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, […]

Eric de Saade’s Swedish Leather Act

Alas, our boys in Blue didn’t quite convince enough viewers last night in Düsseldorf that they are beautiful enough to wear the Eurovision Crown, and despite their liberated lyrics they looked very, er inhibited — frozen with fear, actually. But they did manage a much better showing than the UK has done in years. Even managing to occupy the top voting spot for a brief tantalising moment (prompting a messy snog from Lee Ryan on an alarmed camera lens that couldn’t back away in time […]

Sweden’s Young Metrosexuals Find a Voice

Meanwhile, across the North Sea in Sweden…. 19 year old Eric Saade is telling us, in a leather jacket and gloves: ‘You can call me manboy’ before pleading, in the crie de coeur of metrosexuals everywhere: ‘Give me lurve!  Give me lurve!  — Don’t go!’. The pleasingly annoying/annoyingly pleasing ditty ‘Manboy’ cranks to a creaky climax with Eric receiving an open-mouthed drenching while on his knees. This probably shouldn’t be very surprising.  Sweden is the country, you may remember, that gave us Abba, Ikea and […]

Welcome to AbbaWorld – Prepare to be Abbassimiliated

“NO MORE F****** ABBA!!” So bellowed an ageing transsexual Terence Stamp in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, driven to distraction by his fey fellow bus passengers’ obsession with the silly Swedish 1970s super group. Some hope. We’re all trapped on a Day-Glo bus full of drag queens squawking along to a loop tape of Abba Gold playing on the stereo. And that’s just watching the Sydney Olympics. The Abba revival in the 1990s turned out to be not so much a rediscovery of a critically […]