Let’s get back to the RAIN DANCE
Male indoctrination rituals.
Sexual rituals. Drugs. Drinking.
Weapons. Bleeding. Physical exertion. Sexual power games.
Positive in effect
Coming of age.
Hunting parties. Hunter gatherers.
And vulnerability and monotony and intimate tender healing love
So what’s the dance about?
That we were free of these feelings to run and fight and fuck and eat and grow until we were a god.
Why the ritual?
Suffering in the moment, yes… but a crossing of the river
A barrier to prevent boys from leading peoples than need men (and women, but those are different rituals)
HEALTHY masculinity--- that looks a lot like toxic masculinity--- because men have corrected, checked, trained, rehabilitated, and also punished, excluded, and killed other men when needed. Also, I know of the other kind- the more common kind. If you need to write about that, write about that, but I think freedom comes from reversing the lens.
Probably: involve old and middle aged men- don’t have babies teaching babies.
Bonus: involve women.
Secret of once- let us see healthy and (for the purposes of drama) let us see “that one time something went wrong”
Bonus: allow for some unexpected gender nonconformity
Context: I have a sweet sensitive son who will learn the word “masculinity” TIED to the word “toxic” and like I’m looking for some epic hope.
Context: I’ve been around a lot of super strong smart women-led groups with female playwrights and the males are villians. Like almost moustache twisting. And there’s a catharsis in the room about it. Everyone is so glad to be rid of men and creating stories about them and- it feels more like therapy than theater and hell if I don’t know that I’m the last one in the room who is supposed to be saying these things but when I talk to artist women over 40 they sound like men on these issues and I don’t know if they’re also brainwashed or what’s happening but something is happening and the greater principle has to be that it’s never going to work to flatten out an villainize half of the population. I know if a group of men did it with female characters it’d be the dumbest thing ever. Do I think every word here is true? No. Am I trying to provoke? Yes! Correct me. Be right. Be the winner. You win. But only if you write. I made a moral mural and you didn’t like it. Now you make something. And heck, if you’re all blocked up from EXACTLY the kind of thinking I’ve been warning against I don’t blame you. Go back and reread the top where it was fine. Forget this part. This isn’t even about me.
CHOICE: change it all and write it for women.