With MRAs shooting their mouths off and pitting themselves against feminists, masculinity and the problems associated with it have become a rather touchy subject. This festival plans to change that.

The second Being A Man Festival begins today in Southbank Centre London, and by addressing the challenges and pressures of masculine identity in the 21st century, it delves into a subject that has been largely sidelined for the last half a century. Jude Kelly, the female founder of the festival strongly believes that men actually need a platform on which they can discuss their ideas and problems. However, it’s easy to see how this can go down a problematic road, especially after politicians have been mocked for discussing “male rights” and International Men’s Day was scorned by feminists. So how will this festival be different?

bam3(Jude Kelly, Founder of BAM; Image via: telegraph.co.uk)

The reason the subject is a dicey one is because a large majority of people addressing the issue have been talking about the wrong things. The Being A Man Festival aims to be a space where masculinity can be discussed and understood, along with how it influences male identity. It addresses the male suicide epidemic, celebrates the new kind of father, men’s freedom in “feminine” areas without being stereotyped, and a whole lot more. The festival also plans to dig deep the core ideas of gender, about how the human race organises itself and understands identity through patriarchy.

Kelly says,“Be it younger men, older men, boys or people of different sexualities, the conversation about ‘Being a Man’ isn’t binary, it isn’t simple. There are lots of different parts that make up male identity.”

bam2(Image via: telegraph.co.uk)