Stage 3 gasps at Alexander Skarsgard
This month I have a new article out looking at the media via The Five Stage of Masculinity called Masculinity and Fake News (audio version here). In this article I explore this currently hot topic, noting how outlets such as Breitbart and Infowars support a Stage 2 worldview via fake news. However, I also show how Stage 3 outlets such as Salon and The Guardian equally have a habit of bending the truth to fit their masculinity agenda. In short, the “real” fake news when it comes to masculinity is that we are only given two choices: Stage 2 and Stage 3. Where is the Stage 4 media?
For sure, the world would be a better place than it is today if everyone were Stage 3, but in its good intentions Stage 3 often aims for the wrong target, or misses its own logical inconsistencies. Stage 2 is smart enough to notice this, which feeds into its conspiratorial belief that Stage 3 is far from truthful, thus consolidating the perceived value of Stage 2 to those within it.
For example, this week an article What do many lone attackers have in common? Domestic violence claims of terrorism and mass killings: “the problem isn’t Islam, or a perverted interpretation of Islam, but rather a perversion of frustrated masculinity.” Certainly, the role of masculinity in these tragedies is acute, but it is not the bottom line. Normative masculinity and misogyny are agents of a higher order problem: the pursuit of power at both the individual and geopolitical level. It is better to confront the disease than the symptom, but Stage 3 rarely does this.
Another example this week is the Twitter furore surrounding the apparent exposure of Alexander Skarsgard’s penis in Big Little Lies, as reported by Elle. Comments were awash with “look at the size of it!” This from the Stage 3 people who would typically bemoan “toxic masculinity,” apparently oblivious to the fact that celebrating a big cock is exactly the kind of regulation that underpins toxic masculinity.
All of this sounds suspiciously like falling foul of the question posed this week in The Independent, When did liberal men start thinking it was acceptable to tell feminists how to be feminist? In speculative mode, it may be that Stage 3 has had to (correctly) take the moral high ground against Stage 2 for so long that it has lost the capacity to imagine that it has any limitations itself. Even non-white feminists have a hard time making this point to the white feminist mainstream, so the idea of men having anything useful to say—other than repeating Stage 3 orthodoxies—no doubt seems remote. I have no desire to tell feminists how to be feminist, but as I have stated before, feminism is not the end of ethics. In other words, we do not need to “correct” Stage 3, we just need to move on to Stage 4.
The Five Stages of Masculinity Official Certification
A reminder that registration is now open to become officially certified in The Five Stages of Masculinity.
The certification course will be delivered remotely, but participants will work individually with me via email, telephone and Skype. This is not an online course where participants passively watch videos and take simple quizzes.
The course comprises five modules (one for each of the five stages). Participants will receive descriptive worksheets for each module and engage in exercises about how the five stages manifest generally in society and more specifically in participants’ work and lives.
This is the first time that official certification in The Five Stages of Masculinity has been offered, so it is a valuable opportunity to become an early adopter and practitioner of this emerging model, and to become the expert in how The Five Stages of Masculinity is utilized in participants’ professional domains.
Certification will be beneficial for:
- personal and business coaches
- counsellors and therapists
- social and youth workers
- group facilitators and trainers
- individuals with an interest in masculinity and personal development.
Read more information about becoming officially certified in The Five Stages of Masculinity here.