Abob at the Being A Man Festival, 2017

Abob at the Being A Man Festival, 2017
Mark Nightingale reports on his experience of giving a 15 minute Bite at Being A Man, the South Bank’s annual festival.
On Friday 24th November 2016, I gave a talk at the Being A Man festival in London. I was invited to speak for 15 mins about Abob and what we do. 15 mins is very short time to explain our activities but I decided to take up the challenge. I spoke about initiation and its importance posing the question – ‘It’s often assumed that when a woman bleeds she becomes a woman.so when does a man become a man?’
I used the opening two chapters of Parcival to illustrate some of the issues that face men and our culture with a focus on the importance of fathers for our children. Then, I posed another question – Who is supposed to teach men to be men? The resounding answer from the mixed audience was Men! We then had a healthy conversation around this. The 15 mins turned into 25 mins very quickly and the organisers had to bring it to a close. We were just warming up. There was a lot of interest in what we do and a sense in the room that it is very needed.
I left feeling proud to have been entrusted with the task of representing our organisation/movement. I believe we bring much needed solutions to some of problems our culture faces.
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