Friday, February 7, 2014

BAM Festival

Being a Man

Grayson Perry

I read a recent article about the Being a Man festival and it's something that I am familiar with, but definitely needs to be shared more. Last weekend began the soon to be annual festival and it seems to be a celebration of expanding the common notion of masculinity.

I thought this article was great because it does two things to the idea of masculinity that I believe needs to be done.
1) It keeps the idea of masculinity: Too often I see people wanting to tear down the "walls" of masculinity and femininity. I think that instead of letting the words dictate who you are or how you're treated we should instead embrace them and make the word fit you, not the other way around.
2) The festival takes masculinity and expands upon it. Being masculine isn't being strong or tough, it can be soft, gentle, nurturing, even cute. By expanding masculinity to fit the person instead of pigeonholing the person inside the socially accepted concept of masculinity we paint a more accurate picture of our society.

Like Ziauddin Yousafzai says in the article, "...all girls should be educated but, equally important, that all boys must be educated to believe that girls should be educated"(Addams). I don't enjoy living in a world where masculine is a negative term. A world where "...95% of the prison population remains male" and "...75% of suicides are men, mostly under the age of 35" (Adams).  Any way to make people more comfortable and curb those numbers, the better.

Features, Rex. Grayson Perry. 2014. The Guardian. Web. 7 Feb. 2014.

Adams, Tim. "Being a Man festival explores what it means to be male." The Observer. The Guardian., 1 Feb. 
          2014. Web. 7 Feb. 2014.

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