This Might Be Unpopular

October 19, 2021

The hard thing about asking men to talk, is that we may not like what they have to say.

Society wants men to cry; to weep quietly during that Disney film, or shed a solitary tear at his child’s Christmas play.

The cat’s funeral, the graduation, the saying of “I do”. These are the watery eyed men who we’re ready to embrace as a society.

But are we ready for the ugly crying?

The endless pain as that man, who asked to cry, recounts tales of childhood abuse or sexual violence?

Are we willing to accept their stories of trauma, that reveal our own blind spots, our own prejudices and flawed thinking?

What if these men don’t appear in small numbers, but stand up in crowds of thousands?

What about when the reality of their erasure by our own institutionally sexist and highly gendered sexual violence legislation, is brought into stark focus?

What then? Will we still want them to talk?

Are if so, are we ready to listen?

Part of rebuilding masculinity is to rebuild and reunderstand our own expectations of men.

To re-see men not as a monolith, or as monsters, or immortal warriors – but as squidgy human beings.

The work isn’t just theirs, but yours, mine, and everyone else’s.

When will it begin?




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