photo credit: david hancock/Alamy Stock Photo

The challenges of reinventing a dominance-based culture of masculinity.

It never seems to end. Another tsunami of allegations of sexual misconduct is rolling in. No doubt new waves of accusations will follow, as an ocean of misdeeds around the world extends into infinity before us.

Our reaction as men is decidedly mixed. Outrage at the misbehavior of miscreants, shame or regret about misdemeanors we may have committed, weariness of hearing about sexual assault, and frustration that as men we are often all lumped together as demons and assumed to be guilty by association for simply being male. …

A year ago, attending a reception at the Alliance Française in New York City (that turned out would be my last social event before COVID), I found myself seated alone at a cafe table. A gentleman escorted two elegant women, polished sophisticates of Gallic heritage and indeterminate age, to sit with me, announcing that I had just been graced by the two most important persons in the room.

The lovely grande dame that sat between us began flirting. I fell instantly under her spell. …

(This article was first published by The Good Men Project, January 11, 2021)

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

-Donald Trump, January 6, 2021

Like many Americans, I’ve spent the final weeks of 2020 looking forward to a new era — an eventual release from the grip of COVID-19, and the new beginnings that any change in leadership promises. The shelter-in-place constraints created a stretch of unstructured time that I used to read and reflect on the events of the past year. A giddy sense of optimism…

Mistletoe is an outdated symbol of male privilege. Let’s start a new holiday tradition.

I think it’s time to reinvent the tradition of the mistletoe.

Long before this yellow-green flowering plant became the center of holiday attention, mistletoe was revered by Celtic Druids, ancient Greeks and Romans, the Norse and Germans. A poisonous, partial parasite, the plant magically remains verdant in winter, while attached to a host tree or shrub that has often lost its leaves. Mistletoe has also been used in folk or alternative medicine by cultures around the world. (It is currently utilized as a complementary medicine in…

Protest is not enough when the root problem is the patriarchal masculinity that shapes our culture.

(This article first appeared on The Good Men Project, August 3, 2020)

In memory of Congressmen John Lewis and Amo Houghton

As the protests against racial violence continue to escalate, several compelling articles exploring the connection between systemic racism and white male privilege have appeared. …

Plug in, and bring your gift.

by Mark Grayson, originally posted on The Good Men Project 4/10/2020

As healthcare workers continue to throw themselves into the fight against COVID-19, and policymakers have tough decisions about how to deploy resources and regulate public interaction, I am frustrated watching daily briefings at home. Looking for guidance as to what I can do, I consulted a friend with a singular voice of wisdom and experience in crisis management. She helped organize relief efforts at St. Paul’s Chapel after 9/11, and directed the Office of Disaster Response in New Orleans for the Episcopal Church…

Where are the men in the women’s movement?

After a recent benefit performance of the play “Gloria: A Life,” our hostess asked my older son and me what it was like to be “two of the very few men in the room?” The question has stuck with me.

The play is a re-enactment of key moments in the women’s movement, featuring Christine Lahti as Gloria Steinem, who was present that night along with Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan. Part personal tribute and part social history, the evening was a timely reminder that much work remains.

About halfway through the performance…

Man Carving His Own Destiny by Albin Polasek

published on The Good Men Project, October 27, 2018

What exists underneath the surface of crap you’ve wrapped around your soul?

As I stood naked in the doorway of my home posing for a female photographer, I asked myself, “How the hell did I end up here??”

Before proceeding with my response, let me first state that I am in awe of the brave women who are leading the current movement, as we all reel from an explosion of revelations about sexual harassment and assault. Theirs is a tough act to follow. Now, men must rise to the challenge of embodying the change that we all seek.

As it turned out, my consciousness-raising regarding these issues came to a head a…

By Mark Grayson on BLARB//Los Angeles Review of Books on March 22, 2018

On a July afternoon a couple years ago, an odd headline from the Daily News popped up on my news feed: “Manhattan art gallery puts photo of man’s private parts in front window, draws ire of neighbors.” Intrigued, I read on. “Women walking outside Rivington Design House Gallery seemed not to mind, while some men were outraged.” That certainly was the opposite of what I expected. The controversy was especially surprising to me because the gallery was in Soho, with its dense concentration of cool, bohemian sophisticates…

Mark Grayson

Featured Columnist for The Good Men Project on new masculinity and spirituality| A Connecticut Texan | | @Mark_Grayson_

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