The Men’s Story Project (MSP) is a replicable storytelling and dialogue project that brings critical exploration of social ideas about masculinity into public forums around the world – through men’s less-often-heard voices and stories.
In the MSP, boys, men, and folks who identify with maleness in any way publicly share personal stories that help transform social ideas about masculinity – so as to support healthy masculinities and social justice for all people. The MSP is rooted in an anti-racist, intersectional feminist framework.
The mission of the MSP is to strengthen social norms around the world that support healthy masculinities and gender justice.
We work toward this mission by creating live story-sharing events, documentaries and other media based on these live events, educational tools and community engagement campaigns, and ongoing MSP Collectives.
The MSP highlights men’s stories that are less-often heard; breaks silences on issues including sexism, racism, homo/transphobia, ableism and violence – and ways in which these are often linked with masculinities; celebrates men’s beauty and humanity; and stimulates critical dialogue on social notions of masculinity. The ultimate goal of the MSP is to help expand the presence of genuine self-expression, health and justice in communities. The MSP started in San Francisco in 2008, and we’re now helping groups create new MSP initiatives around the world.
Storytelling: For preserving and passing on traditions, challenging and breaking traditions, and creating new traditions.
In each MSP production, boys, men, and folks who identify in some way with maleness share personal stories with a live audience, on topics including sexuality; gender identity; friendship; family relationships; responding to and healing from violence; HIV/AIDS; and personal transformations – all with a framing focus on exploration of masculinities. Presentations are multi-medium (e.g., spoken word, monologues, prose, music, dance), followed by audience-presenter discussion. MSP presenters have included students, activists, artists, celebrities, other opinion leaders, and people who had never previously been on a stage.
MSP productions can be regularly-occurring (e.g., yearly productions, touring groups), accompanied by community engagement campaigns, and incorporated into broader education programs. Ongoing MSP Collectives can form around this work, and media and educational tools can be created on the basis of the live productions. MSP productions have been overwhelmingly positively received, and we invite groups far and wide to get involved in creating MSP initiatives and join the growing MSP network. We look forward to working with you!