Men. They are such insensitive, emotionless bastards. Or are they?



It wasn’t that long ago I was at the local playground with two of my little devil spawns, enjoying the usual excitement of slippery slides, swings and weird looking objects on springs. There were plenty of mums mulling about chasing the object of their existence or just having a chin wag with their fellow sleep-deprived counterparts. I didn’t really notice at first but there was only myself and one other dad – quite a normal ratio at most play grounds these days. From across the other side of the park, while being tossed around on a see-saw by an over excited 5 year old, I noticed the other dad and his son ambling over towards the swings. Just as they approached the swings, a young girl maybe 3 or 4 years old fell from a daddy-leave-sweden-father-paternity-leave1swing and landed awkwardly and clearly painfully. There was no parent in the close vicinity. The dad looked a little confused and his body language screamed apprehension for engaging with this little girl who was clearly upset and in pain. I thought to myself ‘come on mate, pick her up out of the dirt and comfort her while you find her mum.’ A moment later the dad left the little girl and approached a group of mums having a chat and asked “hey does this one belong to any of you?” while pointing to the child with tears streaming though the dirt on her face. Mum quickly came to the rescue and life moved on, the dad and his son hopped on the swings and the poor girl who took a dive off the swing got the comfort she needed. I was a little disappointed in my fellow dad and thought that wasn’t the best way to role model that situation for his son, and it wasn’t until I started working with children a short time later that I understood why the dad acted the way he did.


Earlier this year our 5 year old’s Occupational Therapist asked if I was interested in working directly for another family as an aid at a local day care, with a 3 year old boy who was potentially on the spectrum for Autism. He was having serious difficulties transitioning between activities and socialising with other children. My job was to work through a series of activities directly with the boy, to help him transition and interact in a socially acceptable manner. Although the facility, carers and educators were all fantastic, it didn’t take long for me to feel uncomfortable. The mother told me to simply treat her son as I would my own, she was seeking the same level of growth and development she had seen in my son. So that’s what I did. It took a short while for me to understand the boy’s triggers and stimulus needs, and for the most part heavy work or movement was the order of the day. This can include pushing, pulling or even heavy touching such as a firm hug or rumbling-type activities. This started to draw a few sideways glances and some curioNurseyMan.previewus behaviour from some of the educators. Being quite playful and predominantly the only male at the day care, our activities drew quite a lot of the other children in. This was perfect for working on social interaction, but kids being kids, also became quite affectionate. Around the same time, one of the educators started telling me that it was the centre’s policy that the carers were not to be alone with a child – perfectly reasonable, I only wish they had told me during the induction because now it felt like a reaction. Later on, I was told that some of the mums had been asking questions about why I was at the facility. Due to privacy laws the centre could not disclose anything about the child or why I was working with him. Some even went to the extent of saying ‘I don’t care who he is or what he is doing here, I don’t want a male anywhere near my child’. I was also told by the educator, that it was likely these mums were only asking because I was a male and if I was female, it’s likely no one would have said a word. This was first time in a very long time I had been judged for a physical attribute, not for who I am as a person. It did not feel good. I imagine this is how women have felt for many years in male dominated industries or any number of minority groups anywhere in the world.


I’d like to say for the record that just because I am a male who enjoys working with children does not automatically make me pedophile. In fact, the thought of anyone engaging in such insidious behaviour towards children sickens me and I only wish for the harshest of penalties for these mentally deranged beings. But would you believe me just because I said that? May be not. What is leading our society to instantly draw conclusions based on gender? Perhaps the fact that some leaders of trusted and reputable groups and organisations have perpetrated untold horrors onto some of our children eg: Parish priests, teachers, scouts leaders etc. Mums certainly aren’t to blame for this culturally ingrained attitude. Who could blame them for being concerned for their children after watching night after night on current affairs programs the pain that certain trusted males inflicted on innocent kids. So now not only do we have skeptical untrusting mums, but we also have petrified dads who are too scared to go near someone else’s child, for fear of being judged or accused. Questions keep going round and around in my head. Questions like: If men fear having contact with the children in their community, then how will our boys learn how to be a well-rounded men? How will our girls foster healthy relationships when they grow up without any level of trust in men? And will all our dads’ wisdom be lost? Right now I don’t know the answers to these questions. What I am sure of though, is we need to engage in this conversation if we are to have any chance of finding a solution.


I think back to the dad in the park, the argument going back and forth in his head while a child lies crying in the dirt. I think about the times at the day care centre when I was approach by a small child for a hug or to hold my hand and all I could reciprocate with was a pat on the head and a slight turn away to avoid physical contact. So I ask, are men really emotionless and insensitive? Has the actions of a few and mass media driven fear into the hearts of good men? And critically, what will become of our children with this skewed view of male behaviour?


Rockin Dad.

If Every Day Was a Holiday

I love this post. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind and completely lose sight of what’s in front of us. Exceptional beauty, in sights, sounds and smells all around – not to mention that throat scolding hot, nervous system invigorating award winning delicious cuppa joe we take all for granted. I think it is time we all cashed in a sick day or two and take a mental holiday. Enjoy the imagery.

Rockin Dad

Out of the Ashes

If every day was a holiday I’d wake up to the sounds of birds singing. I’d slowly roll out of bed, wander into the kitchen then grind up some freshly roasted award winning single origin organic coffee beans. I’d pop those bad boys in a stylish coffee percolator and allow the delicious aroma to wake me up another notch. With the divine brew heating up the perfect hand-warming mug, I’d sit out on the back verandah, gazing at the sun rising over the explosion of flowers in the garden, and welcome in the new day.

If every day was a holiday I’d try new and unusual foods like German Presswurst, Russian garlic, warrigal greens, bush asparagus, wombat berries and bush celery. I’d give it a red hot go, even if it might destroy a mouthful of tastebuds.


If every day was a holiday I’d build things I’ve never built…

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By Rockin Sister Stefani

Stefani is an 18 year old university student and aspiring young artist and poet from the NSW North Coast. She was diagnosed with clinical depression 3 years ago but has been living with this insidious condition for at least all of her teenage years. Stefani finds therapeutic benefit in writing poetry, it gives her an outlet for rapidly expressing her emotions. Please enjoy the read below, whether you like it, hate it or relate to it, show Stefani some love and post a comment at the bottom of the page.

Rockin dad.

I walk past sour faces,

Drug deals going down,

And friends tell me their troubles,

With plans of skipping town.

A thousand words of anger,

Looks of outright hate,

And people close to dying,

In their weak and helpless state.

I look towards the sunset,

And wonder as I stare,

If I could too, go beautifully

And let go of despair.

An orange haze of beauty,

Yellow dominating blue,

And the brightened murder red

Striking, piercing its way through.

And I think to myself sadly,

If I really had to leave,

To think there would be beauty would only be naive.

So I hold a breath to keep

The thought up in my mind,

But the fantasy is over

And a truth is left behind.

I could leave in a moment,

And be rid of all my pain,

But then I’d never see that beautiful sunset again.


If you think you may need some support of your own (or know someone who might), please don’t hesitate to get to your GP ASAP, it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do but once you have taken that first step you are on the road to a brighter, happier, more colourful and rewarding life. You may also like to check out these web sites.

If you are feeling suicidal contact Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis support service on 13 11 14 or seek immediate help from a GP, psychiatrist or a psychologist.

An indiscriminate mongrel

BLACK DOG noun /blæk dɒɡ/ 

Depression of spirits :  blues, dejection, melancholy, despondency “shake the black dog from your back” – J. B. Cabell


Life has a funny way of delivering the highest highs followed by the lowest of lows. Perhaps that’s not life, perhaps that’s just me. Or maybe I am Bipolar??? I should probably get that checked out…

Earlier this year I hit the proverbial brick wall that is mental illness; the black dog was nipping at my heels for far too long and ignoring him didn’t do me any good. If you starve the black dog of attention, he has a tendency to make you listen – usually by pouncing on you and ripping you to shreds. After being mauled, I picked up the phone and sought help. Seeking help, as insanely difficult as it was, was the best decision I have made in my life.

The last few months have been the best I have had in what feels like an eternity. I was finding happiness and natural beauty everywhere I looked and I was allowing new perspectives to guide and influence my steps forward. I adore my kids and was getting some wonderful one on one time with each of them and I was also slowly rediscovering my love for my wife. Throw in long walks on the beach with my boarder collie and that’s the family unit complete. I was loving all the extra time I was spending with my loved ones and I could see the benefit for them too. The black dog was fast becoming a distant memory.

Recovery is without a doubt the most exciting and rewarding experience I have had to date. I discovered my creative side in writing and drawing, which I had never given a modicum of thought to in the past – nor did I give myself any credit for my ability. For the first time in recent history, food seemed to have flavour again and my passion for cooking returned with a vengeance. I imagine it was as though I was like Matt Preston chained to a fast food restaurant for a decade, only to be released in the main street of Haberfield. Exuding squeals of delight while literally rolling around in pastries, in an almost sexual manner – a cravat will do that to a man. Yep, that’s how passionate I am about food. I also spent some quality time with some interesting books, and one in particular gave me the recipe for both excitement and danger: Shatner Rules – William Shatner. You can feel it already can’t you, that mix of guilty pleasure and almost a little embarrassment in admitting you actually love this man. (If you don’t, then you obviously haven’t experienced life in the Shatnerverse – it is a thing, Google it). This amazing character opened my world to opportunity with something so simple. Say “YES” to everything. WS believes the secret to his success was to simply say yes. Even if the opportunity turned out to be a flop, there was always a positive outcome – cult following (Star Trek was originally considered a flop), exposure to industry professionals, relationships, developing new skills. There was always some benefit, which led to a bigger, better opportunity. So with William Shatner’s blessing I kissed good bye to the burned out, anxious and depressed corporate guy and hit the proverbial road to opportunity. Time to become a different sort of ‘Yes man’.

Do you want to try your hand at university? “Never thought I could be an academic. Screw it, YES”.

Do you want to join the Board of Directors at the local independent School? “I can apply my skills there, YES”.

I like your writing, you should write a Blog, “Really… ok, YES”.

There is a family with a 3yr old boy on the spectrum for Autism, looking for an aid for his preschool. Do you want the job? “Well, I suppose I enjoy working with my son who has sensory processing issues… Why the hell not. YES”.

My life was blossoming with rewarding activities, new friends and connections. I finally found a real sense of purpose and was brimming with happiness. In addition I had begun a personal quest to stamp out the stigma attached to mental health, which brought a whole new set of activities. Pretty soon I was racing around like a chook with his head cut off, trying to fit everything into my day. I couldn’t fit everything in I wanted to do and achieve, so something had to give. As always, my top priorities were the first to go. Exercise, personal leisure time, family time and then my uni work started to suffer. I hadn’t seen it coming, but off in the distance I could faintly hear the black dog barking. The black dog can be cruel, he can sneak up on you when you’re not looking. In fact he relies on it, that is his weapon of choice – surprise! While I was busy ignoring my own needs, the barking got louder and this time I did something different. Something out of character. I listened.

I pulled on the hand brake hard – so hard that others around me began to ask questions like “Are you ok? What’s going on?” Again I acted out of character, I said “No, I’m in some trouble and I think I need some help”. At first I was woefully hard on myself for sabotaging the amazing progress I had made, this only made black dog agitated and vicious. Then he attacked. I peeled back my activities like the layers of an onion – this too brought tears to my eyes, closely followed by further brutal canine attacks. After a great session with my psychologist though, I was able to let go of the disappointment in myself, recognise my emotions and then let them go again too. My focus is returning to my own needs and the needs of my family and this is helping to keep the black dog a bay.

I can see now that my time and the black dog are close companions. If I don’t respect my time and what I do with it, then the black dog gets really pissed off! I am taking the right steps to rebuild again and although the black dog is no longer biting, or barking for that matter, he is still hanging around. Waiting for me to turn my back and look away. I’m not scared of the black dog, in fact our last run in has made me more confident in how to handle him and when to ask for help. I understand now that recovery is a bit like a merry-go-round, it goes around in cycles. I stepped off the merry-go-round too early and fell over, but sustained less injuries than last time. Knowing this gives me confidence to get back on and try again and as long as I keep listening and learning, I know the day will come that my ride with the black dog will end and I will walk away without incident…


Rockin Dad


If you think you may need some support of your own (or know someone who might), please don’t hesitate to get to your GP ASAP, it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do but once you have taken that first step you are on the road to a brighter, happier, more colourful and rewarding life. You may also like to check out these web sites.

If you are feeling suicidal contact Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis support service on 13 11 14 or seek immediate help from a GP, psychiatrist or a psychologist.


Who is Rockin Dad?

Who is Rockin Dad?

FEW quote

After spending many, many years living the life I thought I was supposed to live, I was jolted out of this meager existence with a serious Anxiety and Depressive episode. I disposed of my former life as a business professional in the corporate world and started my search for true happiness and I’m now finding it places I had never considered. While on my road to recovery and yes you can recover, I dedicated quite a bit of energy to understanding mental health and the positive impact of making connections with others. I developed a steely determination to smash the negative stigma around mental health and well being, particularly in men and get the world talking about what should not be a taboo subject. For me now I am all about being an effective husband, father and positive contributor to my community. I work as an aid in early child hood development and undertake part time study at University as a mature aged student. Residing on the mid north coast of NSW Australia, with my wife, three maniacs under 6 years old and an equally feral boarder collie, I am stone cold motherless broke but happier than I have ever been in my life!

So why Rockin Dads Unite? Being a Rockin Dad is about taking an active interest in your children’s up bringing and development, role modeling solid values and most importantly being proud of it! As one myself, I find generally we are all (men/dads) jammed into the same pigeon hole with the lesser desirable. We are living in a new day and age where men are far more involved as husbands and fathers, however there is a ‘concept’ of what a man should be running rampant through our society which no longer fits and can be quite destructive. The sad part is, this “concept man’ tends to be perpetuated by other men too afraid to change, too afraid to put his balls on the line for the greater good of his family and the next gene (Hint: I’m not talking about family or self sacrifice in order to earn more money!). My posts are a little irreverent (or a lot – you decide), generally from a viewpoint which can be quite common but not openly talked about. I like to discuss controversial topics, examples of hypocrisy and injustice and some times I simply talk shit.This Blog is for the men out there who don’t fit into that ‘concept man’ mold, those wanting to break the mold and for women who want to understand men who are longing for a more fulfilling life. Fatherhood is an absolute privilege and the other Rockin Dads out there will agree, it is with out a doubt the most fulfilling, life giving experience you could ever hope to accomplish. But being a Rockin Dad is not just about being a solid father, husband and community member.

Being a Rockin Dad is standing up for whats right, not accepting injustice and being strong enough to engage in the tough conversations. These conversations quite often are only tough because of the stigma attached to the topic,creating a level of discomfort. Rockin Dads Unite is committed to breaking down the stigma on more than just mental health.The Rockin Dads web site has a page titled ‘Rockin Community’ which is dedicated to providing a comfortable outlet for the general public, to anonymously share their own experiences. Experiences which society deems taboo or the stigma is such that there is a general discomfort around sharing. A place to feel part of a community of people with shared experiences and most importantly a place to help Smash the Stigma!lets-talk-about-mental-health

If you want to be part of a community Smashing the Stigma or simply want to make a difference in the world, you don’t have to share a personal story. Simply following the blog, sharing the page or web site and the stories of others will take a huge step forward in normalising the likes of mental health, which can only be positive for the future of our children.

Thanks for reading.

Rockin Dad

When I grow up, I want to be….. A Lawyer


By Rockin Community Member “Budding Legal Eagle”

Budding Legal Eagle is a 24 yr old Female Law student, currently residing in Western Sydney. Budding Legal Eagle is in the final year of her Law degree and like most Law students, she is a real seeker of knowledge and an avid reader. As you will see in her post below, she is also a fellow Stigma Smasher! Budding Legal Eagle provides insight into the challenges of studying and working in the Legal profession and like me, you may be surprised by what you read. Please enjoy and be sure to show Budding Legal Eagle some love and post a comment!            

Rockin Dad  


When I grow up, I want to be….. A Lawyer

As children, we are all asked that fateful question… “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In hindsight, I personally wished I had said that I never wanted to grow up, but unlike most kids I answered “I want to be a Lawyer”. (Fast-forward many years). After struggling through the pressures of completing the High School Certificate and being devastated with the pathetic Universities Admissions Score I received, (but that is a WHOLE other issue all together) I was more focused than ever to get into Law School… and I did.

I will never forget my first day of Law School, I was a bright-eyed bushy tailed first year law student ready to learn. The first class was Introduction to Law and the first inspiring thing our teacher said was “Reality Check: Law Students are among the most depressed and suicidal across all the different disciplines in Australian Universities.” Well… THANK YOU for your words of encouragement and inspiration. I must admit that for a while, I wondered why a teacher would say something so negative to these young and impressionable students… now I know why.AZ3

In more recent years, the Legal Profession has attempted to bring the stigma of Depression out of the closet and there really is no wonder why this issue is so hidden and so prevalent…The Courting the Blues Report, which was published in 2009, is an extensively detailed study, which was conducted, by the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation & the Brain and Mind Research Institute of Australia in relation to mental health in the legal profession. Without boring you with chucks of statistics or unimportant information, the study was conducted with the participation of 741 final year law students from 13 universities, 924 solicitors and 756 barristers. The findings were quite alarming, the report revealed that more than 35% of law students suffer high to very high levels of psychological distress. In addition, 41% of law students, 31% of solicitors and 19% of barristers reported suffering from psychological distress severe enough to justify clinical assessment. Furthermore, the study also found that ‘young female law students and lawyers report higher levels of psychological distress than do their male counterparts’. The researchers note that females are known to report psychological distress more readily than males and had they profiled alcohol and drug use, ‘the lower reported level of distress among males would have been balanced by a higher level of drug use and misuse.’

OK… enough with the statistics and research, let’s talk realities! Like any law student, I have worked in several legal environments and I can say there has never been a work place that hasn’t had a fridge full of beers and wine. Whilst that doesn’t seem like a big deal, it is a lot bigger problem than you would think. I remember being told by an inspirational Barrister, that any mark over 50 in my studies meant that I had spent too much working on the task and not enough time at the pub. Honestly, I had a laugh at this sentiment… Let’s face it all students understand the idea that “P’s get degrees” and who doesn’t like a drink after a long stressful day but it really wasn’t until I saw the issue of alcoholism in the profession first hand that I realise the issue is a lot bigger than everyone is willing to accept.


Story time. A female, young, inspirational to many women in the profession is struggling in an area of the industry, which is still very much dominated by men. She slowly gets absorbed in the struggle of the legal industry… The workload, the challenges of meeting deadlines, long work hours, little to no life outside of work, the need to be revered by her colleagues as capable – Ultimately, she found her way to the bottom of the bottle. Sadly, her story reaches a point of her being placed into rehab several times in an attempt to fight this problem. Every time she was being treated, no one was told where she had gone. The usual excuse was that “She is on holidays”, realistically everyone else knew better but nobody spoke about it. It went so far in the end that she would sneak in drinks, her office needed to be searched for stashes of alcohol and subsequently alcohol was found hidden in air vents. She stopped being able to do her job because her life had become the bottle. You’re probably thinking, “Ok, well that’s a sad story but honestly what’s your point?” Ultimately, the prevalence of depression in the Legal Profession is caused by several factors such as the culture of competitiveness, disillusionment, and perfectionism. I’m writing this blog because I’m concerned about the colleague I work with, the friends I study with and the profession in general.

Here comes the serious part… It appears that the members of Legal Profession are more inclined to say “have another drink” rather than say, “mate, I Think you’ve had enough”… It appears that we are more than happy to pretend that our fellow colleagues aren’t depressed. They aren’t struggling with the pressures of the workload, billable hours, worries about meeting expectations and budgets, impressing the bosses, burning themselves out to get ahead, get that promotion and ultimately sacrificing any form of a life they could have to be … A Lawyer.AZ1

This is where I come in … Depression is a problem! You can try and ignore it, but it will absorb and consume you if that’s what you choose to do. Alternatively, you can talk about it and admit to yourself, to your loved ones and your colleagues that you need help. You can only be the best version of yourself if you are realistic about your flaws and work to your strengths. I’m writing this because I personally don’t want to become another statistic in an industry where perfectionism means that any discussions of depression and alcoholism are joined hand in hand with connotations of being weak. I don’t want to become a person so absorbed in trying to reach these preconceived standards of perfectionism and competitiveness that I lose sight of everything else… most importantly… I want a life that I can look back on in my old age and know I achieved all that I could both professionally and most of all personally.

Now I wouldn’t be a true law student if I didn’t mention his honourable Justice Kirby. When interviewed and asked about the effects of Depression in the Legal Profession he said that depression “is a really serious issue and it sometimes takes young lawyers, who haven’t got cobwebbed over with all the attitudes and conventions, to look freshly at an issue and pick it up and run with it.” Personally, I like to see myself as one of those young lawyers attempt to help our profession break this stigma.

Finally some food for thought: The Legal Profession is full of some of the most gifted, creative and intelligent minds of this century. Let’s take the opportunity to admit that it is well and truly time to bring this issue out of the closet and help these professionals who have chosen to dedicate themselves to a life of helping others…

Budding Legal Eagle

Is there such a thing as Masculinism?

There mustn’t be, Microsoft Word spell check doesn’t believe it exists but let’s explore it any way. Let me preface this by saying I am by no means against Feminism or the Women’s Movement. The Women’s Movement had to happen and the world is a by far better place for it and as much as we have made great progress, it is clear we still have a long way to go. Now, let’s get controversial…. But first go and boil the kettle, this one has an intermission….

Growing up in the age of the women’s movement did nothing for a young man of my generation.  Hearing everywhere you go about how all men are bastards, they are a bunch of misogynists and they think about nothing but where they would like to jam their sausage next. As much as that last comment might be true, the first two are not. There are countless men out there who are in fact the polar opposite. Having said that there is still a number of actual misogynists out there who are managing to hold back the rest of their male counterparts from advancing our species. How sad is that?

It is men, who are holding back men! Think about the very few male midwives out there, a profession fiercely dominated by women. Do you think it is women who are holding men back from studying the fine art of extracting freshly baked humans? NO! It’s the small population of dung beetle-esque males out there managing to have us all tarred with the same brush. Telling their juniors they are ‘pansies’, ‘pussies’ or ‘fags’ (excuses the expression, it’s their words not mine), telling these young men they are weak and somehow their choice of career makes their cocks that much smaller. If that was the case, then I am in for some serious shrink action as I have just started working in the early childhood sector… Better refrain from swimming in the cold ocean waters at least until I start driving an excavator for a living.

He clearly works in the early childhood sector

Look how tiny! He must work in the early childhood sector…

Why is it, if a female enters a male dominated industry it’s sexy, powerful and inspiring but if a male enters a female dominated industry you hear ‘weak’, ‘sad’ and “What’s his problem?”…. If you ask me, it takes blue whale sized meat and two veg (I wonder what the whale does for a living…) for a male to enter a female dominated profession, hats off and much respect to those bucking the trend. Now male gyno’s, that’s a different story… Get out of it you bunch of perverts!

While we are on the topic of junk size, what is that about any way??? The human wang can be perfectly functional at 1 inch all the way up to 24 inches (ouch!). However if we as men can be honest for a moment it would only be 1% of the male population who could actually satisfy a woman with said functional appendage. So what’s the fuss? Does size really matter? Well yes it does, in the male world it is very, very important. I can’t tell you why but I can point you in the right direction to find the evidence to support this argument. Head down the health and beauty aisle at your local supermarket and see if you can buy yourself a packet of condoms marked “Small”. You’ll have a better chance of finding the following “Large”, “Extra Large” and “Holy Fuck, get that thing away from me!” So it’s not about satisfying the opposite sex, we know that. So where did it all start? Seriously I would like to know why it is we have this burning desire to be as big as an elephant, and if we can’t then why do we feel the need to compensate? This intrinsic need at our very core to compete with other men I would suggest hasn’t changed for a millennia.

Honey, can you help me tie a knot in this later?

Honey, can you help me tie a knot in this later?

Sadly in this culture, a majority of men have been driven to fit into a ‘concept’ of what a man should be. For some men this concept runs against the grain of their very existence. The concept is driven by our fathers and grandfathers, media and consumer marketing. Contrary to what current affairs programs will have you believe, women don’t actually have the monopoly on a skewed sense of self image. Men are equally affected. We have just been reared to be disconnected from our emotions and to not talk about it, because emotions are for pussies. Men don’t cry! Like fuck they don’t! It just takes a catastrophic cluster fuck to release the pent up emotion and by the time this happens, the man is swimming in a sea of hopelessness – more about that later.

The concept of what a man should be goes something like this: tall, dark, handsome with a chiselled jaw and perfect rock hard washboard abs. We need to be clean shaven (or manicured beard, depending on the latest Hollywood celebrity trend) and smell of what we think is some modified form of Rhino piss, but we are led to believe this ‘Manfume’ or whatever French term is applied to feel more sexy, will ensure ladies are throwing their perfectly sculpted bodies at us like bogans at VB, (see body spray commercial, all of them). The concept man is a high earner with a successful career, big house, fast cars and the unattainable supermodel wife. That’s the physical just about wrapped up, now for the emotional. The man is the sturdy, resilient, emotional rock for the family. What this probably means is he is disconnected from his emotions. Some men manage to break the mould on this one but most remain in that place where his emotional and spiritual needs are parked in order to indulge others around him. He ranks his own priorities a distant second and subsequently, they go unfulfilled. This can leave a hollow shell of a human being who exists only to provide for his family. This can be a dangerous place to be.  We all suffer from the same affliction and I’m not talking about the man flu – it’s male pride and yes it is an affliction. Male pride prevents us from even admitting to ourselves we may have something amiss, let alone talk about it with family, friends and gods forbid a shrink! Remember that cluster fuck we were talking about earlier??? This is where things can start to go wrong in a big way. Phew, this is getting a bit heavy… Time for a cuppa tea. But before you leg it to the kitchen I would like to leave you with something to ponder over while you lovingly stir your favourite brew, you will find relevance later in the post; According to Beyond Blue “in Australia, there are approximately 2,200 suicides each year. 80 per cent are by men – with an average of 5 men taking their lives every single day. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 44, significantly exceeding the national road toll. Alarming isn’t it?



Welcome back! The smart ones always come back, good on you…. Now, let’s talk about work. Remember that empty shell of a bloke? One way to fast track the concept man to that point is for us to almost solely identify ourselves with what we do for work – more common than you may think. Don’t forget this is culturally driven. Most of us will glorify what we do in general conversation in a bid to feel adequate to the person with whom we are conversing, women in particular. “Hi, my name is Daryl and I’m a horse trainer”, what Daryl is really saying is “G’day, me name’s Dazza and I’m a stable mucker, but me ego won’t allow me to admit that I shovel shit for a living”. But it goes a step further than just fudging our occupation. We get so tied down to our jobs some of us will end up doing little else. The pressure from our forefathers to get a real job, grow up and be successful, provide financial security etc is so great that a lot of men throw themselves into their work to be the best they can be, to strive for promotions and increase their financial positions. They will spend long hours at work, not because they don’t want to see their families but to make a name for themselves in order to bolster their identity and be in the running for the next big promotion and financial leg up.

The dirty little secret here is corporate business loves this mentality. They lap it up in great big slobbery mouthfuls with no concern and no regret for the long-term effects for the employee. After all, the employees are only there to make the shareholders money. “Chew em up and spit em out, there’s more where he came from.” I shouldn’t be so cynical. In fairness there are some corporations who do foster healthy work life balance, at least that’s how their values and policies read any way. When it comes to the crunch however, the over worked, over committed man is simply a “human resource”, that the Human Resources Department wants to safely remove, in the best interests of the business not the employee. NEXT!

Sound familiar??? Well here’s a little more… Some ASX200 listed corporate businesses will actually make it part of their recruitment teams KPIs to recruit a certain amount of women. Sounds great in principle, especially if you can’t see the hidden bias. You see, the purpose for enlisting women in upper management is undertaken under the guise of bringing diversity of thought to build a better, more efficient business. If you dig a little deeper however you will find a grubby sort of underbelly. ASX200 listed companies are rated amongst other things on their gender diversity to see how corporate business is handling gender equality and rightly so too. You can improve your rating by employing more women in certain roles and having policies written to be inclusive. Again a great and valuable initiative.

Here’s the down side: what happens to the man who dedicated his very existence to the company, performed at a high level and has all the skills and qualifications for a promotion, only to be pipped at the post by an under skilled and underqualified woman in order for the recruiter to achieve his or her bonus and the company’s ASX200 gender equality rating? Now I want to be clear here, I fully support the companies who are employing, promoting and paying women equal or more than their male counterparts and enjoying the benefits of improved business function and ASX200 ratings. What shits me is those operating under the false pretence of doing the right thing in driving diversity and equality while the focal point is a short cut to improving shareholder value. You’ll find a few of those cluey old misogynists heading up these companies. But to be fair I have worked with some males within these companies who truly believe in diversity and equality so understand it’s a generalisation. Unless of course you are one of those misogynists – in that case PULL YOUR HEAD IN! You are destroying the lives of many….

old men

Nothing is more soul destroying for a man (or a woman for that matter) than failing at his work. Not scoring that promotion could well constitute a failure in his work, which is an extension of one’s self and in more extreme circumstances he may as well have failed at being himself. And for the real kick in the nuts, he didn’t actually fail at all! For all his good intentions to provide for his family and feel good about his contribution to his work and family, the results are unbalanced and negative.

Excessive exposure to the stress and pressure endured from work, his unbalanced family life and even society (pressure to have a ginormous knob etc) can result in a chemical imbalance in his brain. I’m talking science people! Now don’t quote me on this, (I am no mental health care professional – In fact I’m the opposite, I am a recipient of said mental health care).  When we experience stress and anxiety our brain releases chemical endorphins and serotonin to sharpen our reflexes, think and act quickly and engage the ‘fight or flight’ reflex or to simply keep us balanced. If you are exposed for any great length of time, this state of heightened brain chemistry can become permanently adjusted and also become your new normal state. The trouble is, we do not have an endless supply of these brain chemicals and like all matter in Newton’s theory, “what goes up must come down”. Bam! Just like that, Depression! Welcome to the club, it’s not exclusive… Beyond Blue’s web site states, On average, 1 in 8 men will have depression and 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their livesWhat? You mean… It’s normal??? That’s right, you bet your average sized perfectly function appendage its normal!


So why then in this day and age are we so afraid of talking about mental health? According to the Black Dog Institute, 72% of males don’t seek help for mental disorders. If you broke your leg or developed cancer would you ignore it and not tell anyone? What about an Iron deficiency? What about hypertension? What about elephantitis of the nuts? I guarantee you’d seek medical advice for that one…. (Maybe after a week end at Bondi Beach in nothing but a pair of dick stickers….Check it out ladies….) Mental wellbeing and mental illness are no different to physical fitness and physical illness so get to a GP and get yourself better. You can and will recover and you know what? It takes far bigger balls to admit and address your problems than it does to ignore them. If left untreated there is the potential for marriage breakdown and even loss of custody of the children. Forget soul destroying, this could be life destroying!

Are men really better off than women or is it just a slightly different sort of injustice? Perhaps we have the makings of a Men’s Movement. If we as men can take the first step in saying it’s actually quite normal to fall into some level of depression and/or anxiety at some stage of our lives, if we could say that ‘I too have needs and it’s important for me and my health to satisfy those needs’, then maybe, just maybe we could regain some balance.

I ask again, is there really such a thing as Masculinism?


If this post has struck a chord with you, I suggest you read Manhood by Steve Biddulph. Both men and women will benefit from the insights the author provides on the world according to men. ***This is not a paid advert***, simply helping another brother out.

If you think you may need some support of your own (or know someone who might), please don’t hesitate to get to your GP ASAP, it’s the hardest you’ll ever do but once you have taken that first step you are on the road to a brighter, happier, more colourful and rewarding life. You may also like to check out these web sites.

If you are feeling suicidal contact Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis support service on 13 11 14 or seek immediate help from a GP, psychiatrist or a psychologist.

vanquish depression