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A festival exploring ‘new masculinity’ is launching in London tonight

By Charlie Allenby
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Podcasts, panels and, erm, a penis exhibition are coming to Shoreditch

A festival dedicated to men – because you never get to hear their views, right?

Okay, it’s not like men are a particularly underrepresented facet of society, but this is no Subreddit social. Curated and organised in part by new online magazine The Book of Man, the three-month event series hopes to tackle the pitfalls of masculinity, rather than just filling a room with middle-aged white blokes shouting ‘Why isn’t there an international Men’s Day?!’

So there won’t be any dating advice from Dapper Laughs?

Far from it. The festival is actually focusing on the positive role that men can play in deconstructing the negative influence of patriarchal society. Panels and podcasts featuring the likes of Professor Green and trans actor Jake Graf will tackle subjects such as mental health and the crisis in masculinity, while an exhibition from photographer Dean Chalkley looks to dispel the archaic narrative of what it means to be a man.

Sounds like the meninists won’t enjoy it.

Probably not. And they’re not the only ones who might have an issue with it. The monthly Boys’ Brunch won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, while the festival’s finale – ‘The Night of a Thousand Cocks’ exhibition devoted to penises –will raise more than a few eyebrows. But we’re keeping an open mind, especially as all ticket proceeds go to CALM, a charity for the prevention of male suicide, an urgent and worthwhile cause. Men of London: get ready to rediscover manhood in all its shapes and forms. Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen and The Book Club. Tube: Old St. Tue Jan 15-Mar 19. Prices vary. 

The Festival of New Masculinity launches with a panel talk on ’untangling mental health in music

Find out more about the festival here

Looking for more events to fill your evenings? Try our weekly hot list  

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