Blokes, booze and banter

Behind the mask ..what's going on for men?

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I have sons.

I have brought them up to talk about emotions.

They don’t.

I have brought them up knowing it is OK to cry.

They don’t.

Or rarely do.

Social conditioning is so powerful, who was I to think I would change the face of masculinity and how much was I doomed to pit my feminist aspirations against evolution and biology?

I do know that suicide rate amongst young men are higher than any other sector of the population.  This worries me.  So maybe this is why I wanted to talk to Pete.  Pete was one of the lads, a year older than me in school, who I kind of was in awe of.  He as the captain of the football team, he was cool, fit and had kudos for all of that.  He seemed to be the epitome of cool when his best mate went out with my mate and I faded into the background of fifteen year old spots and insecurity.

So when I saw on his Linkedin profile that he was not only some kind of finanical whizz, but also a wedding celebrant, I couldn’t quite connect the two images.

So we talked and it was a turbulent tale of booze, football, banter, bullying, birds.  Then as well, along side all this, vulnerability, hard work, an autistic son, divorce, remarriage and a new life in a new world.  Pete’s been a ref, a fire-fighter, he’s worked in the City and is now he’s training to be a celebrant and a counsellor.

We are both in our fifties and I wonder whether my boys will face so much of the masculinity policing that Pete had done to him and internalised himself.  My PhD investigated hegenomic masculinity and the way it shapes not only boys and men, but the women who relate to them.

Increasingly I am seeing footnotes on emails where people are stating the pronouns they use to identify themselves.  I have a couple of people on my email contacts who self-identify as ‘they/ them’ rather than ‘he/she, him/her’.  I wonder how this will impact upon how young people construct their identities now.

Join us in conversation here in my podcast about masculinity and sensitivity, alcohol, climate change and what leaving a legacy means. (Ps…there are adult language and themes used in this conversation!).

Pete’s celebrancy work is here:

His wife’s book based on his son: and her website (where she shares the story of how Pete was shut out of Australia during the first lockdown:

If you want to know more about me, my writing, coaching and training go to

(Image: Pete in the middle with his son on the left, in Australia, after everyone said he would never get on a plane)

Julie Leoni

Regenerative living coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, educator, Dr

Business as usual is no longer possible.  We need to dramatically shift how we think and live in order that the planet and all those people we share it with as well as our children's children, flourish.  This is the time of the Great Turning (Joanna Macy) and each of us can play our part in tipping life towards health and well-being for all.

Finding your thing or things can be the most radical thing you can do for your own well-being and for the well-being of the planet.

Work with me to create a life where your energy, health, social connection and emotional and social well-being are not just sustained, but improve, regeneratively. 

I am an author, educator and researcher who coaches individuals and organisations to find more regenerative ways of living and working in order to support the health of all peoples, the more than human world and future generations.

My work is based on wisdom from indigenous people, science, and my own direct relationship with people and the more than human world which have taught me about the interconnectedness of all things, and our dependency on each other for well-being.

There are more things to measure than income and status so let's start creating the world we want our grandchildren to live in.  It starts here and it starts now with each of us, daily.  

Get in touch to have a conversation.

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