The Descent Of Man
What is masculinity and what can it become? It might seem like a luxury in a world facing climate change and vast imbalances in global wealth, but Grayson Perry sees masculinity as a highly active component in all the big issues. Tracing the contours of the dominant male role today, its history and its clearly defined rules, he explores everything from sex, seriousness and intimidation to clothing, childhood and power, providing a more modern model of manhood which may reach escape velocity from the gravity of traditional man.
‘A breeze of a read, makes you see our male-manufactured world a little differently’ Matt Haig
‘GRAYSON PERRY FOR KING AND QUEEN OF ENGLAND. Imagine how BRILLIANT our country would look if he was’ Caitlin Moran
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What would happen if we rethought the old, macho, outdated version of manhood, and embraced a different idea of what makes a man?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.