‘Sausage Party’ will feature BU researchers discussing responsible masculinity

  • Date: Thursday, Nov. 24
  • Time: 4:30 – 6 p.m.
  • Location: John E. Robbins Library Gathering Space

A group of Brandon University professors and researchers will join community members to talk about responsible masculinity and what that means in a fun, laid-back event that they’re calling a “sausage party.”

Everyone is invited to come, ask questions, and share experiences in a supportive environment where the seriousness of the topic is lightened with plenty of levity. The event is scheduled for the Gathering Space of BU’s John E. Robbins Library from 4:30–6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24.

“We’ve got to get men talking more about health, wellness, and behaviour,” said Dr. Jonathan Allan, a BU professor and Canada Research Chair in Men and Masculinities who has a new book out on men’s infertility. “Humour is an effective way to break down our reflexive defensiveness about our own health, which is why we’re hosting a ‘sausage party’.”

Allan will be part of the event, along with Dr. Christopher Schneider, Dr. Rachel Herron, Dr. Kofi Campbell, and Jason Gobeil.

Allan is co-hosting the event with Dr. Christopher Schneider, a BU Sociology professor who researches men’s experiences in online spaces and who recently co-authored a book on sexual misconduct and media that discusses the #MeToo movement.

“The definition of masculinity is always evolving, but there are some interesting recent trends,” Schneider said. “More men are looking for meaningful relationships with other men, as some of my research on beard growing practices has discovered.”

He said that men have a particular responsibility to support and encourage other men beyond things like beard growth, such as in being their best selves.

“We can publicly call out misogyny and other male misconduct,” Schneider said, “and we must fervently applaud and support men who show their strength in non-traditional but positive ways.”

“Sausage party” is not just a tongue-in-cheek name; the event will feature a spread of actual sausages from BU’s Harvest Hall, along with soft pretzel bites, cold beer, and honey-mustard sauce (made with Bee U honey).

“We’re leaning into these hackneyed old stereotypes to skewer the popular conception of what being a man really is,” Allan said. “When we laugh at the clownish clichés, we open up a window to talk more honestly about what responsible masculinity really is, and how broad and diverse men’s experiences are.”

The “sausage party,” which is being supported by BU Communications, BU Gender and Women’s Studies, and the BU President’s Office, is part of Movember at BU, a month-long exploration of men’s health and wellness.

Gobeil, an Ohitika/Ogichidaa Warrior Wellness Coordinator with Dakota-Ojibway Child and Family Services, is one of the many men currently growing a moustache for Movember.

“As modern-day warriors we are rising above the stigma and being vocal in our efforts and actions in not only reconnecting with land and culture but also looking at ways to care for our health and our mental well-being,” Gobeil said. “Movember allows us to start having that conversation with others for 30 days and we’re proud to continue that narrative for the next 11 months of the year. Men’s health is not just a 30-day campaign but one we need to take more seriously.”

At the “sausage party,” the group will discuss elements of responsible masculinity, will take questions from attendees, and will foster wide-ranging discussion. The event will be led by Dr. Campbell, BU’s Provost and VP Academic.

Questions can be pre-submitted anonymously at Movember@BrandonU.ca. Not all questions may be answered, and common questions may be grouped together and paraphrased, but panellists said they wanted to answer as many as they could with details that they might need to research.

Movember at BU is being supported by Nickel City Beard Blends, which previously worked with Schneider to create a special “The Professor” scent, and which is providing door prizes for the event. Movember at BU is also supported by Testicular Cancer Canada.


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