The Masculinity Project

I’ve just begun ‘The Masculinity Project’, an interview-based portrait series asking men, “what does masculinity mean to you?”

Its current home is on Instagram @the_masculinityproject and after my first subject’s beautiful response (below), I am so excited to watch this project grow.

“I’ve always been more comfortable in the company of females than males, and growing up in a working class masculine culture heavy on homophobia and football, felt quite estranged from my sex. Eddie Izzard’s line about being ‘a lesbian trapped in a man’s body’ was particularly resonant with me for a while. This is rubbish, though, because I have a lot of typically masculine traits, both good and bad. It was only when our son was born that I learned to embrace that about myself in order to try to model what a good man looked like, and to teach him how to handle the more difficult things that testosterone and a sexist culture throws up. As with all broad definitions, though, it loses clarity the closer you look at it: masculinity is a collection of broadly identifying traits, as with femininity, and the boundaries between are artificial and culturally imposed. There is of course a huge political aspect, too. For the last few thousand years violent, shouty, greedy and emotionally crippled men have been largely in charge and made a fucking mess of it. If we’re going to continue as a species I’m with Leonard Cohen: ‘I wish that the women would hurry up and take over’.”

Christopher Hawkes

Christopher, 43

I am currently seeking subjects so email shannon@shannonmcdonald.com.au if you’d like to take part (the only condition being that you’re Melbourne-based).

xx Shannon

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