Men's movement

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Not to be confused with the men's rights movement: men trying to reclaim their masculinity by going online and banging their keyboards, and far more dangerous.
Men have feelings too... Can I share mine with you?
—David Van Driessen, Beavis and Butthead

The men's movement was a fad in the early 1990s. It involved men going out into the woods to beat drums, read poetry, emote, share, and otherwise get in touch with their inner machismo in a nurturing and supportive environment.

The media described this movement as grown up men "playing caveman", but for the truly hard core check out instead the more recent urban caveman movement.

The what now?[edit]

It was also known as the 'mythopoetic men's movement'. The 1990 PBS documentary "A Gathering of Men" is credited with popularizing it.[1] Iron John by Robert Bly is the best known book to come out of this thankfully short-lived movement. Other popular books were King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette and Fire in the Belly by Sam Keen. These books were all heavy on Jungian archetypes and New Age fluff, attempting to recover masculine role models from (mostly medieval and Eurocentric) mythology, and lacking anything resembling modern science, empirical evidence or common sense.

Boys will be boys[edit]

Activities of these groups ranged from the benign (going into the woods to hear Robert Bly drum and read his poetry) to the pointless and stupid (going into the woods to hear Robert Bly drum and read his poetry) but as could be expected, at least one truly noxious large group awareness training attached itself to the movement, the ManKind Project and its "New Warrior Training Adventure."[2]

The now-defunct Portland, Oregon brewer Blitz-Weinhard ran a beer ad (c. 1992-1993) spoofing the men's movement. Men were beating on drums chanting about how manly their T-shirts were, when one of them hit their thumb on the drum, eliciting a round of wimpy complaining from the drummer and nurturing emotional support from the others in the drum circle. It's worthy to note that despite the various absurdities the Men's movement endorsed, the advertisers selected emotional support as a Bad Thing worthy of getting mocked.

See also[edit]