Day 22: Masculinity
I don’t want to say too much about my ideas behind this illustration, as I hope it will speak for itself. And although a very complicated and intricate topic, I hope it will be interpreted in different ways by different people.
The subject I wanted to explore in this illustration is men in our society, what it means to be a man today, how we (our society) has shaped them, put pressure on them, and in many cases left them behind. Yes, there is a much greater awareness of mental health in general these days, but, when suicide is THE highest cause of death in young men, we have a HUGE problem. Granted, no one has an exact explanation for this, but my theory is quite simple: men, typically, do not talk about their feelings, emotions, and problems, any where near as much as women, if at all. The age old ‘boys don’t cry’ has gotten completely out of hand, and has left in its trail an extremely bitter taste. Then add on top decades of pressure to act a certain way, suppress a load of stuff, and ‘rise to the top’. A toxic concoction which can (sometimes) result in breakdowns, violence, and unhealthy levels of anger and aggression as well as lead to (some) men growing up to be unhappy and frankly, a bit lost.
Two great books, exploring issues of this sort are:
‘How Not To Be a Boy’, by Robert Webb and ‘The Descent of Man’ by Grayson Perry
Both books explore, analyse, and explain, these complex issues better than I could, so instead I did this….
(You can see a bigger version of this illustration here)
You can read the intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge and some of my ideas behind it here.