Pence wasn’t a “p*ssy” for standing up for democracy. But Trump’s been a “pr*ck” as president.

President Trump put it to Mike Pence straight up. Overturn the election and be remembered a “patriot.” Or fail to do so and be remembered as a “p*ssy.”

It was an absurd choice. But one that I imagine may have caused the veep to think twice, to consider helping his boss cheat and stage an anti-democratic coup.

Because Trump’s vulgar vaginal threat went for the jugular vein of those who subscribe to a conventional view of manhood.

Being called a p*ussy is the ultimate…


We need all men and women of good will to stand up to a bully trying to cling to power

This article is co-authored by Dr. Ed Adams, my coauthor on our new book Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection.

“Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Abe Lincoln is spinning in his grave. So is George Washington.

These revered male leaders would be appalled by what Donald Trump is doing right now in the wake of his defeat in the presidential election.

Donald Trump isn’t just asking that votes be counted carefully. He is harming Americans’ faith in our voting system, with baseless lie after bogus claim about a “stolen” election. His actions are fueled by his version of manhood — a might-makes-right…


Donald Trump might be a better man — and we wouldn’t be up a creek

Reading The New York Times recent expose of Donald Trump’s tax records and his collision course with bankruptcy, I was struck by an alternate history scenario. What if Trump had lost the 2016 election, and wound up in a real-world version of Schitt’s Creek?

Schitt’s Creek, to non-Netflix heads, is the Emmy Award-winning, hilarious and often-touching series about a rich family laid low financially and forced to move to the modest town of Schitt’s Creek. There is a bizarro-world parallel between Johnny Rose, the head…


A reinvention of masculinity is needed to steer us away from a violent, dark future to a caring, hopeful one.

This article is co-authored by Dr. Ed Adams, my coauthor on our forthcoming book Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection.

Proud Boys demonstrator. Photo by Adam Cohn.

A 17-year old male accused of killing two people in Kenosha. The “Proud Boys” — a group of combative men confronting protesters. And young men on the other side, expressing rage through rioting.

This national moment of strife is fueled by expressions of masculinity that are fundamentally harmful and immature.

Men on both sides of this conflict…


But there’s a reality right in front of us of inclusive communities that can be positively dreamy

My brother, sister, mom and me (far right) outside our suburban home in Amherst, NY, around 1984

Donald Trump’s recent talk about the suburbs amounts to a fake dream.

I know. I lived it.

I grew up in the 1970s and ’80s in a suburb of Buffalo, New York.

Yes, we had the nice lawns, comfortable houses and good public schools. And I built great friendships there with good-hearted people.

But there was a seamy underside to it all. What was, in effect, a racist underside. And it diminished us all. Not just the Black folks kept cooped up in…


In the end, the good Carl did in the world is something you can’t size up with one of his tape measures.

What’s the measure of a man’s life?

Might it be a four-inch steel bracket? Or perhaps two of them, a pair holding together a raised garden bed on a busy sidewalk in San Francisco?

Odd as that answer seems, it struck me that this bit of hardware helps size up the impact that Carl Richie had on earth.

Carl Richie

Carl, who died June 13 from complications related to prostate cancer, was my father in law. He was many things…


Béla Fleck and his partner Abigail Washburn hint at a new harmony possible between the sexes

Béla Fleck’s fingers flew.

No wonder he’s earned 14 Grammy Awards, based on the banjo mastery he displayed earlier this month at a concert in Berkeley.

He put me — and probably the entire audience of several hundred — in a trance with an instrumental number that was by turns melodically tender and powerfully virtuosic.

As authoritative as Fleck was, though, he did not dominate the performance that night.

Matching him in musicality and stage presence was his partner and wife, Abigail Washburn.

A…


At 15, he’s far ahead of where I was at his age. He’s leading the way toward a better kind of masculinity.

I was fried as I came to dinner Tuesday, November 6th.

For the past two hours, I’d made calls to voters in California’s Central Valley. I was trying to turn a Congressional district blue. I was a petrified Trump and the Republicans would retain control of the House — and send our democracy down a dark path.

But as I sat down to eat with my wife and two teens, I was the one heading down a dark…


In 1984, I took advantage of a drunk girl and within a year I was myself molested. Both experiences call for a different kind of masculinity.

I know the shame of sexual misconduct, twice over. From the perspective of both aggressor and victim. I feel awful about both roles.

My assault stories are from mid-1980s. The Brett Kavanaugh hearings and allegations he sexual assaulted women in the 1980s have forced my memories on the topic to the fore. And the public conversation today about Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford and others has led me to reframe my experience. …


This Silver Surfer catches a wave

I was at my breaking point in the humble warrior pose the other day.

I nearly collapsed, my head inches above my yoga mat as I struggled to hold this bowing-balancing position.

And yet I didn’t break. I warrior-ed through the strain on my legs and steadied my teetering. A flood of energy allowed me to last the full 30 seconds or so on each side.

Where did this power surge come from?

I think it came from humility.

This explanation makes little sense in our dominant cultural narrative about strength. That narrative says…

Ed Frauenheim

I write about work, culture and masculinity. Concerned about the present but hopeful about the future.

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