How do you use a men’s space for good? Can it be done? Ashley Thomson talks to two representatives of the Australian National University Men’s Network to discuss the purpose of (and controversy surrounding) the group.
Using Nick Kyrgios and David Pocock as examples, we get stuck into masculinity and role models for men in Australian sport.
What is it about a man working to the point of exhaustion, and in some cases death, that we deem heroic?
In our first ever podcast episode, Ashley Thomson and Glen Martin discuss the role of masculine archetypes in the current Australian political landscape.
The idea that I am approachable, friendly, trustworthy—all seems suddenly in direct competition with my physicality.
It is not the brutality but the acts of normalcy and of kindness—corrupted though they may be—that make Spector a terrifyingly real character.
I look typically masculine in the Western sense—tall, bearded, bald, built—but my behaviour, attitudes and actions don’t fit others’ expectations of this man. I’ve made changes to avoid this, and have become a contradiction.
To get true equality when it comes to availability of contraceptives, men have to be asking for it, even paying for it.
“You bring these guys to a certain level of awareness and they go, I never had any idea. You’re damn right you didn’t have an idea. You didn’t need an idea. You’re only here because you can’t see your kids any more.”
Jacob Boehme is a choreographer, dancer and writer from the Narangga and Kaurna nations of South Australia, whose work dissects the politics of being gay, Blak and HIV positive.
“Someone said when you do good work you meet good people, and that’s the best thing about this job. I lived in my comfort zone for 35 years and I couldn’t advocate leaving it strongly enough.”
He is only a ‘real man’ in my eyes because he stopped making excuses and did the hard work of coming face to face with his deepest, most painful wounds.
“Even if it is about hopelessness, the fact that we communicate is hopeful. I think there is something in the gesture of creation that is hopeful.”
“I always say I feel like we’re pitbull dogs, we’re raised to fight. All of us were expected to be able to fight. I don’t have to live up to that expectation or that persona any more.”
There is only so far an assumed identity, let alone one that transgresses gendered cultural norms, can take you.
How little the line between ‘ironic’ and ‘actual’ misogyny matters. Joy at the denigration of somebody else is, after all, one of the few emotions acceptable within a hypermasculine state of mind.
In ‘micro expressions’ of masculinity, the role or the perception of ‘effort’ is important. The paragon, the most masculine, is the man who can enact himself upon the world without even trying. As such, to even admit to thinking about masculinity in this way feels on some level like weakness, as though if I was a real man I wouldn’t have to.
For the progressives who have been rocked by the Trump election, who thought that this version of white privilege and proto-masculinity was buried, the past is present. It is ugly and furious, and for the first time in a long time, it feels like it’s in control.