Transforming Destructive Masculinities Norms through the Work That Reconnects

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by Dr. Paul M. Pulé & Abigail Sykes

Editor’s Note: We are making an exception to our usual word length for this exceptional article.  Because of its length, we are not able to provide a recording of it; the podcast with Paul Pulé is available here.

Our collective’s vision is to create a world of gender equality and climate and environmental care.

In this article, we discuss the ways that the Work that Reconnects (WTR) helps shape our contributions to shifts away from the overculture habits of Industrial Growth Society. We are two members of a team of activists, educators and researchers who have formed the Starfish Collective. Our collective’s vision is to create a world of gender equality and climate and environmental care. Our mission is to manifest such a world by transforming destructive masculinities norms through regenerative relationships with Earth, others, and self – a process we refer to as ‘masculine ecologisation’. We see ourselves as one of global to local (glocal) movements that bring about social and environmental justice at different levels of society and in different ways. As such, we share the desire to address patriarchal destructiveness of Earth’s living systems and the multiple oppressions of marginalized people. Starfish takes its lead from (eco)feminism, queer ecologies and deep ecology. Methodologically we are primarily inspired by the Work That Reconnects but also Dragon Dreaming, the Art of Hosting, Social Presencing Theatre, the Theatre of the Oppressed, the Transition Movement, and Permaculture. Starfish is particularly interested in contending with the patriarchal structures and dominating masculinity norms that are root causes of social and environmental exploitation. We see care for Earth, others and self as central to developing a truly sustainable and vibrant planet for all of life – not only for human beings. We work towards engaging more boys and men with people of all genders to create gender equitable cooperation and Earthcare. One way that we do this is by adapting and developing embodied practices that help participants look beyond gender binaries and destructive masculinities norms both conceptually and through our participants’ practical engagements with the world. Our educational offerings are inspired by the research conducted by Assoc. Prof. Martin Hultman and Dr. Paul M. Pulé, which is referred to as ecological masculinities

Starfish is mostly Swedish based with growing international affiliations. The collective is inspired by sociocracy and structured around working groups, an advisory group, and a core management group. Our numbers are currently growing, but for now there are about 20 of us who are active in various ways and at different levels depending on our skills and availability, with some of us working on customized trainings, some serving as collaborators with a range of clients, and others making contributions behind the scenes. We work with government, corporate, and grassroots organizations to expose the multi-layered and gendered aspects of our social and ecological crises. In consultation with our clients, we provide customized responses to find solutions through public policies, organizational systems change and the functioning of community groups. The Work That Reconnects has been instrumental in helping us build a bridge between our educational practices and the theory of ecological masculinities that has inspired them. 

Glocal Problems – Personal and Political Responses

Clearly, the ways we have been conducting Business-As-Usual are not working. Those habits are in fact life destroying, certainly for Earth’s myriad organisms and for those who are marginalized–but ultimately also for those who have benefitted from these machinations in the short term. In fact, masculinist constructs persistently create and maintain lose-lose-lose games. As the social and ecological consequences of this are foisted upon us with renewed abandon, how can we shift the ethical foundations and painful impacts of Business-As-Usual towards a deep, long-range, and life-sustaining future? To answer this question, it is important to be clear about where these problems have come from in the first place. 

We are all in this mess together–a mess that has been made for and by certain ways of being masculine in the world.

We are all in this mess together; a mess that has been made for and by certain ways of being masculine in the world. To be clear, we are not suggesting that global social and environmental problems are purely men’s fault. However, men of select profiles are the worst social and environmental actors. They are also the prime beneficiaries of global masculinist structures. Consequently, they hold the lion’s share of responsibility for the problems we face and they ought to be held proportionately accountable.  On the other end of this parlay, we see some men working to find different ways of being, thinking and doing, contrary to the expected social norms impressed upon them. Consequently, the information that follows is a critique of these destructive masculinities norms of which some (mostly) men, as well as some women and genderqueer people, are the principal purveyors, indicating that beneath these individuals are socializations and structures that create, maintain, and reward them.

Theoretical Origins: The Masculinities of Social and Environmental Crises

…the most revered of masculinities assume three main forms: the warrior (who embodies bravery), the gentleman (who epitomizes gentility) and the self-made man (who manifests his own success).

Anthony Synnott (2009, p. 46, 51) suggested that the most revered of masculinities assume three main forms: the warrior (who embodies bravery), the gentleman (who epitomizes gentility) and the self-made man (who manifests his own success). Such individuals are typically (but not exclusively) cis male. They are awash with expectations of being good husbands, exceptional fathers, tireless workers, civil men calling the shots and when it all breaks down, they are also violent beasts ready to put things back in their ‘rightful’ place with force. These stereotypical male characteristics share an alignment with being white, wealthy, travelling frequently, consuming copious amounts of energy, and eating high meat diets: features that are enmeshed with hegemonized social constructs, particularly in the Global North (Alaimo, 2009, p. 26). Taken to be emblematic of the most celebrated of Global Northern/Minority masculinities, these characteristics define a narrow bandwidth of socializations that present working- and middle-class employees (especially white cis males) with the expectations of entitlement that theirs is a life that can and should be self-made and is supposedly on offer to anyone willing to work hard enough to garner these promised rewards. Such is: 

the social contract that enabled self-made men to feel that they could make it, even if they somehow failed to realize their dreams, [which] has, indeed, been shredded, abandoned for lavish profiteering by the rich, enabled by a government composed of foxes who have long ago abandoned their posts at the henhouse … There was a moral contract, that if we fulfill our duty to society, society will fulfill its duty to us in our retirement, taking care of those who served so loyally (Kimmel, 2013, p. 203). 

 These ‘foxes’ are of course the most extreme embodiments of hegemonized masculinities, which locate Global Northern/Minority, white, cis males at the top of the heap, imbuing them with deep-seated senses of internalized superiority (Kimmel, 2013, p. 18). The reality for most workers is that becoming ‘self-made’ (certainly beyond the ceiling of the upper middle-class) is a revisionist libertarianism that presents a false promise for most, since only a select few can rise to the top and harvest the accouterments of corporate capitalism – precisely because it is not an economic system founded on merit or fair distribution of resources.

…being self-made is tenuous, subject to sudden and spectacular perturbations based on hoarding and nepotism

Rather, being self-made is tenuous, subject to sudden and spectacular perturbations based on hoarding and nepotism. When we concurrently consider gender identity, heteronormativity, inherited wealth, violence, and inequitable access to information, we see that being self-made leans on masculinist assertions. In pursuit of the material benefits of extractivist labor, these gendered assertions ignore social and ecological accountability, for the benefit of a few, but at terrible cost to most people and the planet.

Industrial/Breadwinner Masculinities

Granted, in many communities today, gender fluidity is becoming increasingly commonplace. However, the prioritization of masculinist mores continues to dictate who can most easily ascend to the pinnacle of our social, economic, and political systems precisely because many global machinations continue to prioritize industrial and breadwinner constructs as the ideals for all to flourish in a masculinist world (see Figure 1). These masculinist constructs are built on ‘malestream’ norms; a term borrowed from feminist scholar Mary O’Brien’s (1981, p. 62) writings on women’s reproductive rights, which is used here as a synonym for patriarchy, the ‘rule of fathers’– or a

political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence (hooks 2004, p. 18)

Feminism has made considerable gains for women in addressing some of these constrictions. However, and despite more than a century of political struggle, feminism – and more recently, queer studies – have not been able to subvert malestream norms. Therefore, many people of all identities find themselves pressured to comply with the constraints of this Industrial/Breadwinner categorization.

We are still seeking ways beyond gender essentialized traditions and their dire socio-political, economic, and ecological consequences. A wave of populist revivalism of strong man politics has been emboldened by industrialists, who have enlisted technology to thwart civil liberties and ignore environmental regulation to ensure localized gains. It is foreboding to note that the caring nature of the human spirit has been compromised by the masculinist muscle flexing of industrial/breadwinner masculinities time and again.  The impacts of events such as the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine are not simply regionally devastating, but are accelerating our march over the cliff of climate catastrophe, while reigniting the threat of nuclear war. The insanity of this is particularly confounding considering burgeoning global environmental crises.

Clearly, we are not freed from millennia-long notions of greed-driven protectionism, nor do changes of government easily rid us of their tyrannies. These gendered characteristics represent a deeply entrenched systemic problem; this otherising and exploiting of planet and people for personal gain is masculinist and has proven itself time and gain to be a formidable adversary to global safety, security, and ecological integrity. Some have seen this and have sought regulatory responses to contain their blows.

Ecomodern Masculinities

This second categorization is comprised of…socially and environmentally well-intended individuals and groups who control the development of public policy and their enactments.

There is a second masculinities category to consider that is softer, greener, and more flexible than industrial/breadwinner constructs. There is also a reformist masculinities categorization that recognizes the existential risks of remaining locked in an Industrial/Breadwinner construct as social and environmental fracturing accelerates. This categorization supports technological solutions and government regulation to address global social and environmental problems. It is more attentive to the environmental evidence exposing the limits of industrialization and responds by creating structures that manage (but do not shift us away from) the paradoxes of eternal economic growth. Such individuals (again, mostly but not exclusively men) can be considered representatives of an ecomodern approach to innovation that could be considered synonymous to “light green” masculinities (see Figure 2). This second categorization is comprised of (generally) socially and environmentally well-intended individuals and groups who control the development of public policy and their enactments. This ecomodern group oversees the support for, interpretation and implementation of research and responses to the world’s social and environmental problems through innovation, technology, and regulation (Fleming, 2017; Hultman, 2013). Canada’s Justin Trudeau, France’s Emmanuelle Macron, Germany’s former Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with the U.S.’s Joe Biden and the U.K.’s Boris Johnson are telling examples of this reliance of ecomodernisation to save us (and the planet) from ourselves.

However, as with industrial/breadwinner masculinities, ecomodern masculinities do not exhibit a commitment to the intrinsic value of all of life ahead of industrialization. In fact, ecomodern responses to global problems (e.g., smart grids, renewable energy initiatives, vehicular electrification, clean water desalination infrastructures, software support mechanisms, ocean de-plasticization technologies, etc.) are subject to the same constraints that have landed us in the difficulties to which we must now address. They rely heavily on a reductive calculus that is the hallmark of the modern scientific method within an ethos of corporate capital growth.

Ecological Masculinities

A third way forward that draws its inspiration from the heterogeneity of healthy ecosystems is termed ecological masculinities (see Figure 3). Martin Hultman and Paul Pulé (2018) developed ecological masculinities from their respective understandings of four distinct discourses: critical studies on men and masculinities (Howson & Hearn, 2020), ecological feminism (Warren, 2000), deep ecology (Naess, 1973) and feminist care theory (Tronto, 1992). These theoretical foundations have been supplemented with considerations of the Gender and Environment metanarrative, which has been noting the need for an ecologisation of masculinities for some time (Buckingham, 2020). Additional insights have been sought from feminist political ecology (Rocheleau et al., eds., 1996).), feminist new materialism (MacGregor, 2021) and queer ecologies (Sandilands, 2001).

…if we are to generate simultaneous care for Earth, others, and ourselves we must cultivate softer, kinder, and warmer masculinities

Hultman and Pulé suggested that if we are to generate simultaneous care for Earth, others, and ourselves we must cultivate softer, kinder, and warmer masculinities than those constructed by industrial/Breadwinner and Ecomodern constructs. Ecological masculinities are conceptually and practically dedicated to our ‘being animal’ as human beings of all identities (Abrams, 2010); an awareness that we are integrally immersed in the intricate living planet on an equal footing with the rest of life. To be, think and do otherwise is to accelerate planetary social and ecological demise. In their work to develop the field of study, they argued that the ways we conceptualize and apply ecological masculinities can transform masculinities norms towards intimate relational engagements, immersing masculinities in tactile, emotive, and relational exchanges with Earth, others, and the self.

The field of study is positioned as a diverse starting point that builds on (previously disparate) conversations about masculinities. A central premise of ecological masculinities is to (re)awaken ways of being, thinking, and doing masculinities that are intimately engaged with Earth, place and people at the same time; to deepen relational connections (both amongst humans and between our species and the other-than-human world), and to support us all to experience the feelings of loss associated with the anthropogenic changes that are upon us, so that we can together respond to the monumental social and environmental challenges at hand with increasing and widening circles of care. 

The term ‘ecological’ is used here both metaphorically and sociologically, to celebrate the complex communication pathways within and between species, and with that knowledge, expose and potentially resolve competitive tensions between them. In this sense, the term ‘ecology’ is used here to emphasize that relationship is not only used as a noun but can also be applied as a verb ‘to relate’ or synonymously ‘to ecologize’. The term ‘ecologisation’ refers to the process of building intimate relational actions between people and with the other-than-human world on an equal footing. Starfish’s educational offerings work from these theoretical conceptualizations, focusing on ecologizing masculinities. 

With our attention on these foreboding social and ecological trends, how does Starfish design and deliver educational processes that ecologize masculinities? Further, how do we transcend traditional binaries so that we are able to reach people of all gender identities through our educational offerings? To answer these questions, we turn to introducing the Starfish Collective.

Introducing the Starfish Collective: Ecologizing Masculinities 

There are many ways to tell a story. One way is to start with a meeting. Starfish started to form in 2015 when Martin Hultman first met Vidar Vetterfalk, a project manager at the Stockholm based feminist organization MÄN: Men for Gender Equality. Vidar had been working on transforming masculinities for years and had just started to include ecological perspectives in this work. Martin was doing pioneering research on masculinities and the climate crisis and, together with Vidar, organized an event in Sweden to address these themes in the lead-up to the COP21 in Paris. Martin later invited Vidar to help develop the ideas that were presented in the book Ecological Masculinities: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Guidance, which he was writing with Paul at the time, and was published in 2018. All three were interested in moving beyond the ivory tower of academia to put the contents of the book into practice. In response, Vidar invited a group of men to meet at a beautiful permaculture community garden center just south of Stockholm called Under Tallarna (Under the Pine Trees) to explore the intersections between masculinities and environmental care as they experienced it.

The education material encourages men to meet in small reflective groups to become aware of the patriarchal patterns in their own thinking, emotions, and behavior

MÄN had already developed educational material for groups of men to work with ending men’s violence, which constituted their supportive response to the #MeToo, movement. This emerged as a response to the enormous interest MÄN received from men who were contacting them to change patriarchal norms. The education material encourages men to meet in small reflective groups to become aware of the patriarchal patterns in their own thinking, emotions, and behavior and to begin to transform them, with sessions on themes such as masculinity norms, men’s violence and men’s struggles with pornography. This created a starting point for the development of additional education material to join the dots between men’s violence towards others and the masculinities violence that detrimentally impacts the environment.

With an increasing number of requests to speak or hold workshops about this work, the field of research that Martin and Paul’s 2018 monograph had initiated continued to develop, and the working group became what is now the Starfish CollectiveWe envision Starfish’s work will develop as more diverse people join the team. However, customized group processes and trainings for our clients continue to be our focus as we find ways to develop broader, deeper, and wider care in practice.

We like to follow the spiral approach of the Work That Reconnects when planning our sessions, whether they are online or in-person. The Work That Reconnects is an important part of our training and something that we wish to support and spread in the world, and we believe that our work aligns well with its intentions as well as its practices. Some of us in the Starfish Collective are currently studying Coming Back to Life (Macy & Brown, 2014) to hone our skills as educators for change and fold some of the influences of the Work That Reconnects into our foci on masculinities and environment educational offerings. In all our educational offerings, we seek the balance between practical action and emotional and spiritual responses, also inherent in the Work That Reconnects, which supports participants in honoring the pain that often comes with realizing their part in upholding destructive masculinities in the world (Macy & Brown, 2014; Macy, 2022). Our task is to help participants discover fresh actions to effect social and environmental change.

We have found that before providing educational information about men, masculinities, and Earth, which is our programmatic focus, we must prioritize creating and maintaining a safe container for participants to address, and wrestle with, the sensitive material that is awakened.  In support of leading participants through the WTR spiral, we establish Group Agreements at the beginning of the process. These include:

  • Confidentiality – what’s shared in the room stays in the room
  • Speaking in rounds and setting a time limit for each person’s contribution to a round, usually 1–3 minutes, setting a timer that everyone can hear
  • The more you share of yourself, the more you will receive from others – but/and it’s not about being a ‘good’ participant sharing perfect stories, but rather about sharing honestly what comes to you in the moment
  • Encouraging participants to only share what they feel comfortable with – saying ‘pass’ can also be a way of listening inwardly – and anyone who says pass is also given another chance to speak at the end of the round
  • Active listening, without interrupting or asking questions and listening with generosity, assuming the best of the other participants and their intentions when they are sharing
  • Avoiding commenting on other people’s stories, as this can make people think about how they are being perceived and they may feel misunderstood, reducing the safety in the group
  • Setting times in advance to respect participant schedules outside of the session, aiming to end on-time. Or if running over time getting group agreement to extend

The original educational material developed by MÄN  was intentionally focused on Global North/Minority, white, middle-class cis males, as an experimental starting point for pedagogical development. We started with this constituency because we consider one of our primary goals is to reach privileged people in the Global North/Minority regions who hold the greatest responsibility for creating the mess we’re in and through our work with them we aim to facilitate action to create a better world for all. That said, we have since progressed our educational offerings to include decolonial and intersectional perspectives for participants of all gender identities as well.

…we offer embodied exercises that have proved to be very effective in grounding the work in participants’ respective lived experiences.

For participants who are agreeable, we offer embodied exercises that have proved to be very effective in grounding the work in participants’ respective lived experiences. One example is to use the Duet practice from Social Presencing Theatre to work on each type of masculinity. The first person strikes a pose that embodies that type of masculinity for them. The other person responds by making a new pose embodying the same type of masculinity as a response to what they witnessed and experienced in their body’s reaction to the first person – in this way, the two poses are intricately connected. Then the first person finds a new pose, connected to the other person’s pose and so on. Paul had a profound experience when facilitating this practice at a Theatre of Oppressed workshop in Milan, Italy in 2019 with another member of our Collective, Social Arts Facilitator Uri Noy Meir. There, they used a body sculpting exercise, an adaptation of the Duet, to give participant’s a forum through which they could perceive and express the impacts of the different masculinities on their respective professional and personal lives. Participants reported the experience as transformative.

To invite a more emotional response to the climate and environmental crises we are facing, we show the video of activist Greta Thunberg’s speech to the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, available here. When time permits, we also like to use specific practices from the WTR for Honoring Our Pain and Seeing with New Eyes, especially The Seventh Generation – with some additions regarding dimensions of masculinities, gender and power. When participants are invited to share what they will remember most about our sessions, we have found that this exercise is almost always a favorite. This practice can work well online, with participants going into breakout rooms in pairs to share after an introduction in the main room.

In the final segment on Going Forth, we sometimes ask participants to share some thoughts about their next steps, preferably in a circle. If the group is too large, this can also take place in pairs or with online groups, in the chat. We also like to ask for what or whom they are taking these steps, in what context and with whom, what kind of help they need and how they might find that support. This was suggested by ecofeminist and social/environmental justice activist Karin Styrén, who helped develop MÄN’s educational material, to emphasize the relational and collectivist nature of activism.

A tool from MÄN that we often use is the distinction between the ‘Big Room’ and the ‘Small Room’. The Big Room is where we talk about societal structures, theories, and critique, focusing on reasoning and the mind. The Small Room is where we talk self-reflectively about our personal experiences on an individual level, with a focus on gut feelings, intuition and the relationship between ourselves and others. Many of us, especially those who inhabit men’s bodies, are much more used to being in the Big Room and feel more comfortable there. We have learned from our friends at MÄN that it is important to encourage people in reflective groups to spend as much time as possible in the Small Room. Their experience has shown that those kinds of conversations can lead to powerful, transformative change; we are finding that to be true for participants in our educational offerings as well.  


…the Work That Reconnects has inspired our work on transitioning through the complexities of masculinities and environmental issues.

In this article, we have suggested that some men (and wealthy, white men of the Global North/Global Minority in particular)–but more accurately select masculinist norms–are principally responsible for social decay, environmental crises like anthropogenic climate change and the creation and maintenance of mechanisms of production and consumption of modern society. We have suggested that the primacy of certain forms of masculinities is assured through the consolidation of select men’s power, wealth, and consumption patterns. These patterns are reflective of industrial/breadwinner and ecomodern norms, which are enmeshed with the overculture of Industrial Growth Society. We have aimed to give you a sense of how the Work That Reconnects has inspired our work on transitioning through the complexities of masculinities and environmental issues. We have done this so we are able to liberate ourselves from these masculinist traditions and their life destroying social and ecological consequences, we must use different ways of being, thinking and doing than those that created our social and ecological problems in the first place. We have not only exposed the gendered nature of our global social and ecological problems, we have also shone a light on how we at the Starfish Collective work to create a deep, long-range, and caring future by transforming masculinities norms. We’d be delighted to help your organizations to do the same, in support of all of life. 

We’d love to hear from you about offering customized trainings or other collaborations!  Email us at: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected].  Follow us on Facebook.  See our website at:

Additional resources and links to our work on masculinities and the environment are available here.

Reference List:

Abrams, D. (2010). Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology. New York, NY: Vintage Books.

Alaimo, S. (2009). Insurgent vulnerability and the carbon footprint of gender. Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, 3–4, 22-35. 

Buckingham, S. (2020). Gender and Environment (2nd edn.). Oxon, UK: Routledge. 

Daggett, C. (2018). Petro-masculinity: Fossil Fuels and Authoritarian Desire. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 47(1), 25 -44.

Fleming, J. (2017). Excuse Us, While We Fix the Sky: WEIRD Supermen and Climate Engineering. In S. MacGregor & N. Seymour (Eds.), Men and Nature: Hegemonic Masculinities and Environmental Change (pp. 23-28). Munich, Germany: RCC Perspectives. 

Hedenqvist, R. (2020). Exploring Ecological Masculinities Praxes: A Qualitative Study of Global Northern Men Who Have Participated in Pro-Feminist and Pro-Environmental Reflective Groups [Master’s Thesis]. Retrieved from

hooks, b. (2004). We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity. New York: Routledge.

Howson, R. & Hearn, J. (2020). Hegemony, hegemonic masculinity, and beyond. In L. Gottzén, U. Mellström, & T. Shefer (Eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Masculinities Studies (pp. 41-51). Oxon, UK: Routledge

Hultman, M. (2013). The Making of an Environmental Hero: A History of Ecomodern Masculinity, Fuel Cells and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Environmental Humanities, 2, 83-109.

Hultman, M., & P. M. Pulé. (2018). Ecological Masculinities: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Guidance. New York, NY: Routledge.

Johansson, C., & Holmberg, J. (2021). Three Masculinities [digital images]. Science, Technology and Society, Göteborg, Sweden: Chalmers University of Technology.

Kimmel, M. (2013). Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era. New York, NY: Nation Books.

MacGregor, S. (2021). Making Matter Great Again? Ecofeminism, New Materialism and the Everyday Turn in Environmental Politics. Environmental Politics, 30(1-2), 41-60.

Macy, J. (2022). Three Dimensions of the Great Turning. The Work That Reconnects Network [Online]. Retrieved from

Macy, J. & Brown, M. (2014) Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.

Macy, J., & Johnstone, C. (2012). Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy. Novato, CA: New World Library. 

O’Brien, M. (1981). Feminist theory and dialectical logic. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 7(1), 144-157.

Pulé, P. M., & Hultman, M. (Eds.) (2021). Men, Masculinities, and Earth: Contending with the (m)Anthropocene. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Rocheleau, D., Thomas-Slayter, B., and Wangari, E., (Eds.) (1996). Feminist Political Ecology: Global Issues and Local Experiences. New York, NY: Routledge. 

Sandilands, C. (2001). Desiring nature, queering ethics: Adventures in erotogenic environments. Environmental Ethics, 23(2), 169-188. 

Synnott, A. (2009). Re-thinking Men: Heroes, Villains and Victims. Surrey, UK: Ashgate.

Thunberg, G. (2019). Greta Thunberg (Young Climate Activist) at the Climate Action Summit 2019 – Official Video. United Nations [Online]. Retrieved from

Tronto, J. (1992). Women and caring: What can feminists learn about morality from caring? In A. Jaggar & S. Bordo (Eds.), Gender/Body/Knowledge: Feminist Reconstructions of Being and Knowing (pp. 172–187). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Warren, K. (2000). Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What It Is and Why It Matters. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Recorded by Erin Braeckman

Dr. Paul M. Pulé is an Australian social and environmental justice activist, ecopreneur and scholar. His research ponders the intersections between men, masculinities, and Earth through the lenses of Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities (CSMM), Environmental Philosophy and Feminist Care Theory, resulting in numerous popular science and academic articles as well as two books (a monograph: Ecological Masculinities: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Guidance, followed by an anthology: Men, Masculinities and Earth: Contending with the (m)Anthropocene).

Paul is working on a new book and documentary that expose the masculinist aspects of our growing social and ecological crises; offering profeminist, gender diverse and environmentally caring responses to our pressing times. He is a freelance researcher/educator for change and Honorary Research Fellow at Coventry University’s  Centre for Global Learning (GLEA) where he explores embodied educational practices through Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed and Arawana Hayashi’s Social Presenting Theatre. He is also eco-queering Ecological Masculinities in support of non-binary explorations of the human/nature relationship.

Abigail Sykes is a Sweden-based, New Zealand-born journalist, translator and educator with a focus on the Transition to sustainable, just and regenerative societies. She is a co-founder of Omställningsbyrån (The Transition Bureau), a community of professionals working with stories and conversations about Transition. Key tools include Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects, permaculture, and the Art of Hosting.

Abigail is also a co-founder of Starfish collective, a group of activists, educators and researchers dedicated to gender equity and climate and environmental justice, where she is particularly interested in decolonisation, ecofeminism and intersectional perspectives. Starfish is inspired by research by Associate Professor Martin Hultman and Dr Paul M. Pulé that addresses patriarchal structures and dominating masculinity norms as root causes of social and environmental exploitation, and sees care for Earth, others and self as central to the development of a truly sustainable and vibrant planet for all.


3 thoughts on “Transforming Destructive Masculinities Norms through the Work That Reconnects

  1. Good stuff, Paul. As I was reading your article, I kept seeing your work with BTT as a precursor to your current work…..among many other things, of course. Love the aims of the Starfish Collective. All the best with getting your work out there into the world!

  2. Pingback: March 2022 Issue |

  3. Pingback: Exploring "ecological masculinities" - A reflection on our recent session - WECF

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