January 4, 2015

Annual Man-Making Blog Interest Survey

The Man-Making Blog has a steadily growing list of email subscribers. The stats indicate there are also lots of people just dropping by to check it out. This is a great vote of confidence and keeps me at it. Thanks!

I would appreciate your input on the one-minute reader survey below. Your feedback will help me stay on track in 2015 and hopefully increase the blog's interest and relevance for you.

Please note the question about conference calls. We had one successful call last year that brought many of you together around an important Man-Making topic. I learned a lot about how to plan and then manage a call, and I plan to host a few more calls in 2015. Do indicate if you're interested in participating in this form of idea sharing.

Finally, if you’re a subscriber and getting these posts by email, the survey may not show up in the message below. If this is the case, simply use this link to go directly to the online survey form.

Thanks for your support, and thank you in advance for your feedback. But mostly, thanks for your interest in Man-Making and supporting young males on their journey toward manhood.

Earl Hipp

DON'T FORGET TO HIT THE "SUBMIT" BUTTON AT THE END!




SHARE: If you enjoy this blog, please click the Facebook "Share" button below to support the Man-Making Facebook page! (The button is only on the MM Blog, and NOT in email post delivery, sorry.)


CONTACT: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm available to help bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

SUBSCRIBE: If you're not yet a subscriber to the Man-Making Blog, and you'd like to receive these posts by email 3-4 times a month, use this link for a free subscription.

TWEET: Send this post along to your friends or follow me on Twitter!

December 22, 2014

What Men Really Want!

If you create an anonymous way for men from around the world to speak their personal truth about what they really want, for themselves and the world, you wind up with a deep look into the masculine heart. That's what the hashtag #malewishlist has become.

. . . a deep look into the masculine heart.

The short story is a few good men decided to use the Twitter platform in February 2012 to reach out to men using the hashtag #malewishlist. I was so impressed with what came pouring in, I did a Man-Making Blog post on some of the contributions. It was a very moving list. You can read about those men and the #malewishlist original story at this link on the Man-Making Blog.

Since 2012, the #malewishlist has continued to accumulate tweets. In this season of commercialism, with what I think is a pretty shameful lust for gifting people with material things, I thought it might be nice to revisit the notion of what men want as a way to bring a different perspective to the holidays. I guess this is my holiday letter to you and yours, holding up a vision for a world we all might co-create.

. . . a vision for a world
we all might co-create.

The list is just below. If you're a man, it should straighten your spine a little and have "oh yeahs!" going off in your head. I felt a little sad, too, because of the long way we have to go to get to the world these men have envisioned. Selfishly however, I love that it's so long and that so many men are speaking out.

If you want your voice heard and have additions to the male wish list, you can post them to the Twitter hashtag #malewishlist, add them to the comments section of this post (online), or send it along to me and I'll add it to the comments for you.

Thanks for the gift of your support, all year!

Earl Hipp


The Male Wish List
  • For every boy and man to have at least one person to whom he can reveal himself fully without fear of rejection.

  • For all dads to feel empowered to care for and connect with their children and feel supported in their efforts to do so.

  • To always use the "privileges" given to me by patriarchy to advance a just society.

  • For men to be able to speak up about any personal pain and be met with something other than harsh judgement for "failing at manhood."

  • Not to be seen as a potential abuser (pedophile) because I'm a man, but someone who is safe for young people to be with.

  • To live in a world in which tenderness, compassion, and sensitivity are no longer regarded as primarily feminine qualities.

  • To experiencing joy and happiness without external cause.

  • That more men would learn to talk openly about sex with their partners rather than resorting to lazy substitutes.

  • To live in a world in which greed, avarice, venal stupidity, and amoral self-interest are punished rather than rewarded.

  • To love myself enough to allow myself to fail and make mistakes.

  • To know our real strengths as men and not be afraid to use them.

  • To not feel like I’m a rapist every time a woman walks the same route as me after 9pm.

  • To live in the world imagined by John Lennon.

  • Not to be regarded as culpable or responsible for bad acts committed by other men or groups of men, now or in the past.

  • For more men to realize their parental love means so much to their kids, despite what anti-dad types say.

  • To be accepted for who I am rather than how well I fit into the cultural box.

  • For more men to realize that working themselves to death is not the best way to meet the real needs of their families.

  • That men not have their value judged by the size of their libido or their pay check.

  • That every man would have at least one compassionate witness to his pain and confusion, someone he knows he can always count on.

  • For fathers to be emotionally healthy, present and available.

  • To know and trust that I can be strong and powerful without hurting others.

  • To see the collective of men as "the brotherhood," not "the competition."

  • For men, women, peers, and culture to STOP telling boys that 'BIG boys don't cry.' It is a lie - we DO cry and need to cry.
  • To be able to cry without shame or fear when feeling sadness, grief, disappointment, weakness, or loss come up.
  • To remember that failure and rejection do not reduce or diminish me as a man, but are pathways into my own strength and wisdom.

  • That men would increase their empathy for self and others.
  • To celebrate the fact that I am a man and be proud of my masculinity.

  • That men would be able to gently hold other men and be held by them.

  • To feel safe being emotionally vulnerable around other people, to feel loved, connected, and accepted for who I truly am.

  • To touch without fear, to feel without despair, to dream without nightmares

  • To hold onto my courage as I allow love into my life.

  • To have friends who say 'get up' when I feel like giving up on something which is important to me

  • That men would begin to realize they need to evolve, to change, and to take responsibility for feelings, behavior, and talk.

  • I want sanity and peace of mind. My head feels like a blender that's stuck in the on position.

  • That men would listen to their bodies rather than build their bodies and embrace softness rather than rigidity.
  • I wish all men would be softer with each other. The English male stiff upper lip is a heavy burden.

  • Validation of my belief that many men are eager to open up and will share what is in their hearts.

  • That fewer boys will have to wander alone, unsupported, in the never-never land between boyhood and manhood.

  • To lead the kinds of lives that will make young boys feel eager to grow up and join our ranks.

  • To meet a woman with whom I can share my self-awareness, and enjoy intimacy, both spiritual and physical, without fear.

  • That we as men re-learn how to take our boys out and initiate them into the brotherhood of man - and into a sense of their own maleness.

  • To have an honest conversation with anyone in my family, without fear of repercussions, about my life, who I am, and what I feel.

  • To live in a society that considers grieving as a healthy part of a man's life.

  • I wish for the end of violence against women worldwide - I wish for the end of corporate backed war.

  • That no boy will ever be as lost, as damaged, and as alone as I was at age 14.

  • To be unapologetically ourselves as men.

  • To be able to enjoy watching kids play in the park without being seen as threat or weirdo.

  • To feel that my sensitivity is an asset rather than a weakness to be feared and hidden from others.

  • For men to reward/encourage sensitivity, empathy when they see it in other men.

  • To know I am seen, valued, and appreciated as a man not only for what I do, but for who I am.

  • More men to help lead the way by their force of caring, personality and manhood.

  • To love myself enough to feel tired and then rest instead of violating my boundaries for the sake of work, work, work.

  • To feel the same openness and acceptance from my gay community that I have from the straight guys I've done men's work with.

  • A movement of men that work together and support each other for the greater good.

  • To be accepted as the men we are, imperfect human beings, with our unique strengths and weaknesses.

  • To be able to hear men speak from their deep inner self, I want to know all men better.

  • To wake up in the morning and feel blessed for being born the way I am.

  • For more progressive males who have no problem challenging sexism.

  • For more discourse on domestic abuse of men.

  • To have open, honest, meaningful interactions with other men on a regular basis without having to pay for a weekly men's group.

  • To not be left out of business 'rapport' building because you do not play golf.

  • To feel afraid and incapable, and be comforted.

  • To not be pigeon-holed as only interested in sex and beer.

  • Not to be assigned the role of dragon slayer because of my gender.

  • To connect more openly with other men and to allow their support into my life; to create more community with like-minded men.

  • To live in a world where power is just another word for love in action.

  • For good men to start showing up for young males. I'm tired of hearing about the creepy ones!



SHARE: If you enjoy this blog, please click the Facebook "Share" button below to support the Man-Making Facebook page! (The button is only on the MM Blog, and NOT in email post delivery, sorry.)


CONTACT: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm available to help bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

SUBSCRIBE: If you're not yet a subscriber to the Man-Making Blog, and you'd like to receive these posts by email 3-4 times a month, use this link for a free subscription.

TWEET: Send this post along to your friends or follow me on Twitter!

December 16, 2014

Holiday Gift Advice: Avoid Spray on Manhood for Teen Males!

Many older men can remember getting Old Spice aftershave for a Holiday gift. It's a long-standing tradition that began back in grandpa's time and was handed down through the generations. Because it was such an easy guy's gift to get and give, Old Spice became the common smell of "manhood" for a couple generations.

I thought Old Spice had been lost in the sea of more trendy lines of men's fragrances now available. So I was surprised to learn the Old Spice tradition is being upscaled with a fresh and clever approach to a new generation of young males. Old Spice is calling it Smellcome to Manhood.




We all know young dudes will never be able to spray on manhood, but apparently, in addition to its other deficits, the adolescent male brain is unable to sort out reality from clever marketing promises. Even I have to admit the Old Spice folks have come up with a very creative approach to a young man's desire to be seen as manly.

Check out this video and watch for the gender interplay between the men and women, messages about emancipation from mom's world, and the hints of the benefits young guys might get if they smell right:


If this clip doesn't show up use this link.

The good news about this campaign is that it brings the idea of a young man's rites of passage into the present day conversation. The Old Spice folks even had a contest for a Smellcome to Manhood Kit that contained some of what they considered to be manhood essentials:

  • Old Spice Re-fresh Body Spray - the spray on manliness stuff.
  • Old Spice T-Shirt – with a manly chest tattoo.
  • Old Spice Branded Earbuds - because real men isolate (?).
  • Bear Paws Meat Carving Tool - Well, meat, I guess, is for men.
  • Duct Tape Art of Manliness Book - No comment, I like duct tape.
  • “Scent Responsibly” Instructions - About time, see below.
  • Smellcome to Manhood Certificate - Because someone has to say you're now "A Man."

I love the "Scent Responsibly" instructions. The overall goal of the instructions is to prevent the juvenile over-spraying epidemic. That's where young guys tend to overdo a fragrance in order to increase the amount of manliness they are projecting into the world.



This holiday season, I'd pass on the Old Spice tradition and skip the gift of stink for your young man. Instead, make a commitment to teach young lads to hike or how to build a campfire, grill meat, fix a toilet flapper, or change a car or bike tire. Encourage them to take education seriously, to trust older men, be respectful to women, and feel good about being male without enhancements. There's a much longer list, of course, but the idea is to launch them on a real journey towards manhood and save us all from the adolescence fragrance cloud being marketed as spray-on manhood.



SHARE: If you enjoy this blog, please click the Facebook "Share" button below to support the Man-Making Facebook page! (The button is only on the MM Blog, and NOT in email post delivery, sorry.)


CONTACT: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm available to help bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

SUBSCRIBE: If you're not yet a subscriber to the Man-Making Blog, and you'd like to receive these posts by email 3-4 times a month, use this link for a free subscription.

TWEET: Send this post along to your friends or follow me on Twitter!

December 2, 2014

How Circles and Rites of Passage Weekends Transform Young Men

Two Thoughts on Transformation:

1. The Power of a Circle: A recent article in the Minneapolis StarTribune describes an interesting use of group circles in schools. We all know about the existence and dangers of cliques in high school. In some communities, for young guys, they are called gangs. In this case, there were serious tensions, sometimes leading to fights, between African-American students and the Karen community of recently arrived refugee students from Myanmar. There are about 8,000 Karen refugees who have settled in Minnesota over the past decade and most of them are in the east metro of Minneapolis.

Multicultural Leaders group at Roseville High School - (Photo David Joles)

The StarTribune article describes how a high school junior named Soe from the Karen community approached his teacher with a proposal. Rather than continue to feel the discrimination and get in fights, he wanted to talk. It wasn't long before a circle of "Multicultural Leaders" was convened and a conversation between the young men of the two cultures got started. That initiative has blossomed and now includes additional schools, and other minorities in the dialogue. Sitting across the room and listening to each other has reduced racial tensions, led to cross-cultural friendships, stopped fights, and maybe it will even keep teen gangs from being formed in the community.

. . . maybe it will even keep teen gangs
from being formed in the community.

In my experience, when young men, or any group, come together and have an honest and open dialogue, they always learn this one valuable lesson. Soe said during the conversations, he realized everyone liked similar sports and music. He said, “We found out we are not different that much. We’re almost the same, except for the color of our skin.” That is real transformation.


2. The Power of a Rites of Passage Weekend: If you take what happens in a young guy's circle, add about 20 -30 good men, run it for a weekend, conduct a continuous series of challenging physical and emotional experiences, add in some ritual, toss in some fun, teen food, and fires, the impact on the young men (and the old guys) is also powerful.

The video clip below is from Boys to Men Arizona. It will give you a brief sense of what happens on a passage weekend and the impact on both the men and the young guys. Some of the activities may look strange to the outsider, but the events and processes are all designed to speak directly to the young male reality. As one man says, "We use the fun part to get to deeper stuff that's inside these young men."

Listen closely to what the young guys say about their experience. A well run rites of passage experience, like the impact of an on-going support group circle, can have a life-changing effect on a young male.


If this clip doesn't show up use this link.

A great scenario for sustaining a young man's growth would be for him to come out of an ongoing school (or church, or community) support circle, experience a weekend passage event, and then return to the circle of support to build on his self-discovery and commitments. Or like the Arizona men, meet with the guys a couple times a month to hang out, have an adventure, eat some food and check in about what's going on in your life. Time with men willing to have fun AND be real is part of what creates the transformational juice.

. . . it wasn't just crap,
it was real!

If you hear the call to be part these kinds of experiences, give me an e-shout, or check out the website of Boys to Men Arizona. I can guarantee you the men showing up for this work with young guys are gloriously imperfect men just like you and me. Your masculine hardwiring and willingness to take the risk are the only credentials you need. There may be a group like Boys to Men Arizona or something similar near you now. It just also might be possible for you and a couple men you know to get something started that will serve the young males in your part of the world. It really could be that simple!

What I can say for sure is the young guys are waiting!



SHARE: If you enjoy this blog, please click the Facebook "Share" button below to support the Man-Making Facebook page! (The button is only on the MM Blog, and NOT in email post delivery, sorry.)


CONTACT: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm available to help bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

SUBSCRIBE: If you're not yet a subscriber to the Man-Making Blog, and you'd like to receive these posts by email 3-4 times a month, use this link for a free subscription.

TWEET: Send this post along to your friends or follow me on Twitter!

November 26, 2014

The Season of Gratitude


In the U.S., Thursday, November 27, is Thanksgiving Day. For most, it's a time of family, food, and, sadly these days, shopping. However, I want to take the meaning of the holiday literally and use this moment to express gratitude, real thanks-giving.

I feel quite blessed to have your support.

This blog's subscribed audience is about a thousand and growing. I know there are many other site visitors who pass by regularly. Taken together, you make up a good and loyal group, and I feel quite blessed to have your support. It really does make my heart sing to know there is a global collection of people who care enough about our young men to let these posts into your lives a few times every month.

I'm grateful for the possibility that some, or even many, of you are already involved in some form of Man-Making. Or because of what you read here, some of you will be moved to take an action in support of a young man. Now that deserves some real thanks-giving!

So, in this season of gratitude, let me simply and directly say, Thank You!

Earl Hipp



SHARE: If you enjoy this blog, please click the Facebook "Share" button below to support the Man-Making Facebook page! (The button is only on the MM Blog, and NOT in email post delivery, sorry.)


CONTACT: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm available to help bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

SUBSCRIBE: If you're not yet a subscriber to the Man-Making Blog, and you'd like to receive these posts by email 3-4 times a month, use this link for a free subscription.

TWEET: Send this post along to your friends or follow me on Twitter!