Raising Boys

20180722_114619By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. Published in Geez Magazine‘s most recent issue on Gender Flex.

“Mommy, baby is tired. I need to put baby in the pack and walk,” says Cedar, my two-year-old. I quickly design a make shift baby carrier tying his baby doll to his stomach. He walks back and forth across the house and then stops and sways. After five minutes, he heavy sighs and says disappointedly “baby is still awake.” He walks on mumbling to himself about how baby needs his milk and how the baby is too little to drink water out of a cup and baby just needs his milk. Continue reading

I Need A Hand

DSCN3227By Rev. Nick Peterson (right, being introduced by Ruby Sales)

Without this effort, the secret place is merely a dungeon in which the person perished; without this effort, indeed, the entire world would be an uninhabitable darkness.
James Baldwin, Another Country (1962)

My friend was in pain. All the things he held dear and cherished were slipping from his grasp.  In naming his losses he named his desire to grab ahold of something, something to help him live, to help him cope.  I wanted to comfort him, to hold his hand, make some kind of physical contact, to disrupt the isolation he was feeling. But I hesitated, unsure of an appropriate way, a manly way, to comfort my friend.  Truthfully, I was paralyzed by the fear of what my touch might communicate about my identity as a man, my sexuality, and my connection to him.
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The Good News on Masculinity: There is Another Way

jim harbaughIn patriarchal culture males are not allowed simply to be who they are and to glory in their unique identity. Their value is always determined by what they do. In an anti-patriarchal culture males do not have to prove their value and worth. They know from birth that simply being gives them value, the right to be cherished and loved.
bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love (2004)
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Lydia Wylie-Kellermann and Tommy Airey, co-editors of RadicalDiscipleship.Net & “backdoor neighbors” in Detroit, are both white and both come up solid INFJs on the Myers-Briggs personality test. When it comes to the Enneagram, Lydia is a 2 with a 3 wing. Tommy is a 3 with a 2 wing. But the similarities may end there. Lydia grew up in Detroit, is in a traditional same-sex marriage, the mother of a 2-year-old, a disciple of the Harry Potter series, an avid gardener and knitter. Tommy grew up in suburban Southern California, is scandalously married to a former student, an avid distance runner and starts every morning sipping on home-roasted coffee, journaling and reading the sports page and academic theology. Below is the transcript of an eDialogue we recently had on the current state of North American masculinity.
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TA: I’m not sure if you are familiar with Jim Harbaugh (photo above: in a recent game of shirts and skins). He might be the most popular white guy in Michigan right now. The University of Michigan recently signed him to a $7 million per year contract to be their football coach. He’s coaching football clinics all over North America to try to recruit the best players to play in your native Michigan. I came across this quote last week: Continue reading