In my early days of my Pro-Feminist Men’s identity in the early 1980’s men’s gatherings were an important way of us connecting as men. Often then our connections related to our fears as Gay and Straight Men of each other (Bi Men seemed an issue later on) – and breaking down our boundaries was very helpful.
For some Robert Bly seemed an important voice. For others radical feminism became important. A few of the Het men bought into Male Anger and seemingly became anti-feminist. AIDS seemed to intervene as the 80’s moved ahead and the Het related energy seemed to leave almost entirely.
A few years ago I went back to a California Men’s Gathering and I was the only man there who identified as “hetish” – there was one bi man and the rest were all Gay men. The gathering was about community; Het men were “welcome”, but with no Het involvement in planning and community, it was a Gay Gathering.
Trying to envision an “ideal men’s gathering” today feels different and a little unclear. In a sense it feels like creating something that we generally Don’t Have anymore; a male community with Feminism as a key component. Clearly there would need to be an energy supportive of Het, Bi and Gay (and possibly Trans Gender) Men together. For this to be possible would require much more Het energy in such directions than seems common.
As a man in my mid-50’s, a variety of ages of men would also be important. I’d like to be around men from their 20’s to men at least in their 70’s. I would really like to experience men talking about “politics and life in general” – not meaning Bush Bashing – but rather Feminism influenced thought that might be all over the place in various ways. Our learning to learn from each other and to share both in our commonalities and our differences would be important to me. Part of this might reflect our spirituality and being playful and silly.
I think that as men we need to create a lot of “male things” in new ways, challenging much of our pasts as “real men” both in how we’ve grown and what recent generations of men have created. What I imagine isn’t a real movement. That would take a lot more work and effort.
I’m curious – what other men: 1.) Might imagine as time together – different visions than I hold and 2.) Any reactions to some of my images/ideas – above, 3.) Or - am I just "an old foggy" in what I speak of- not relevant to many of you younger men?