4500 men end their lives every year in the UK, 3 times more than women. Many times more self harm and attempt suicide. The highest suicide rate in 2014 was for men aged 45-49.
‘Building Modern Men’ is a series of articles published by Huffington post to mark the International Men’s Day (19th Nov). It covers a wide range of topics from male role models to inability to swim. (http://projects.huffingtonpost.co.uk/building-modern-men/) A Masculinity Audit carried out by Huff Post and CALM,looking into the causes of male suicide found that :
Four out of ten males feel they lack the qualities and abilities that partners look for in a man
61% of all respondents agree that men are stereotyped in the media
Four in ten male respondents strongly agreed that ‘women have unrealistic expectations of men’
‘For many, masculinity is a fatal burden’ says Grayson Perry on why old-school masculinity is man’s greatest enemy. The 56 years old transvestite artist has always seen masculinity as a choice. He has questioned his gender identity since the age of 12. He believes that his transvestism permits him a greater distance and sharper insight into the layers of manhood that he talks about in his new book ‘The Descent of Man’.
He believes that the traditional approach of ‘stiff upper lip’ is completely out dated. It renders men emotionally illiterate and unable to form healthy relationships. It leaves them very fragile yet unwilling to express their vulnerability, a lethal combination when it comes to mental health. The inflexibility of traditional masculinity doesn’t fit in the present times of change and diversity. That masculinity comes from an age of heavy industry and farming and it doesn’t work anymore.
‘We need to think of masculinity like a piece of equipment. Some men, like soldiers, need to use it all the time, others might need it at the weekend and others not at all.’