‘MAN UP’ ABC @8:30pm
Australian media is currently rife with male stereotypes and stoic views on how men should behave. The issue of male mental health is brushed over, despite it being the leading cause of death for Australian men aged 15-44. The stereotypical male has been told to ‘man up’ for too long and this has had a profoundly detrimental effect on both youths and adults. So what does it mean to be told to ‘man up’? A 48-year-old man from Sydney is trying to challenge the meaning entirely.
The man in question is Gus Worland, a Triple M Sydney personality with his own experience of male suicide. The ABC’s ‘Man Up’ challenges the views of society in relation to men. The show follows Gus’ journey as he travels the nation in search of answers to the questions surrounding male mental health. Although ‘Man Up’ has not been widely promoted, it has still managed to make its mark. The show pulls no punches in its approach to fighting gender norms and the notion of what it means to be a man, something very positive for males in society.
The show itself is based on a story of suicide, involving an old friend of Worland’s; Angus. Angus took his own life in 2006, taking a significant toll on all those close to him. The notion that men are seen as weak to ask for help is something that Gus feels very passionately about; attributing it, in part, to his mate’s suicide. This passion is the driving force from which, ‘Man Up’ is founded on. to addressed emotional isolation and stereotypical masculinity, something which leads to a high male suicide rate; 3:1 with females. Statistics like this one, are not in the forefront of anyone’s mind and that is something that needs to change drastically.
The gynocentric demeanour that denotes males as perpetrators and women as victims is a contributing factor to this. Education in schools and workplaces is vital to fighting the assumption that men should remain emotionless and masculine. The fact is – men are in danger. ‘Man Up’ addresses this and educates its audience on the realities of male mental health. Without people like Gus Worland and his team of experts, the issues and inequality of manhood will never be resolved.
‘Man Up’ airs its final episode on the ABC at 8:30 this Tuesday night (25/10).