Go read this book. Really. All the cool kids are, and I’ll tell you why.

Our very own Jay Sennett has put together an awesome anthology of reflective work on the nature of idenity, masculinity, change, love, and the human condition writ particular.

I’m still working my way through it, but I wanted to pause and write a little. I figured Jay ought to know that I actually started reading, in the hallowed halls of Yale no less.

So after reading these stories, the thing that struck me the most was when i caught myself casually applying a shiny yellow phallus to my body, not even thinking about it. A look in the mirror brought me back to the reality that everything I had done that morning had radically changed my gendered presentation, and i’d barely spent a moment since waking up not manufacturing my masculinity. And just hanging down the entire length of my chest is this metaphor, this dick.

The yellow tie that has to perfectly related to my waistline, the pants that sit just so and change how i connect to the ground, the collared Brooks Brother’s shirt that draws a new shape of my torso and brings the eye upwards, the padded shoulders in my jacket, the extra half inch in my dress shoes, the part of the hair i have, the absence of the hair i take off my face, the way my glasses frame my face…

The possibility that opens up in these narratives for me is the idea of self-organization. I was organized into a man before I ever thought about it. My entire upbringing, cultural location, and experience produced a man. But what is the relationship between the man I’ve been made to be, the man I’ve been making myself to be, and the one that I want to be? This is where this book has been a really amazing read, one that has given me a lot to be excited about.

These men aren’t going to do my work for me, they aren’t genderfucking the rest of us out of our problems, but they have given us an interesting challenge. What would it mean to be self-organized?

What would it mean to choose our masculinity? What would it mean to be responsible for it?

-sly

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