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Our project was born within the world of higher education, and many men who have participated in our project as students consider it to have been the most meaningful part of their university experience.
That is why we are creating the Barefoot Institute, an educational charity that will focus on sharing our learning and supporting new thinking through original research in many of the ways that a traditional university might, or might have in the past.
The Barefoot Institute will manage three key learning areas: Barefoot Man training, the Barefoot Manual policy development project, and Barefoot Data, our data-based original research. It will deliver teaching while also undertaking and publishing original research.
Barefoot Data will focus on the legacy of patriarchal thinking in sexual health and wellbeing, how we can respond to rapidly changing technology through social and educational policy, and specifically how pornography both creates and reflects problems we must address in our sexual culture.
Two of our long-time content contributors, Alex and Sebastian, are now data analysts with postgraduate qualifications and professional track records at some of the world’s most prestigious consultancy firms. They will begin a project to interpret the responses our project generates, how well it is working, and how we can make a bigger contribution to changing policy, particularly in the crucial area of educating young people.
Our creative content challenges the hegemony of the straight male gaze, as one very tangible and culturally manifest product of patriarchal history. By seeking to recalibrate how we look at the human body, the Roar addresses deep-seated assumptions that prevailed for centuries.
Our community has always included male athletes who undress for our cameras as part of their journey towards healthier masculinity, creatives who seek to change how we look at bodies, and the men and women who engage with the content that results. Our research will seek to capture how we all feel about it.
“As an athlete, I use my mind and my body to reach my personal goals in sport. As a man, I want to use these tools to promote healthier masculinity, because that’s not just a win for me. That’s a result for everyone.”
“The Pride, MeToo and BlackLivesMatter movements prove that real progress comes from new perspectives, and I want to help create new perspectives on men.”
“By removing the physical barriers that keep men hidden from view, WR helps men like me to break through the psychological and emotional barriers that keep us hidden from life.”
“It’s personal, but it’s also definitely political. Once we confront the power we have as men, we can make better decisions about who we want to be and how we want to fit into the world.”
“This is about more than losing our clothes. We’re here to lose the baggage we were handed as boys. So many men are scared of losing their power, but when you take your clothes off in the Roar, you learn the power and value of travelling light.”
We have reviewed and shared a lot of information about the responses of our contributors, much of it on film, but our user data remains an untapped and potentially invaluable resource.
Barefoot already possesses a decade of anonymised data from millions of pounds worth of global sales from the Warwick Rowers era onwards, waiting to be analysed and understood. It is a solid foundation, but just the start.
We are creating an action research project that will consider how people respond to our content. It will empower men to use their bodies as allies for change, on a platform where everyone’s voice will be heard.
Understanding how we look at men and how that needs to change is at the root of issues that matter to us all.