אלה גבריאלה כהן – Ella Gabriela Cohen
סרף "גבריות – Masculinity" בהנחיית אלה – Ella בביתה בתל אביב, 18.7.2018.
Booksurf on Masculinity
The English booksurf on the subject of 'masculinity' was held last Wednesday the 18th July. I, Ella, moderated and hosted. It proved to be a tough issue to discuss, provoking strong opinions and personal stories from the participants.
Steve Rogers read first from Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules of Life, which presents and then rejects the idea that if boys are brought up to be more sensitive it will stem male aggression. Janice read The Male Manifesto from a book called Knights Without Armour by Aaron R. Kipnis. The manifesto provides an interesting counter thesis to 12 Rules, promoting the need for the show of vulnerability, sensitivity and friendship between men. Michelle Markovitz Vos read a section about female masculinity by Judith Halberstam, and following that Elise Nessim Shazar read a section about a young boy discovering, to his horror, the first physical signs of puberty on his own body and 'mourning' his departure from childhood. Following that, Oz Fraier read from Rene Decartes' Meditations, describing the 'male' ability to engage in the intellectual life, constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing the basis on which thoughts and theories are formed.
Following the discussion about Oz's reading we had a break, in which in view of the theme of the evening, an interesting thing emerged. In the last surf I hosted there were six men and two women in attendence. On that occasion, at the break there were six bottles of wine and spirits on the table and two dishes of food, reflecting exactly the gender ratio according to stereotypes. At this surf in which there were six women and two men participating, there was one bottle of wine and several bowls and plates of home-cooked and prepared food.
After the break Alma Shemesh read us a short piece written by her which was followed Shiran reading the poem The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson. This a poem written about the Crimea War in the mid 19th century in which, as in most wars, young men are expected to give their lives, for a cause that is often questionable. At the end of the evening I read a piece by the writer Pankaj Mishra called 'The crisis in modern masculinity, which suggested a correlation between extreme masculinity and extreme nationalism in the modern age.