Being my usual talks–too–much self, I waffled on about how haunted the local area is on my drive home, and Will politely commented that he had some interest in the subject. We did a two hour interview during which I again talked too much, and spent an hour taking some portrait photos to go with the piece.
Later that day, I actually thought to Google the journalist who’d interviewed me– after watching him taking at least fifty photos with both a digital and old school film camera, I was more than a little curious about the ‘photo’ side of the photojournalism thing.
Never mind ‘having some interest’ in creepy ghosty stuff- Will Storr quite literally wrote the book on the subject. And forget being just some journo… Will’s article ‘The Rape of Men’ has won both a One Press and Amnesty International award and is widely regarded as one of the best long form articles available online.
There are just so many ways to make myself feel like a dick, are there not?
Anyway. The article was published in the August/September issue of GQ… and it was so many shades of awesome, it brings tears that sting like salt too my eyes every time I read it.
The article isn’t available online, and it’s far too long to reproduce in its entirety here. So I’ll just reprint a little bit. My favorite bits.
|One of the portrait shots taken.|
‘The Biggest Killer of Men Under the Age of 44 Is Themselves’
“We live in a culture where men don’t show weakness, where depression and suicide aren’t discussed. How many more of will die before this will change?
The biggest focus of RUOK Day (September 13) and Mental Health Week (October 7-13) will be to draw attention to depression, suicide and mental health, reminding us that this can affect any one of us, our friends, family and colleagues. Any one of us could find ourselves struggling with what we see as something to be kept secret, lest it cause some fracture in our masculinity. Because what it comes down to is that we want to achieve incredible things. we want admiration, the respect of our family, friends and superiors. We want to be strong. We want to be powerful. We want never to cry. We want to be heroes. We want to be men.
It’s a lesson in itself that all of this, written down, sounds ridiculous. The things we want are impossible- childish, even. Only one person can be number one and even then only in one narrow field for one vanishing moment. And we are not one, we are many. As a gender we are suffering from the cultural expectation that we strive, constantly, to be exceptional. And it is killing us.”
Amen to that. And cheers and thank you, Will. Every time this story is told in it’s entirety, in it’s truth, in all it’s raw ugliness… for some reason, every time, it feels a little like healing for me.