Grayson Perry in his programme All Men visited the City of London to explore man and masculinity. It seemed that nothing has changed. The programme started with the traditional chaotic scene of the metals market with men shouting down phones. Apparently this is the last market to trade like this. He moved to the new markets of computer screens in silence. Traders practicing yoga and meditation deliberately trying to be calm and take the ego out of any trading decision. One trader sat Zen like at his screen then moved deliberately to click his mouse to trade. Women in the city or married to some one in the city complained about men being clever. Men in the city had acknowledged the place of women, said it was improving, but actually nothing was changing.
Then there was the ugly dishevelled fund manager who admitted to loving the 2008 crash. He’d made so much money. The camera panned to Grayson’s face looking blank and possibly hateful. They both decided that the characteristics of a mover and shaker in the city was to be discreet and obsessional. Talk of not being with family and being obsessed with the trading game dominated All Mans’ lives. This all started with little boys. Little boys want to be adventurers and leaders with control over their own destiny.
Grayson’s art ridiculed the penis shaped buildings erected in in the city with a phallic shaped vase. He also drew an image of a bear with rational, & sensible as it’s insides. A marauding greedy consuming bear being rational and sensible. Grayson’s point was that the city of London was built on confidence which was irrational and emotional. The message was men pretend to be rational but are just as irrational and emotional as anyone else. Was this inference a comparison to women? Grayson closed by urging men to be like women and stop looking backwards to look to the future and who they could be.
Are the city men an extreme or are All Men – versions of this obsessionality and drive? It seems so. Certainly to be rational and sensible is how men like to present themselves. To be seen as emotional re hysterical is seen as being female. A discrimination against women. Yet to be men, or to be a man – men have to be different. The point is men and women are different.
But then how do men share their power with women when they Innately are not able to?
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2016
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This article is designed to provoke argument and critique