Recently at a sold-out screening of Amplify Her, the new film that I co-directed on the rise of the feminine within electronic music, I had a woman come up to me afterward. She was overcome with emotion and couldn’t quite find her words. Eventually, she mustered “Your film… it uncorked something in me. It’s out of the bottle now.”
This has been happening over and over. Through this film (and countless other watershed moments and movements) women are being given permission to trust their feminine power once again, a power that has been shamed, repressed, and persecuted for centuries.
I see women dancing out, claiming their voice and their creativity. I see them connecting in sisterhood, sharing their stories, and their sorrows. I see them healing their communities, harnessing their sexuality potency, and howling with the night.
That following day after the screening, while headed for my morning coffee, I happened upon three friends, all men in their late 20’s, amicably sitting on a wide bench. One of them asked about the screening and I reported the success.
“Beautiful,” he said, then looked off for a moment. His face then shifted. “We men are so lost.”
I recognized him as faithfully testifying from the experience of so many men in this culture.
What does it mean to be a man in this time?
Between the poles of toxic masculinity and the shifting complexity of gender identity, it’s can be easy to dismiss the territory all together — as I did growing up for years. “There’s no such thing as gender! It’s all a social construct!” Yet again and again, I find myself in the tangible and awe-inspiring presence of that which so naturally wants to be named and celebrated as discernible qualities of the masculine and feminine.
I have come to realization now that every generation needs to grapple with these questions anew, offering not universalized “answers” but the continual willingness to wonder — together.
My recent interview with Patrick Farnsworth for his podcast “Last Born in the Wilderness” is shared in this way. I enjoyed the vast array of topics we covered, which I’ve outlined below.