Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Developing a male identity

Below are some notes from Randy Woodley's workshop, "Beyond Color Blindness" which I have edited to refer to gender rather than ethnicity. The fit isn't perfect, of course, but I did find the similarities strking and helpful.
Male Identity Development

1.On a personal level, the goal of Male Gender identity development is to abandon sexism and to develop a non-sexist male identity.
2.Another goal is to deconstruct the systems of oppression and sexism and reconstruct them resembling the Kingdom. For Christians, the personal and the systemic are not mutually exclusive but they are necessarily intertwined.
Outcomes of Male Identity Development

•Understand social constructs of gender and gender theory with the
implications and purposes they have served in America.

•Understand the system of advantage men have in America
and avoid perpetuating personal and systemic racism.

•Don’t just “help”victims of sexual discrimination/abuse but speak up against systems of oppression and challenge other Men to do the same.

•Understand the many factors that contribute to one’s gender identity development, including family, society, politics, history and how racial identity also influences the quality of an individual’s racial group identification.

•Develop a Biblical theology of diversity and inclusion based on Scripture and Jesus’ view of the “Kingdom.”
•Understand how particular Western pedagogies perpetuate oppression.
•Learn how Jesus’ call to meekness and humility can be
implemented on systemic, organizational and societal levels
concerning entitlement and opportunity.
•Learn the value of humor and laughing at ourselves and our racial identities.
Also read the following quote, substituting Male for White.

Excerpt: What’s a White Guy to Do? Scott Johnson
My Dad was a racist.
He never sat me down and instructed me on the fine points to White superiority, but I certainly picked it up. Dad intentionally made sure I knew how to milk the cow, drive the tractor, and shoot clay-pigeons, but he never actually taught me to hate people on the basis of cultural or physical attributes. Nor did I inherit it in my Norwegian/German genes. Rather, I acquired it by listening to the way adults acted and talked. Racism—in my case, anyway—wasn’t taught, but caught.