The Descent of Man - Grayson Perry
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'I hope that in picking up this book you have already acknowledged that masculinity needs to be questioned, that gender inequality is a huge issue for all of us and that the world would be a better place without it. What I hope this small book might do is bring awareness of masculinity to more people – awareness being a step towards change… to change the whole world for the better.' - Grayson Perry
Grayson Perry has been thinking about masculinity - what it is, how it operates, why little boys are thought to be made of slugs and snails - since he was a boy.
Now, in this funny and necessary book, he turns round to look at men with a clear eye and ask, what sort of men would make the world a better place, for everyone? What would happen if we rethought the old, macho, outdated version of manhood, and embraced a different idea of what makes a man?
Apart from giving up the coronary-inducing stress of always being 'right' and the vast new wardrobe options, the real benefit might be that a newly fitted masculinity will allow men to have better relationships - and that's happiness, right?
Grayson Perry admits he's not immune from the stereotypes himself - as the psychoanalysts say, 'if you spot it, you've got it' - and his thoughts on everything from power to physical appearance, from emotions to a brand new Manifesto for Men, are shot through with honesty, tenderness and the belief that, for everyone to benefit, upgrading masculinity has to be something men decide to do themselves.
They have nothing to lose but their hang-ups.
By turns funny, insightful, brave and informative, as usual Perry drives a stake through the heart of preconceptions and in doing so makes us re-evaluate the world we live in. An essential read for anyone with an interest in how we rebalance the gender inequalities of our society and, in turn, teach such lessons to future generations.
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