“Grayson Perry has been thinking about masculinity – what it is, how it operates, why little boys are thought to be made of slugs and snails – since he was a boy. Now, in this funny and necessary book, he turns round to look at men with a clear eye and ask, what sort of men would make the world a better place, for everyone?
What would happen if we rethought the old, macho, outdated version of manhood, and embraced a different idea of what makes a man? Apart from giving up the coronary-inducing stress of always being ‘right’ and the vast new wardrobe options, the real benefit might be that a newly fitted masculinity will allow men to have better relationships – and that’s happiness, right?
Grayson Perry admits he’s not immune from the stereotypes himself – as the psychoanalysts say, ‘if you spot it, you’ve got it’ – and his thoughts on everything from power to physical appearance, from emotions to a brand new Manifesto for Men, are shot through with honesty, tenderness and the belief that, for everyone to benefit, upgrading masculinity has to be something men decide to do themselves. They have nothing to lose but their hang-ups.”
I’d heard of Grayson Perry but only knew he was someone in the Arts World. As a wife and mother of a teenage boy I was intrigued by the subject matter. However I nearly gave up when I found the first chapter repetitive and a bit of a rant fest!
I’m so glad I persevered though as I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s thoughts on masculinity and agree that this is a conversation that really does need to happen more and more in the world today. I think this would be a great book to be discussed in classrooms, book groups, and self help groups. Maybe it could even be given away during World Book Night?
I will definitely be recommending it to my family and friends.
Thanks to NetGalley, Penguin Books UK and Grayson Perry for the advanced digital copy.