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Self-Organizing Men: Conscious Masculinities in Time and Space-Mr Jay Sennett

  • Title: Self-Organizing Men: Conscious Masculinities in Time and Space
  • Author: Mr Jay Sennett
  • Released: 2013-08-21
  • Language:
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 0978597303
  • ISBN13: 978-0978597306
  • ASIN: 0978597303

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Review "...mold-breaking..." -- Charlie Anders, author of Choir Boy

"I loved this anthology. I found the overall quality of Self-Organizing Men to be superior." -- Max Valerio, author of The Testosterone Files

Jay Sennett's new anthology, Self-Organizing Men, represents an ambitious effort to grapple with issues of social privilege, cultural assumptions, and public presentation, versus personal subjectivity among trans-masculine individuals and transgender communities. Like most anthologies that have documented both emerging theory and current practices, Self-Organizing Men alternately falters and triumphs. The writing moves unevenly, from essay to poetry to a mix and a mutual interview. Art is dappled throughout: pictures, small sculptures, drawings, cartoons. Some pieces reinforce gender norms based in male privilege, by focusing on female-to-male transsexuals' relationships to their bodies in terms of "lack," or by describing transsexual and transgendered men's struggles for acceptance as struggles for recognition as "real" men rather than for fully realized and respected selfhood. The best pieces, including essays by Aren Azura and Bobby Noble, and poems by hip-hop statesman Tim'm West and Vermont's own Eli Clare, contribute to the growing discourse of transfeminism, not merely seeking ethical models of manhood, but challenging the gender-binary scaffolding of patriarchy, and analyzing gender in relation to race, class, and capitalism. Tim'm West's poem closes the collection, a contribution of introspection and self-declaration from a place many FTMs choose to recover from the pain and aftermath of transition. West offers us a history of sorts, and reminds us that all gay men - not just transsexual gay men - struggle with acceptance and self and what masculinity can mean to a person who doesn't fit the dominant image of a man. Clare offers a poem about testosterone and butchness and queerness. How does one make the decision to stop living as a lesbian and live as a gay man? How does one make any decision to come out? Clare does so with eloquence; articulating the dissonance that many transmen feel about the choices that are presented to them at the beginning of their medical transitions. Noble, who discusses female-to-male transition as a racialized experience with very different ramifications of power and status for transmen of color, offers a new theoretical paradigm, which encapsulates the strengths of Self-Organizing Men: trans in-coherence, a positive, productive disharmony, a collective state of paradox and flux. If you are FTM identified or if you are not, this is a highly valuable collection of stories from members of a community that never fully coalesced. From members of a community that may always be in some kind of transition, whether we see it or not. -- Out in the Mountains, December 12, 2006

About the Author Jay Sennett is an author and publisher living in Michigan. pdf
 
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