For Colleges, High Schools, Retreat Centers, and Community Groups
Unpacking Toxic Masculinity
Tuesday, August 21
X Marks the Loft
405 Johnson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Workshop fee: $25
Choose Love Now founder Karla Rasmusson approached Man Question about co-producing a workshop on unpacking toxic masculinity. Why? For the last two years, Karla and co-conspirators have staged their carnival- and burning man-esque roving love intervention in the streets of lower Manhattan: they offer meditation, costumes, dance, and acts of kindness with strangers.
And love is a verb, reflects Karla. She’s allied the parade with activism for racial and gender justice, so that paraders are engaged in work that makes sustained love and intimacy possible, at individual and social levels.
Man Question is honored to be a part of this vision. We’re offering our signature workshop this coming Tuesday, in Brooklyn. Check out the details, and sign up, using the link below.
We will begin with mindfulness and movement work, then explore the expectations of mainstream masculinity and their impact on people’s lives. We’ll develop some actions to take, both big and small, and we’ll culminate with a ritual to close our work together. The topics we explore will come from who is in the room, but we have a hunch we’ll look at sensuality and beauty and sex and consent, to support paraders in seriously shaking it in the streets.
Michael will be leading the workshop solo, while Wil Fisher spreads the love in cali ;-)
What to Expect from a Man Question Workshop
In our workshops, we invite you to peek up the skirt of masculinity. That can be a bit awkward. With this in mind, we start the workshop by releasing the butterflies--the hopes and fears--that everyone feels about the question. We then connect around power, which is a major axis of masculinity, using tools from artist and activist Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed.
What comes next depends on the unique group in which we are working. At Roanoke College, we led a public presentation, visited classes and student groups, and ended with a community celebration. With a group of men that came together to meet in Brooklyn, we focused on debates about how masculinity came to be and challenges in expressing emotions and finding closeness. With a group of incarcerated men at a maximum security prison in Connecticut, we focused on similar questions but with more intense focus on power, and we also supported the group in developing seeds of scenes that they are now crafting into an original piece of theatre. As we work, we alternate between action and discussion, spiraling towards an essential question and project that will unite and culminate the group's work.
Designed in dialogue
Together we design custom-tailored workshops for your organization.
In past workshops and residencies, we have addressed:
- Sexual assault, #metoo and masculinity
- Love and intimacy
- Freedom of expression in the arts
- Manhood historically expressed in literature and its implications
- Meanings of manhood in gay men’s communities
- Undoing gender binaries: fluid and trans explorations of masculinity
- Feminist me? Men’s roles in achieving gender equity
- Addressing internal and external homophobia.
- Exclusivity in different men’s groups (sports teams, Greek life, etc.)
- Incarceration and masculinity: racism and the school-to-prison pipeline
- Masculinity and the Black Lives Matter movement
Some workshops culminate with deep dialogue. Longer workshops may culminate in performance, to sharpen and articulate the discoveries and questions arising in the workshop. Some examples of theatrical culminations include:
- A ritual we perform together to close the workshop
- A piece in a community variety show
- A piece shared as a part of a broader community dialogue—for example, in 2014 we presented a piece in an evening about sexual violence for activists, artists, and care providers in Brooklyn.
- A piece performed at the New Masculinities Festival
For booking and inquiries
Selected Past Projects
Roanoke College Residency | April 2018
All-campus evening presentation on the history and impact of the expectations of mainstream masculinity; visits with the lacrosse team, fraternity brothers, and the LGBTQ+ support group; five class visits; and the fabulous return of the Roanoke College Drag Ball.
Masculinity and #Metoo | April 2018
Public workshop in NYC for people of all genders, exploring the #metoo movement, masculinity, and the revolutionary potential of the moment. Covered by The Guardian.
American Men's Studies Association Annual Conference Artist in Residence Project | March 2016
Collaborated with AMSA Artist-in-Residence Joan Lipkin to create an original play with conference participants.
Re:Gender Gala | March 2015
Spoke to invite men's participation in research and organizing for equity.
Garner Correctional Institution | October 2011 to present
Facilitate theater-based workshops for a group of inmates at a maximum security men’s prison in CT.
The New Masculinities Festival | June 2012 - Present
Our annual performance festival, produced at various venues in NYC (most recently at the LGBT Center for the past two years), inviting multidisciplinary artists to explore the impacts of the expectations of masculinity. Click here to learn more about the fest.
Easton Mountain | December 2012 to May 2017
Facilitated personal growth focused workshops at various retreats hosted at this LGBTQ retreat center in Upstate NY.
Rowan University | February 2013
Presented about past work and facilitated a workshop for students in a gender studies class.
Eastside Institute | June 2012
Session for human development professionals.