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Thursday, July 20, 2017

As Iron Sharpens Iron: Men’s event slated for August

One man’s vision to help other men is taking shape, in the form of a men’s retreat in the Allegheny National Forest next month.

The Forge Men’s Weekend is being hosted August 18-20 by Manlihood.com - an online community built by Josh Hatcher of Bradford. The event has attendees from as far as Philadelphia and Ohio, will feature “manly” activities and outdoor recreation, as well as inspiration.

Josh Hatcher
“I started Manlihood.com three years ago, because I read some statistics that felt like a punch in the gut,” says Hatcher. According to the Centers for Disease Control 121 Americans commit suicide every day. 93 of them are men. That statistic isn’t acceptable, according to Hatcher. “Why are so many men failing to thrive? I know I can’t turn that tide on my own, but if I can help the men in my circle to understand that they matter, and have value as men, then I know that I have contributed to creating change.”

Hatcher says that he sees a “crisis of manhood” in American culture. “Men are growing up without fathers, without mentors, or even good friends and peers to help keep them on the right track,” he says, “I always identified with Thoreau’s words about ‘men leading lives of quiet desperation,’ and I know that one of the main things that has helped me is good make male friends that challenge me and encourage me.”

Hatcher responded to the crisis that he saw with his own toolbox as a writer and speaker - and founded Manlihood.com where he writes self-improvement advice for men. “I write for men because I am a man, and I understand what that means, and what men are going through. I write from my own experience,” but, Hatcher says, that doesn’t mean he’s leaving women out. “A lot of women read my blog and have expressed that they appreciate my advice, and that it’s often applicable for their lives as well.”

The blog inspired Hatcher’s book, “Manlihood: The 12 Pillars of Masculinity” which he self-published on Amazon in July of last year, and it also inspired an online community - “Manlihood Mancave” a facebook group with more than 600 members, where men interact and encourage each other to be better men.

It was in that facebook group that the idea for “The Forge” happened, according to Hatcher. “The group has men from all over the world. Many of the men from Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and other nearby states discussed the possibility of having a get together. I thought it would be a great opportunity to plan an event with activities for men, some mentorship and teaching moments, and some time for them to be reconnected and recharged.”

“I know that in today’s world, there’s a lot of confusion about gender politics. I’ll be honest, I don’t understand or relate to a lot of the things that are talked about these days. I don’t have to. I’ll just treat people the way I want to be treated,” says Hatcher, “But what I can do is help equip men to be better husbands, fathers, and leaders.”

Hatcher says when he first started Manlihood, he got flack from feminists, and others who thought he was advocating some kind of male supremacy. “That’s not the case at all,” replies Hatcher, “men need as much encouragement as anyone else, and as a man, that’s the audience that I understand and can impact. I fully believe that women and men are equal. We are equal, but we are different, biologically and socially, and those differences can be celebrated and embraced, fully valuing each other. A real man treats a woman with the same respect he treats anyone else. I think part of the problem today is that men haven’t always done that.”

Hatcher hopes that by encouraging men to be better men, everyone will benefit.

The Forge Men’s Weekend will cost attendees $55, a cost which Hatcher says covers the facilities and food. Registration for the August event is open until July 30 at www.Manlihood.com/forge

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

interesting

Anonymous said...

Are Gay, Transexual, and Bi-Sexual men welcome??

Georgeanna DeCarlo said...

Congratulations, Josh! This sounds like a wonderful project. Thank you for providing such critical support.