The Observer asks what five ‘brilliant’ writers believe ‘makes a man’. Jackie Collins goes for talent, Tony Parsons votes for pride, and Jonathan Coe says chivalry… and confusion?
If I’m confused about masculinity, in any case, I think that puts me in pretty safe company – the company of every other thinking male in the country. Because after the New Man debacle came the 1990s wastelands of Lad Culture, and where does that leave us now? Our sexual politics are in the same state as our national politics: confused, moribund, rudderless. Is it time to try to recover some essentials, to see if there might possibly have been some virtue in that baby we so ruthlessly threw out with all the chauvinist bathwater?
It’s actually a good question to ask of yourself; What makes me a (wo)man?