21st Century Man - We asked over 500 Leeds men 'What is healthy masculinity to you?' This is what they told us...
In 2022-23 we talked to over 500 men about masculinity. Humans Being and Touchstone ran workshops and street stalls to talk to Leeds men about what they like about being a man and what they think healthy masculinity is.
Masculinity can be a divisive topic and it often feels as though we’re being asked to pick sides, with the most aggressive voices on each side stereotyping and denigrating the other. It can be a damaging cultural environment for male identity, fuelling defensiveness, conflict, confusion and low self-esteem. In our experience most men don’t fit into a particular ‘side’ – their identities are nuanced, complex and tethered firmly to universal ideas about how we care about ourselves and others rather than anything you’d find in newspaper columns or social media.
We found a way of talking to men that frees the conversation from the heat of the culture wars and throws light on the personal and universal quest for healthier and happier lives for all. As soon as men see that masculinity is an idea and are invited to talk about what it means to them, they have the power to reject, reclaim and redefine it for themselves.
We hope you find the report useful and if you have a group of men at your workplace or in your community who like to chat, then download our teaching pack and use it to guide your conversation with them – download it with the link below.
Run your own 21st Century Man Session – download the free teaching pack here
“I’d never thought about being a man before.
It was really interesting and I found out about a lot of other things I could do.”