10 Call (413) 253-7918 Ext. 1

For info. and fees


Yes! Please send me: _

T-shirt(s) Teal_ Beige_ Size: _ Medium _large_ Extra Large Mugs: Indicate#__ Mouse Pads: Indicate# Enclosed is$__ for_ (T-shirts) _(mugs)_ (mouse pads) Remember to add $2.50 postage forT-shirts, $2.00 for mugs, $1.00 for mouse pads. Total enclosed: .,__ _ _ _ __ Please Print Name _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___ Address - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Order MRC T·Shirts, Mugs, and Mouse Pads. All printed with MRC credo: Supporting Men • Challenging Violence Durable T-shirts in teal with black lettering or beige with navy blue lettering Sizes: Medium, Large, Extra Large. 100% heavy, pre-shrunk cotton- $12 plus $2.50 postage Handsome ceramic mugs in turquoise with MRC logo in black- $6.50 Custom-made teal colored Mouse Pads with MRC logo (7" X 9") Send orders to: MRC Essentials 236 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, Mass. 01002 Please allow four weeks for delivery.

City/State_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Z i p - - - - -


· Voice Male

MRC PROGRAMS & SERVICES SUPPORT GROUP PROGRAMS · Open Men's Group- 7 -9 p.m . Sunday evenings at the MRC Amherst office. A facilitated drop-in group for men to talk about their lives and to support each other. • Survivors of Childhood Abuse - 7 - 8:30 p.m. Friday evenings at the MRC. Specifically for men who are survivors of any kind of childhood abuse. • Gay, Bisexual, Transgender; & Questioning 7-9 p.m. Monday evenings at the MRC. Discussion group on issues of sexual orientation. FATHERING PROGRAMS A variety of resources are av~ilable - lawyer referrals, parenting guidance, workshops. educational presentations and conferences, as well as group and individual counseling for new and expectant, separated or divorced, gay, step, adoptive and other fathers. YOUTH .EDUCATION PROGRAMS (YEP) · High School Education Project (HEP): We train adult men to present workshops for area high schools on issues such as sexual harassment, date rape, creating healthy relationships, masculinity and sexism. We also provide ongoing young men's leadership programs and support groups. · Mentor Advocates for Respect and Safety (MARS): In collaboration with the Everywoman's Center, we train college and high school males to be mentors to junior high males with a particular focus on sexual assault prevention education. · Alternatives to Detention: We lead after-school programs for juQior high school students on respect, violence prevention and healthy relationships. MEN OVERCOMING VIOLENCE (MOVE) MRC state-certified batterer intervention program serves both voluntary and court-mandated men who have been physically violent or verbally/emotionally abusive. Fee subsidies available.

• Basic Groups: Groups for self-referred (20 weeks) and court-mandated (40 weeks) men are held in Amh~rst, Ware, and Springfield.

· Follow-up: Groups for men who have completed the basic program and want to continue in their. recovery are available in Northampton, Amherst and Belchertown. · Partner Services: Free phone support, resources, referrals and weekly support groups are available for partners of men in the MOVE prpgram. · Prison Groups: A weekly MOVE group is held at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Corrections. · Teen Groups: A 10 week MOVE group for young men (ages 1419) who have been violent or abusive to others. · Community Education and Training: Workshops and training on domestic violence and clinical issues in batterer intervention are available. · Speakers' Bureau: Formerly abusive men who want to share their experiences with others to help prevent family violence are available to speak at schools and human service programs. TRAINING AND CONSULTATION Training and consultation is available to colleges, schools, human service organizations, and businesses on topics such as "Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response," "Strategies and Skills for Educating Men," "Building Men's Community," and "Challenging Homophobia ," among other topics. Specific trainings and consultation available. · ALTERNATIVE FAMILIES PROJECT A 60-page manual, Children, Lesbians, and Men: Men's Experiences as Known and Anonymous Sperm Donors, which answers the questions men have, with first-person accounts by men and women "who have been there." , RESOURCE AND REFERRAL SERVICES Information about events, counselors, groups, local, regional and national activities, support programs for men. Our library and resource files are available to all MRC members . VOICE MALE Published quarterly, the MRC magazine includes articles, essays, reviews and resources, and services related to men and masculinity.

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1 1 .J 25

CALENDAR April9 -11

May 20-23

August 7-8

The Fight for Abortion Rights and Reproductive Freedom: 13th Annual Conference for Student and Community Activists Hampshire College. Amherst, Mass. Free. For more information, call (413) 559-5645.

Inner Sovereign Training: Courti~g the Wisdom of the Soul Earth Dance/Nine Mountains Retreat Center, Plainfield, Mass. (41,3) 585-8408. Email: May 21-23 Gay &: Single: What Keeps Us Out of Relationship? Rowe Conference Center, Rowe, Mass. (413) 339-4954

Eighth Annual Conference, International Coalition Against Sexual Harassment: Creating Change: Sexual Harassment Research, Training, and Advocacy for the 21st Century. Chicago, Ill. Papers, workshops, panels, and discussion groups on all aspects of sexual harassment . For further information and registration material contact james Gruber Qegruber@umd, 313-593-5611, University of Michigan-Dearborn, or Susan Fineran ( 617-353-7912 , Boston University.

April22 Men and Racism Film and Discussion . 7-9 :30 p .m. at the MRC. Film to be announced . Donation requested.

May 13, 27,]une 3, 10 Men's Separation and Divorce Group Four Thursdays. 7-8:30 p.m . at th e MRC. For cost and to register call (413) 253-7918 .

May 22 . Male Survivors and Allies Rally Amherst (Mass.) Town Common 3-5 p.m. Call the MRC at (413) 253-9887. May27

April23 -25 Mentors and Elders: The Second Adventure of Life Workshop with Michael Meade. Rowe Conference Center, Rowe, Mass. (413) 339-4954

April25 -May 2, May 9 16, 23 Fathers' Brunch Four Sundays at the MRC, 11 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. Free. (413) 253-9887 Ext. 20

Men and Racism Film and Discussion 7-9:30 p .m . at the MRC. Film to be announced. Donation requested.

Queerfest A day-long GLBT community pride festival at the University of Massachusetts. Contact the Pnde Alliance (413) 545 -0154

May 1 Pride March ' Northampton, Mass . Call 586-6900 for more information

Courageous Hearts: Building Men's Community Weekend workshop presented by the MRC. For more information, call (413) 253-9887.

路 October 1 - 3 June 3-6 National Men's Health Conference and Exposition Philadelphia, Pennsylvania . Paper abstracts and posters welcome. Call (215) 685-5357 for more information.

June 20 April 29

August 27-29

1st MRC Fathers and Families Celebration Noon- 5 p.m路. Amherst (Mass.) Town Common. Call the MRC at (413) 253-9887

June 20-25 Men's Wisdom Council Rowe Conference Center, Rowe, Mass. (413) 339A954

God, Sex, and Money An experiential weekend conference for men with john Lee, Jeffrey Duvall, and joe Laur Sirius Community Conference Center, . Shutesbury, Mass. $300, including meals. For more information, contact Stephen Stem (phone 508-376-9544, email: or jedd Miller (phone 413549-5585, email j eddMil)

Send calendar listings for the Summerl999 issue to Voice Male Calendar, MRC, 236 North Pleasant Street, Amherst MA 01002. Deadline for listings is May 10.

June 25 ..27 Y2K: A Blessing in Disguise Weekend workshop with Gordon Davidson &: Corrine McLaughlin Rowe Conference Center, Rowe, Mass. (413) 339-4954



The magazine or the Men 's Resource Center or Western Massachusetts Published quarterly, Voice Male is distributed in 25 states and throughout Western New England from the Massachusetts-Connecticut border into Southern New Hampshire and Vermont . ..c. Either send camera-ready ads to us , or utilize our in-house design and production services. For sizes , rates and deadlines , contact Sales Director Steven jacobsen at (413) 253-9887, Ext. 14. FAX (413) 253-4801. VOICE MALE 236 No. Pleasant St. , Amherst , Mass. 01002 Email: mrc


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Children, Lesbians, and Men Men as

Known and rm Donors Anonymous Spe


Geoff Lobenstine

CALL US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION available through the Mens Resource Center 236 North Pleasant St. , Amherst 243-9887 for $8.00 plus $2.00 S & H

413-549-7919 '

Voice Male '_ -- - - - - - - - . - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 27

If You're Making Change in Your Personal Life ...


7·19, 1999






••• You Can Make Social Change In Your Community Build men's leadership and men's community Create a vision for building men's community where you live Share the male-positive, gay affirmative, pro-feminist, anti-racist MRC model Explore the personal & social significance of doing men's work across cultures For more information or to register contact

The Men's Resource Center 236 No. Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002 (413) 253-9887 Fax (413) 253-4801 Email: Printed on Recycled Paper

Voice Male Spring 1999  
Voice Male Spring 1999