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.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
Intellectually, I understand that it’s healthy to express emotion. I’ve read Brené Brown. I’ve watched Inside Out. I get it. But it’s hard to express emotion when I’m barely conscious of feeling it.
Jimmy is, of course, fictional, but as a character he reflects (albeit sometimes exaggeratedly) a broader cultural problem. That we don’t know what to do with male vulnerability.
“My decision to present these men in the way that I did was a way of emphasising the problem of subjectivity – whether we can ever truly know the ones we love.” The author of The Love of a Bad Man on the familiarity of manipulation and the cold, close places where masculinity and femininity find each other.
Homer chats with former hockey goalkeeper Gus Johnston about sport, ostracism, coming out, aggression and Albert Camus.
Forster was knowingly out of kilter with our expectations of what a rock singer was meant to be, to look like, how one was meant to speak and act. He was his own man, and a different kind of man at that.
When one male speaks out about his mental health experience, he is a role model for others, normalising it and inspiring others to do the same.
Homer chats (at some length, because he’s very charming and generous) with Benjamin Law about masculinities, vulnerability, visibility and the things he loves.
When we justify the mosh pit dominating the primary space at a show, we hold back musical community from its cathartic potential.
The first post on this website, dedicated to discussing alternative masculinities and challenging what a role model for men looks like, sounds like and does, has to begin with a set of acknowledgements.