About Us

Phallacies is a men's health dialogue and theater program.

The Purpose

Traditional notions of masculinity create confusion for many men about what it means to be a man and can funnel men into having insufficient knowledge about health, to take great risks with their health, and to engage in violent and abusive behaviors.

Research indicates that the more overtly a man accepts this traditional masculinity, the more likely he is to be sexually and relationally violent, drive unsafely, refuse to use condoms, use dietary supplements, carry weapons, engage in high risk drinking and drug use, and many other unhealthy and dangerous behaviors.

Phallacies is predicated on the notion that since individual and community health and safety are negatively impacted by acceptance of traditional masculinity, individual and community health and safety can be improved by challenging and dismantling that acceptance and supporting the acceptance and expression of multiple masculinities, and that men need to be active participants in that process.

We know there are plenty of men who are challenging this way of being masculine. Some of us are performing for you in the Phallacies. And we know we are only the tip of the iceberg. Phallacies is about engaging in conversation and action to support masculinities that are healthy for ourselves, our relationships, and our communities.


Tom Schiff, Ed.D. (Project Co-Director) is a Health Educator at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Among his foci are men's health and violence prevention. He has close to 30 years of experience working with men and boys on issues of health, abuse, violence, sexual harassment, sexism, and homophobia as an educator, counselor, and consultant. Tom also serves as an Adjunct Professor for both the Social Justice Education and Public Health programs at UMass Amherst.

Taj Smith (Project Co-Director) is Assistant Director of the Williams College Multicultural Center and a 5th year doctoral student in the Social Justice Education program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst's School of Education. His research interests are in the fields of Social Justice Education, Africana Studies, and Men's Studies. He has a master's degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University and attended Rutgers University for his undergraduate career.