Director: Andi Geu
Men in every society learn to think and behave in certain ways, called “masculinity.” They have little choice. If they don’t they are often ostracized or, worse, beaten. Especially in the U.S., the indoctrination of boys into masculinity coerces them to resort to sexism, violence, and competitiveness, and to abandon their feelings. Their natural inclination toward caring, thoughtfulness, respect, and generosity is devalued. The objective of the Men’s Caucus is to help men disconnect from destructive behaviors and to learn and model healthier ones.
To assist men on this journey and to welcome and educate women as valuable allies, the Men’s Caucus offers the following programs:
Introduction to Men
The premise of this full-day workshop for men is that men are good. Men’s behavior is often caring, cooperative, and thoughtful, and the only reason they don’t act this way every minute is that their socialization encourages violence, sexism, competitiveness, and numbness instead. Working and talking together, participants can improve the conditions of their lives and strengthen the sense of caring and rightness they take out into the world.
Objectives for the workshop:
- To break the isolation of not having talked much about our challenges, to sharpen our listening skills, and to become more conversational about our life experiences
- To notice where our thinking and behavior is useful and productive and where not, to provide a mechanism for changing behaviors and sustaining the changes, and to build a community of men where this growth can take place
- To celebrate being men, and to use this newfound pride as a foundation for making constructive changes
NCBI Men’s Retreat
Once a year, men from many of our NCBI resource teams (described in Where We Are) meet in a conference of their own. These times together, each an extended weekend retreat, have proven to be an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved. Men have used these events to address sexism, racism, homophobia, gay oppression, mentoring, sports, fatherhood, violence, integrity, and many other important issues. The theme of the 2006 Men’s Retreat was men’s health. NCBI Men’s Retreats are typically held in June and graciously hosted by George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, USA.