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What Does Masculinity Look Like Today?

father kissing baby

“What Does Masculinity Look Like Today?”

That’s the question that Sarah Macdonald, host of Nightlife on ABC Radio, asked Phil Barker, a well-known journalist of novels and columns pertaining to modern-day manhood, last Friday night.

Throughout the 34min conversation, MacDonald and Barker debunk the entrenched notions of masculinity, look at how masculinity has evolved throughout the ages and go about the substantial task of unpacking the “man box”.

This so-called man box contains stoicism, strength, aggression, leadership, physicality, charisma, good looks and the ability to “charm women”. Outside of this box lays tenderness, empathy, communication, softness, warmth, being funny, silly, weak or gay. According to society, those who do manhood well are the ones who stay within the box and manage to suppress whatever doesn’t fit within.

The pair discusses the absurdity of this notion and how it is incredibly detrimental to all of society, promoting mental health issues, general unhappiness and so much more.

Listen to this discussion in full at ABC Radio here.

Listen to ‘In My Father’s Footsteps’ also on ABC National featuring Papua New Guinean-Australian musician, Airileke Ingram and actor and author William McInnes, discussing their fathers, and lives as fathers themselves.

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