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.