Men Speak Up

What's really being said...about women.


Editor’s Note: There were a few instances of negative experiences and attitudes or abuses from men with regards to women, including ageist and sexist attitudes, that were illustrated in a recent article that I wrote on the becoming of a crone. Even though the examples or research show that what is in the article to be true, not all men behave badly. In fact, a lot of it is rooted in culture and language which changes over time (albeit slow.) This is an expansion of the area in that article that focuses on men who speak up through creative outputs.


Ageism and sexism are often deeply embedded in the culture and it is something that can take years to change. Sometimes it even seems for all the progress that has been made, there are times where the pendulum swings in what appears to be the wrong direction for societal attitudes and issues. This short article focuses on 2 men who are bringing these issues to light through creative outlets.

Men speak up about what men are really saying about women and how stereotypes and objectification of women permeate the culture – recently there have been some clever pieces on social media and in the theatre that illustrates how language is used where women are concerned. First there is the theatre piece Locker Room Talk. Then there is the twitter parody account with the Man Who has it All @manwhohasitall.

Locker Room Talk

Locker Room Talk was inspired by the infamous “grab them by the pussy” remark which was reduced to and named as “locker room banter.” Written by Gary McNair, the work itself is based in fact – he went to the source. Promising anonymity, he recorded hundreds of interviews with men with the intent to examine what men really say about women when they’re not around to listen in on the conversations. Boiling it all down to an hour, four women perform the piece – repeating what men say about women. A review of a recent performance in the Guardian says this about it –

It’s hard to listen to this relentless and toxic catalogue of misogyny. Probably as much for many men as it is for the women in the audience. While it’s never comfortable, it’s always fascinating. And by using female actors – Maureen Carr, Jamie Marie Leary, Joanna Tope and Rachael Spence – the show increasingly shines a light on the uncertainties of the interviewees and their confusions and fears over what it means to be a man.

The Man Who has it All

The recent twitter sensation – The Man Who has it All @manwhohasitall. The author posts content ranging from polls to statements, questions and images where men are treated like women in contemporary society and social media. Read some for yourself –

With the tables turned, awareness is created. What’s your perspective? Leave a comment and make your voice heard or if you know of another interesting creative project by men who are bringing awareness to these issues.

Men, what do you think? Do you participate in locker room banter? Do you stay quiet when others say things about women that you don’t agree with? Would you have participated in Gary McNair’s interviews if you weren’t able to remain anonymous?

Women, do you feel that the majority of men are positive? negative?