Like many, I love the holiday season. It’s a great time of year to visit with loved ones, get some much needed rest, and give (and receive) gifts. As you begin to think about what gifts you plan on exchanging with your friends, family members, loved-ones, classmates and co-workers, I thought I would share some gift suggestions for the men in your life.
Reading is one of my favorite things to do, so books are always at the top of my list of gifts to give and receive. Three new books I would recommend are The Education of Kevin Powell A Boys Journey into Manhood by Kevin Powell, Manhood: How to Be a Better Man-or Just Live With One by Terry Crews and Breaking Out of the “Man Box” by Anthony Porter. These books allow men to explore masculinity from various perspectives.
Give a t-shirt. It’s a simple way for men to share the message of non-violence and healthy masculinity, as well as support survivors. White Ribbon Campaign sells one of my favorite t-shirts, It’s On Us has t-shirts that support the campaign from the White House and Generation Progress intended to change the culture around campus sexual assault. For the musicians in your life, check-out the 1BlueString Store for t-shirts and a few other gift ideas.
Make a donation to your local rape crisis center in the name of a man in your life. Making this type of donation will inspire these men to continue donating their time and money to these organizations. Also, consider giving a TAASA membership. An annual membership supports TAASA’s efforts to end sexual violence in Texas.
Subscriptions to Magazines
In place of giving the guys in your life a subscription to a contemporary men’s magazine, give them an annual subscription to a magazine, like Voice Male instead. Both will help to inspire, challenge, and transform their relationships.
Finally, one of the greatest gifts that we can give is our time. Commit to spending time with the boys and men in your life by being a Compadre, becoming a coach, serving as a mentor with Big Brothers or volunteering with Watch D.O.G.S..
As you continue to look for the perfect gift for the men in your life, ask yourself: does the gift I’m giving challenge traditional notions of masculinity, or does it reinforce strict gender norms? And, whatever you decide, make your giving memorable and meaningful. Give a gift of healthy masculinity.