This month, Stages 1 and 2 are dominated by politics: It appears there is still plenty of life left in writing about Trump! See previous articles on the Masculinity Research site for this subject.
As usual, Stage 3 is busy as media content producers embody Stage 3 masculinity with greater frequency than society as a whole. The biggest Stage 3 manifestation this month was undoubtedly Grayson Perry’s TV show All Man, which was broadcast in the UK and is due to air elsewhere later. The three episodes were great TV, highlighting some important issues about masculinity. However, the show had certain blind spots. Only extreme forms of masculinity were explored, which is not representative of most people’s experiences. Further still, Perry appeared to have little interest in questioning what masculinity means, relying on stereotypes of both masculinity and femininity. This is a curious omission from a cross-dresser, and if this had been explored it would have pulled the show up into Stage 4. Nevertheless, powerful TV. Stage 3 was also busy in May with the publication of two new masculinity books, Tim Samuels’ Whole Stole My Spear? and Rebecca Asher’s Man Up. Both these books garnered various commentary and review articles in the press.
This month’s Stage 4 articles do a better job of questioning what masculinity actually means. Grayson Perry is also represented here. Speaking in interviews and his own articles, Perry often inhabits Stage 4, but there is clearly something about the medium of television that pulls him back into Stage 3.
There is one Stage 5 article that shows us how gender is so fluid that it is largely meaningless. The metaphor in the article of gender as journey rather than destination also does justice to the open-ended nature of Stage 5 masculinity.