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Exploring Masculinity in Social Services

  • Seneca Family of Agencies 6925 Chabot Road Oakland, CA 94618 (map)

EXPLORING MASCULINITY IN SOCIAL SERVICES WITH GABRIEL KRAM AND EARL SIMMS

Gabriel’s bio, Earl’s bio

We live in cultures of frequently toxic masculinity, as portrayed and evidenced by a plethora of recent events in American culture, where men frequently choose power over others rather than being with them, are taught to prioritize intellect over emotion, dominance over connection, and are socialized to experience and express only certain emotions while repressing others. While this has obviously harmful impacts on those interacting with men, it also harms us. The social services profession is largely made up of women, so men who are part of it have generally chosen this work for deeply personal reasons, and can often provide a uniquely healing or corrective experience for young people, who so frequently have wounding around their relationship with male figures. As a man, then, what does it mean to show up fully in service? What parts of ourselves get left behind? In a culture where men are not taught to take care of themselves, what does selfcare and restorative practice for men look like? What does it mean as a man to walk with an open heart?

In this training, we’ll explore:

-What core beliefs about masculinity are imposed by culture, and which of these do we need to deconstruct?

-As men, what is significant about our roles in social service contexts?

-What unique strengths and challenges do men face in this work?

-How do cross-cultural images of men impact our ability to relate to those from similar and different backgrounds than our own?

-As men, how have we been indoctrinated into cultures of violence- how do we extricate ourselves from this indoctrination?

-What does it mean to develop emotional awareness as men?

-How do we learn to practice self-care and restoration?