It is with disgust and revulsion that I read that Daily Mail has attempted to tarnish a well deserved gold medal won by two young male British divers Chris Mearns and Jack Laugher by suggesting that their gold medal hug was somehow less manly than the Chinese Bronze Medal Winners pat on the back.
This comment sparked outrage from the members of the LGBTI community and other people who are decent human beings Being in both groups a trans woman who I hope conducts myself with dignity and has a genuine warmth towards other people (right wing nut jobs not included) I am angry beyond words with my not so favourite newspaper.
This last comment should surprise nobody. To be fair I am often outraged by the Daily Mail for a multitude of reasons and far too many to mention in one post. This however has taken levels of offensiveness to new depths of depravity. It is made worse by the fact the Daily Mail shamelessly promotes itself as a paragon of British Values but let me say this loud and clear the Daily Mail version of Britishness is not the kind of Britain I want to live in.
To question the masculinity of two talented young men of whom Britain should be (and the sane non Daily Mail reading parts of it are ) very proud is in my view completely and totally vile and an insult to the good name of journalism.
Speaking as a from a personal perspective the view that someone’s masculinity is compromised by giving someone a hug rather than a pat on the back is a joke and a pretty tasteless one at that. It is attitudes like these which have messed up the emotions of generations of men who have been labelled effeminate or queer (a word I don’t like and will never reclaim) for such ridiculous ‘ crimes ‘ as crying at a movie or when they’ve fallen and skint their knees as children.
This boys don’t cry nonsense is exactly that, nonsense. It is this kind of stiff upper lip drivel which has made Britain the most emotionally backward nation in Europe and possibly even on earth. It is I think no coincidence that Britain has the most suicides of any country in Europe when people have to live in a climate where men are not allowed to demonstrate any signs of emotion.
Now forgive me for being controversial but I believe this attitude is at best outdated and at worst pre historic. No doubt the diehard chauvinists in certain working class communities will say it will make men out of boys and some people may actually buy that argument but why people whose sons are more likely to see the gravel pitches of Easterhouse than the playing fields of Eton can be so staggeringly stupid defies both description and belief.
It is this kind of testosterone fuelled garbage which can and does do considerably more harm than good.These stereotypes as to what is and isn’t masculine are an insult to all decent men everywhere and fan the flames of prejudice which can and does result in homophobia. To me masculinity, is not about throwing your weight around it is about being confident enough in yourself to let your feelings have free reign as and when required. It’s about taking your daughter to her football training, it’s doing your share of household duties, its about helping your friends,like Chris Young, and Jim Monaghan, and Steven Tierney to name but three have done for me on many occasions and not being afraid to be who you are and show real emotion when you feel you need to do it.
That to me what being a real man is all about and if that’s not what the Daily Mail thinks masculinity is about then maybe it’s the Daily Mail, that needs to change rather than those two young men who just achieved their greatest ambition and couldn’t hide their joy on doing so. The fact that I even have to say this is a 21st century scandal so maybe just maybe it’s time for the Daily Mail to man up, and face the fact that boys can cry, men can weep, and be free to hug if they want to.
Love And Best Wishes