Friday, November 4, 2016

"...masculinity isn’t in crisis, human beings are."

Sometimes it's hard to be a man – especially if you overthink it

A new outpouring of books show masculinity isn’t in crisis, human beings are.
"'Is man meant to fight?' Samuels wonders innocently. If so, one solution is supervised and ritualised combat in the form of fight clubs or Krav Maga courses. A kindly boxing coach tells him: “Here, they can take out their angst, whatever natural aggression they’ve got in their system, in a positive way.” This is one thing that authors seem to agree on. Rachel Asher meets a former gang member for whom boxing was the ideal escape: it’s macho enough that you can say “I can’t get involved, I’ve got training”.
Grayson Perry also thinks some similar kind of outlet for pent-up aggression is good: he approves of boxing clubs, reminisces fondly about his days as a competitive cyclist, and talks to the owner of a gym in Sunderland who explains that “his place has taken over from the shipyard and the working men’s club. Men come here to work up a sweat and to socialise. Instead of making iron, they are pumping it.” In that case, maybe it’s not fighting per se that’s necessary for the modern man. Perhaps it’s just sociable and intense physical activity that does the trick."

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