True accountability is not only apologizing, understanding the impacts your actions have caused on yourself and others, making amends or reparations to the harmed parties; but most importantly, true accountability is changing your behavior so that the harm, violence, abuse does not happen again.
-Mia Mingus (who is not IN this episode, but is quoted; more here)

As we approach the end of our first season, this episode is about diving into what accountability means, especially in practice, in real-life situations. That’s a huge subject, of course, and touches on issues like apology, restorative justice, transformative justice, “cancel culture” and a million other things. One episode isn’t really enough to cover all that, but we hope it’s at least a step on a longer journey.

Here are a few of the resources we mention in this episode:

Huge thanks to our guest as well, Russel Balenger of the Circle of Peace Movement (TCOPM)!

As always, if you like it, please subscribe (on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, all the usual platforms). If you really like it, please feel free to leave a review, and spread the word- share a favorite quote, or ask a question, or just share the link; we’ll be using the hashtag #WhatsGoodMan on Twitter and IG. Find our previous episodes here.

Finally, a quick reminder: we’ve created a gallery of all the quote images we’ve shared on social media; feel free to share them too!

Here’s the transcript:

Continue reading “What Happens When We Mess Up? On Apology and Accountability (#WhatsGoodMan Episode 7)”

“As absolutely vital as it is to practice consent as an individual, it’s also important to understand the systems and cultures we move through, how they impact us, and how we can work to impact them, too.
–Kyle

Our sixth episode features a whole bunch of thoughts, ideas, and answers to the question, “how do we build a culture of consent?” We look at some great resources for understanding consent as an individual, share some actions people can take on an interpersonal level, and explore what kinds of larger-scale policy & culture shifts we can help make happen.

The whole episode is structured around this zine, which asked that question to advocates, activists, survivors, and other people in many different places. It’s a great way to explore consent, but it’s also a great way to explore activism and change-making; this is an issue that we need to understand at both levels. Some other resources from this episode:

Thanks also to our guest, Haven Davis, from the Annex Teen Clinic! You’ll hear more about Annex before this season is over.

As always, if you like it, please subscribe (on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, all the usual platforms). If you really like it, please feel free to leave a review, and spread the word- share a favorite quote, or ask a question, or just share the link; we’ll be using the hashtag #WhatsGoodMan on Twitter and IG. Find our previous episodes here.

Finally, a quick update: we’ve created a gallery of all the quote images we’ve shared on social media; feel free to share them too!

Here’s the transcript:

Continue reading ““How Do We Build a Culture of Consent?” (#WhatsGoodMan Episode 6)”

“If I am a man, then what kind of man am I going to be? And how am I going to carry that in the world in a way that leads to the liberation of all people?” —Shannon TL Kearns

Our fifth episode is based around the question of whether the best path forward for a healthy, loving society is to focus on the “bad parts” of masculinity in hopes of creating a less toxic, more nurturing version of manhood, OR do away with the gender binary, and perhaps the concept of gender, in general. Is the goal to be a “good man,” or is the goal to be a good human being? Or is that the wrong way to frame the question to begin with!?

We realize that that has the potential to be a pretty abstract or theoretical conversation, so we tried to bring it down to earth and talk about how our responses to that question might impact the work that needs to be done, and our lives. A big section of this episode is just us reading and reflecting on adrienne maree brown’s must-read piece “Relinquishing the Patriarchy.” 

We also have a fantastic guest for the last word, Shannon TL Kearns of Uprising Theatre and QueerTheology.com.

As always, if you like it, please subscribe (on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, all the usual platforms). If you really like it, please feel free to leave a review, and spread the word- share a favorite quote, or ask a question, or just share the link; we’ll be using the hashtag #WhatsGoodMan on Twitter and IG. Find our previous episodes here.

Here’s the transcript:

Continue reading ““Masculinity: Fix It, or Forget It?” (#WhatsGoodMan Episode 5)”

More of an on-the-road year than a release-lots-of-new-stuff year, but here’s the stuff I did help create this year, in case anyone is interested and missed any of it.

1. “What’s Good, Man?” In Search of Healthy Masculinity

A sneak preview of our 8th episode, which we recorded LIVE back in October with some incredible guests whom you’ll get to hear from soon. Photo by Peter Limthongviratn. 

I resisted the siren song of starting a podcast for a really long time. But tony the scribe had some great ideas, and the overall issue of toxic masculinity is relevant to literally every crisis on earth right now. There’s a sense of urgency here, mixed with an impulse to really take some time to explore how this dominant/dominating narrative of manhood as power, control, and authority is so effective and so insidious. We’re only four episodes into the show (with a fifth coming on 1/1/20), and already have SO MANY MORE planned for the next season. Thanks so much to everyone who’s already tuned in. Related: a piece I wrote back in January called “How much profit is in your pain? On masculinity and outrage.”

2. “The Art of Taking the L” Zine and Video

Related to the podcast, this is a poem (and accompanying zine) that I’ve been working on for a while. Finally got a draft ready to share, and it’s available now both as a video (via Button Poetry) and as part of a BUNDLE of zines that are some of my favorite projects I’ve worked on.

3. Other New Videos

This was the first year in like a decade without any new music from me. But there has been some other cool stuff, including “The Art of Taking the L” and these other new videos:

An a capella performance of my two verses from “Matches” by Sifu Hotman.

“Pro-Life,” A poem about reproductive justice (plus this piece with a bunch of great links).

“10 Excerpts From New York Times Op-Eds in Fictional Realities,” a poem subtitled “what happens when you understand conflict, but don’t understand power.”

New footage/performance of an older poem of mine, “A Pragmatist’s Guide to Faith,” about history and happenstance and struggle.

Finally, this UK producer (Fred again..) sampled a snippet of one of my poems for this beautiful song and video. It’s also available on Spotify and elsewhere:

4. Audio Book

My whole book is available now as audio, recorded by me (and engineered by longtime collaborator Big Cats)!

5. Odds and Ends

Some other stuff:

  • Featured in the City Pages’ “People” Issue here.
  • An in-depth feature on the “What’s Good, Man?” podcast via MN Monthly here.
  • A song spotlight + some favorite links on economic inequality here.
  • Shared a bunch of writing prompts for National Poetry Month here.
  • Shared a playlist of poems I’ve found useful doing social justice education work here.
  • Lots more work with TruArtSpeaks and MPD150; very cool stuff on the horizon in 2020.
  • Finally, a little Instagram collage here; chair photo is by Emeline O’Hara; sketch is by Tori HongHere’s my IG link.

Lots planned for 2020. Lots more will be happening beyond those plans. Let’s be ready.

We are the codes that our ancestors still speak in.

This is an older poem; I think I wrote this in 2013 or so. But having a new video of it (via Button Poetry) is a cool way to close out 2019. Like “A Pragmatist’s Guide to Magic,” and “A Pragmatist’s Guide to Revolution,” this is something I wrote for myself more than for any particular audience. Hope you like it, or that it can be valuable in some way to anyone else out there.

It’s also in my book, which is available here.

The words:

Continue reading “New Video for “A Pragmatist’s Guide to Faith””

“Your relationship isn’t you being one person with the same wants and needs. It’s you being two or more people, all with their own sets of wants and needs, and trying to figure out where they line up.”
–tony the scribe

Our fourth episode is built around the question “if you had a time machine, and could go back and give your teenage self advice about dating, sex, and relationships in general, what would it be?” That question is very intentionally-phrased, in that this isn’t an episode that is going to be 100% relevant to every single listener. But our hope is that by talking about that question from our own perspectives, there’ll be something interesting, or useful, to take away.

Of course, our perspectives are limited! And we’ll be diving more deeply into other folks’ experiences of masculinity very soon. Also, thanks to our guest, Kelly Evertz.

If you like it, please subscribe (on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, all the usual platforms). If you really like it, please feel free to leave a review, and spread the word- share a favorite quote, or ask a question, or just share the link; we’ll be using the hashtag #WhatsGoodMan on Twitter and IG. Find our previous three episodes here.

Here’s the full transcript of episode four:

Continue reading ““What Can Hitch Teach Us About Healthy Dating?” Or: Ten things we wish we knew about dating, sex, and relationships when we were younger (#WhatsGoodMan Episode 4)”

“The goal is not to say all the right things… the goal is to try to show up, be authentically present, and be like, I’m here. I’m doing my best. I really care about this work. I’m going to listen. I’m going to be here. I’m going to respond to critique. I’m gonna be accountable.”
–tony the scribe

This is our third episode, and it focuses on misconceptions about feminism, as well as how men can intentionally engage with feminist work. It’s also very much just one part of a much longer conversation. If you’re just finding us now, I’d recommend checking out our second episode before diving into this one. Find the full list of season one topics/titles here.

If you like it, please subscribe (on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, all the usual platforms). If you really like it, please feel free to leave a review, and spread the word- share a favorite quote, or ask a question, or just share the link; we’ll be using the hashtag #WhatsGoodMan on Twitter and IG.

Here’s the full transcript of episode three:

Continue reading ““Is Feminism for Everybody?” Men’s Role in the Fight for Gender Equity (#WhatsGoodMan Episode 3)”

“A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze.”
-Margaret Atwood

This is our second episode, and probably my personal favorite from the whole season. Find the full list of season one topics/titles here.

If you like it, please subscribe (on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, all the usual platforms). If you really like it, please feel free to leave a review, and spread the word- share a favorite quote, or ask a question, or just share the link; we’ll be using the hashtag #WhatsGoodMan on Twitter and IG.

Also, THANK YOU to everyone who came to our very first live episode recording at the University of MN. The conversation was absolutely fantastic, and I can’t wait for everyone else to be able to hear it too. Double thanks to everyone who tuned into the first episode, subscribed, and shared it.

Here’s the full transcript of episode two:

Continue reading ““What Kind of Man Are You?” Our Favorite Depictions of Masculinity in Pop Culture (#WhatsGoodMan Episode 2)”

This is a poem I wrote back in January. You can find the full text at that link.

The subtitle is “what happens when you understand conflict, but don’t understand power,” something that, I have to say, is very, very relevant in today’s political discourse. This is a super weird, very specific poem, but I think it’s pointing at an issue that is definitely worth thinking critically about.

Related: This is part of an informal series of poems about POWER. I mean, all of my poems are about power in some way, but this series (which also includes Thoughts and Prayers, Pro-Life, and A Pragmatist’s Guide to Magic, are all very explicitly about power in the context of organizing. I hope they make more sense when experienced in proximity to one another.