A new book from Scotland called On Being A Man aims to confront some of the most difficult issues facing men today.
A new Scottish book published this month will highlight how 21st century society can be sexist against men. The book—On being A Man: Four Scottish Men Speak Out—includes a conversation with John Carnochan, a policeman who formed Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit, who told The Scotsman newspaper that men are the victims of sexism. He said:
“From the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 up to October 2010, 43 Scottish service men lost their lives…In the same period 5,624 men in Scotland committed suicide… where is the war being fought? Where are the men most at risk?
“I think many of us men have recognised that women have a good case, we feel a bit guilty about it all, we recognise the unfairness of things and support their cause. But have we allowed this argument debate to be too one-sided?
Feminism is not about equality
“I’m not suggesting that we should roll back decades of change towards a more gender-equal society, but there are often unforeseen or unexpected outcomes or consequences to such significant changes and maybe what we are sensing as individuals are these outcomes.
“Feminism is not about equality when women think ‘now it’s our turn to do it to them’. There is the obvious sort of sexism where men are largely absent from jobs in nurseries, teaching and social services. But there is the casual sexism directed at men too, every day.”
Carnochan is one of four men interviewed by Gerry Hassan, a political commentator, who is the book’s editor. According to Hassan:
“Men are everywhere in Scotland, in public life, in sport, on television, making a noise in pubs. But the contradiction is that men mostly remain totally silent about what is happening to them. Women have adapted better than men to the economic and social changes over the past 30 to 40 years. This has also led to a tendency to characterise men as more helpless or lost which is a stereotype which can hurt men.”
Masculinity has a dark side
The book’s publishers, Luath, say that On Being A Man brings together four men to consider the condition of Scottish men, reflect on their own backgrounds and experiences, and confront some of the most difficult issues men face. These include the changing roles of men in Scottish society and the role of work and employment.
According to the publishers’ website:
“What it means to be a man today is very different from forty years ago: in terms of expectations, relationships, how men relate to partners, bring up children and what constitutes a modern family. However, there is a dark side of Scottish masculinity – seen in the drinking and the violent, abusive behaviour of some Scots men and this book addresses this directly, getting into issues many of us often shy away from confronting.”
The other men who have contributed to the book are journalist, writer and broadcaster, David Torrance; founder of a youth employment and mentoring charity, Sandy Campbell and public health researcher, Pete Seaman.
—Photo credit: flickr/Erich Ferdinand
Article by Glen Poole author of the book Equality For Men