Lately I’ve been seeing a pattern. More and more men are standing up to misogyny, to sexual violence, to street harassment, to victim blaming, to rape apologia, to sexism.
Despite the noise created by the ignorance in the Men’s Rights Movement, a tide is shifting.
On every college campus and in every high school where I work, I meet young men who are passionate about creating a different masculinity.
In short, there are men who are acting like this:
So I wanted to take just a minute here at Change From Within to highlight some of those amazing men who are leading this transformation of masculinity, men who I admire tremendously and who inspire me to be a better man on the daily.
As I sit here trying to write about Darnell, I find myself erasing and rewriting my introductory sentence over and over. It’s impossible to describe this man.
I’ve long been a fan of his writing and speaking, and I had the opportunity to meet with him recently, and I cannot describe the humble power this man possesses in words. His kindness and generosity are only surpassed by his brilliance.
As a public intellectual on issues of race, sexuality, and gender, Darnell is leading men to imagine their positionality in the world differently, moving toward an ethic of love and brotherhood rather than dominance and control.
Check out his recent Ted Talk:
Fivel is a father, filmmaker, and activist who uses his own powerful stories to help men understand the work we must do to transform ourselves as part of transforming masculinity.
His film House Devil, Street Angel is an autobiographical documentary that tells Fivel’s story of his struggle to raise his son to know a different, nonviolent, positive masculinity.
On a personal level, Fivel is a caring soul, a man who is passionate about making this world a better place and who makes you feel like a family member in that work from the moment he meets you.
Fivel is currently working on a documentary about consent and positive, healthy sexuality, so keep an eye out for that.
In the mean time, check out the first of Fivel’s film that I ever saw:
Kai is a filmmaker, poet, and Ph.D. candidate who strives to build a more inclusive understanding of gender and masculinity through his art and scholarship.
Though I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Kai in person, I am proud to boast that I get to write alongside Kai at Everyday Feminism where his writing inspires me to think differently about race, gender, and healing.
Check out the trailer for his documentary “It Gets Messy in Here” here, and watch his interview with Me and My Bois below.
I first met Emiliano when he delivered an amazing keynote on engaging bystander intervention in Spanish-speaking migrant communities at the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence’s annual prevention institute. Simply put, he blew me away.
Ever since, I’ve been learning from him through his writing, activism, and work with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.
Check out Emiliano speaking at a SlutWalk rally in 2011:
One of the more formative male role models in my life has been Jackson Katz. I first came across Jackson’s work when I was a first year in college, and it blew my mind. I had never heard a man talking about masculinity the way that he does.
What’s most inspiring about Jackson’s work, though, is how accessible he makes the conversation for men from all sorts of backgrounds.
To understand how easy Jackson makes it for men to engage in the conversation of feminism and transformative masculinity, look no further than his viral Ted Talk:
Jeff Perera is an author, speaker, and activist who challenges men to leave behind outdated understandings of masculinity to build a more inclusive, loving, and non-violent gender identity.
Another man I have yet to meet face to face, I am regularly inspired by the work that I see Jeff doing. Founder and Editor in Chief at Higher Unlearning, Jeff empowers men to be the ones to hold men accountable for their actions and words.
Check out Jeff’s recent Ted Talk:
Carlos is a poet, actor, author, and speaker who calls on men to think more critically about what it means to “Man Up.”
I first came across Carlos when I saw him perform his inspiring poetry with Andrea Gibson in Denver a few years ago, and I’ve been learning from him ever since.
Most recently, I was inspired by this piece of his that was published in The Guardian (and actually prompted me to write this blog post).
Check out his Ted Talk on the concept of “Manning Up:”
Whether we’re talking about famous poets or intellectuals or our fathers or classmates, it’s time we start lifting up the brothers who are calling for a different masculinity, a more inclusive masculinity, a more non-violent masculinity.
Take this as a call to action. Take some time to thank a man who you’ve seen do something, whether big or little, to build a better masculinity.
Originally appeared at Change From Within