Psychologist Martin Seager is undertaking research on the ancient rules of masculinity in an attempt to put these rules into words. Martin, a pioneer of male psychology in the UK, is hosting a male psychology conference in 2014 and has been campaigning for several years for the British Psychological Society to approve a Male Psychology Section.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 this week Martin said there are three ancient rules of masculinity which we’ve been which add up to a male script:
- Men should be fighters and winners
- Men should be protectors and providers
- Men should retain mastery and control
Seager says these are shame rules which means that when a man is unable to remain control or to provide or be a winner he may sit on those feelings which can make him more vulnerable to suicide for example.
Seager shared his masculinity rules during a BBC Radio 4 Today Programme interview about male suicide.
We need to make it okay for men to critique feminism without feeling scared of the reaction they might get, according to Dr Phil Goss, a Senior lecturer in counselling & psychotherapy at the University of Central Lancashire.
Writing in a letter in the Guardian in response to Jack O Sullivan’s article on misandry and matriarchy, Goss says that feminism has “opened up new ways of being a man”, but it has also left men facing a “psychological quandary”.
Many men in relationships with women are “still caught by the tensions inherent in mother-son relationships” he says, with “part of them yearning for relationship” while another part strives to define a male identity that is separate from her.
While there are similarities in the way that boys and girls develop, Goss says “male development, and attachment patterns, from infancy onwards is not the same as that of females” and that we need to face the reality of how this impacts our adult lives, particularly in the home.
According to Goss: “we need a narrative about male development that helps us to make sense of the problems boys and men face in the same way as feminism provided a narrative for women.”
“This also needs to be a narrative that makes it OK for men to critique feminism without feeling scared of the reaction they might get,” he concludes.
For more perspectives on how to address the problems that men and boys face buy your ticket today for the Third National Conference for Men and Boys.
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