Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Men 'facing crisis of masculinity'

Diane Abbott will say that men are unable even to discuss the problems that they face

Britain's men are facing a "crisis of masculinity" as rapid economic change distorts male identity fuelling homophobia and misogyny, Labour MP Diane Abbott is warning.

The shadow public health minister will use a speech to argue that financial anxieties and the spread of pornography were combining to create a "Viagra and Jack Daniels" culture, according to The Guardian.

"Growing numbers of men of all ages (are) turning to the drug by themselves due to performance anxiety, triggered by a host of psychological issues - from our increasingly pornified culture making 'normal' sex seem boring, to financial pressures," she will say, the paper reported.

"It may be a secret, psychological crutch for some men, who are under pressure to meet a pornified expectation."

Addressing the think-tank, Demos, she will say that men are unable even to discuss the problems that they faced.

"It's all become a bit like the film Fight Club - the first rule of being a man in modern Britain is that you're not allowed to talk about it," she will say. "This generation no longer asks itself what it means to be a man."

According to The Guardian, Ms Abbott will say that boys are becoming increasingly isolated from their parents and friends, while adult men are working longer hours, dying of preventable diseases, and taking their own lives.

At the same time, she will say the rise of consumerism had created a culture of "hypermasculinity" which exaggerates what are perceived to be manly qualities in the face of perceived threats.

"At its worst, it's a celebration of heartlessness; a lack of respect for women's autonomy; and the normalisation of homophobia. I fear it's often crude individualism dressed up as modern manhood," she will say.

In contrast to the role models of the past, such as soldiers, miners and farmers, many young men now found themselves trapped in an extended adolescence.

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