News flash

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Moving Forward from the World Conference
led by Tim Jackins
February 5

Threats from Nuclear Weapons
led by Julian Weissglass
February 11

Unified Goal on the Climate
led by Diane Shisk
& Janet Kabue
March 4 or 5

“All Men Need This”

I have been running [leading] a dad’s group once a month for nearly a year. We meet in my home. Nine men attend regularly. Five are Men of the Global Majority (two African-heritage, two Latino, one Native), two are currently working class and five are raised working class, and four either came to the United States as children or were born here soon after their parents arrived. I am a white Jewish middle-/owning-class man. There is one other Jewish man. The group has been extraordinary for me and for my re-emergence. What has made it so great?

I did it for me—because I wanted a group of men to think with about parenting. I wasn’t doing it to fix or teach anyone. I was doing it because I didn’t want to be so isolated as a father.

Wow! Are the guys hopeful about this meeting! They come regularly. There is no food, alcohol, sports, poker, or anything else men normally use to ease the way. We just sit together and talk and listen. It’s safe. I set some guidelines (confidentiality, and so on) so the guys can talk about what’s really going on [happening]. And they do.

It’s more free flowing than an RC class, but everyone gets a chance to talk and be heard, and the men really listen to each other. The African-heritage men lead the way. Next month they will lead the session on talking to our children about racism.

I’ve learned that men love to talk about what they are thinking, struggling with, and wondering about and that they care enormously about their children, their partners, and even themselves. Yes, the oppression is there, but these dear men are fighting for their full selves. They know what happened to them. They know what they want to stop doing as parents. At some point in each meeting we talk about violence and male domination, sexism targeting our spouses and children, and racism.

At our closing tonight, one man said, “This is the real thing. All men need this—to get to talk, think, and listen to each other. If we could make that happen, it would change everything.” We are thinking about expanding to more men.

Josh Thomases

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of men

(Present Time 191, April 2018)


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00