Male Lib is Nothing to Be Scared Of

(First appeared in Sweden’s SvD newspaper, 17/06/2017; published here in English with permission)  The ‘crisis of masculinity’ is really a form of male emancipation argues Mark Simpson Back in the late 20th Century, when I first began writing about masculinity – which seems an epoch away now – everyone knew what masculinity was. Or rather, what is wasn’t. And what masculinity wasn’t was very, very important. As a man, your balls depended on it. Masculinity wasn’t sensual or sensitive. It wasn’t good with colours. It wasn’t talkative, […]

Sixth Form Boys Will Hug Boys

Someone simulating coitus behind you while you were potting a tricky black on the pool table was a popular part of the game. Grabbing one another’s lunchboxes as a form of greeting was another. Often this was accompanied with a loud John Inman/Dick Emery ‘OOOOH!!’ noise, which somehow proved that what you were doing was, in fact, totally and utterly straight. Me in the Daily Telegraph contrasting my teenage school days with a new study showing how much ideas about masculinity have have changed amongst […]

Mark Simpson at Heartland Festival

Delighted to announce that I’ll be appearing at Denmark’s famous Heartland Festival, Egeskov Castle, 2-4 June. I’ll be discussing that hot topic of contemporary masculinity – and it’s need to be hot – along with the Danish designer Mads Norgaard, with the journalist Adrian Lloyd Hughes charing. More info here. The festival promised in the video below looks charming. Not sure I’m flexible enough for the yoga, but the hot tubs look fun.  

Man Down – Defining Deflated & Liberated Masculinity

by Mark Simpson ‘What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god!… And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust?’ – Hamlet There has been a lot of soul-searching about what it means to ‘be a man’ nowadays. Because no one really knows the answer. Defining ‘man’ and ‘masculine’ in a world in which phallic certainties […]

Walk Like a Man, My Son

Scientists are reportedly trying to uncover the secret of the Essex Walk – but Mark Simpson has been studying the Squaddie Spring and the Wide Boy Waltz for years (Attitude, March 1998 & collected in Sex Terror) Putting one foot in front of the other is a tricky business when you’re a bloke. There’s so much scope for things going wrong. Seriously, shockingly wrong. You might be a Dennis Wise on the pitch, but if you walk off it like Frank Spencer you might as well hang […]

Are Modern Men Manly Enough?

Yours truly takes part in a round table heated  debate on masculinity over at The New York Times. (You won’t be surprised to discover that unlike most contributors, I’m intensely relaxed about intensely relaxed modern masculinity.)

America to Machismo: How Do I Quit You?

Dire warnings of how men are doomed because more chapesses are now in work than chaps, are more educated, and now earning more (in large cities), prompted a special ‘Man Up!’ issue of Newsweek a few weeks back on the ‘crisis of masculinity’.  The centrepiece was an interesting, lengthy – and oddly-conflicted – essay titled ‘Men’s Lib’ which seems to identify America’s continuing love-affair with machismo as holding American men and America back from adapting to a changing world. It calls for a ‘reimagining’ of […]