A major pillar of our work is exploring and promoting discussions around contemporary masculinity and maleness. Our understanding of and ongoing negotiation with male psychology is fundamental to how we strive to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of men and boys.
Earlier this year we launched a project to seek a more nuanced definition of what ‘a good man’ is? With minimal preamble and context setting, we invited people (not exclusively men or boys) to tell us what they deemed to be a good man, and why? These responses were submitted on physical postcards which we distributed across our activity groups, meetings and immediate professional and personal networks.
The volume of postcards completed so far reveal some fascinating suggestions, arguments and definitions, ranging from the serious, sincere and disarming, to the more fanciful, humorous and provocative. Here’s a small sample of what we’ve been told:
- A good man is honest, loyal, respectful.
- A good man is being strong enough to show other men that it is okay to be open about difficult issues.
- A good man is someone who respects, cares for and listens to me.
- A good man is trustworthy and strong,
- A good man doesn’t always have to be right nor think he’s right.
- A good man is a feminist.
- A good man is a provider and solid foundation.
- A good man has strength when he helps others while low himself.
- A good man likes sausage rolls and cakes.
- A good man interacts without aggression or malice.
- A good man will do everything to make you feel safe, secure, wanted and loved.
- A good man thinks about how his actions will affect other people.
We want to roll-out and expand the reach of this project in the coming months to inform various strands of MensCraft’s work. Our plan is to continue to collect, analyse and interpret the responses with a view to sharing the results – the hypotheses and insights in a more public and collaborative way with partner organisations, schools, colleges, workplaces and beyond.
For now, using the form below, we invite you to tell us what makes a good man, and why?
All views are welcome and your response is confidential and anonymised. You do not have to give your age or gender; if you choose to give this information, it will only be used to assess whether there are notable differences in attitudes and opinions between different ages/genders.