Stephen Manderson, known by his stage name of Professor Green, sheds light on what his childhood was like in first column for new men’s media brand The Book Of Man. Manderson hopes that, by sharing his story, he will be able to help other men who are suffering from issues such as depression and anxiety.
Stephen Manderson, AKA Professor Green, has opened up about what it means to be a man in his latest column for new website The Book Of Man – writing about life growing up in Hackney, the pressures to fight and leaning how to ‘be a man’ from a young age.
He says: “My adventure began – growing up in a relatively rough area with constant repetition of ‘fighting doesn’t make you a man, always walk away’ echoing in my ears.” Manderson was raised by his Nan after being left by his parents at a young age.
Speaking about his childhood, Manderson says that by heeding advice about not being violence and walking away from fights, he felt “emasculated” due to the pressures of what being a man meant. When he did fight, he says he was “disproportionately aggressive” and ended up feeling worse than before.
In his column, Manderson explores the issues of growing up in a world without a role model, and says he’d describe himself as “a fatherless, early school leaving (not one single GCSE), music and more recently documentary making; book writing; ex drug dealing; dog loving; caring; careless; self loathing; cat disliking (hate is too strong a word); drinking and drug taking; self doubting; over thinking; impulsive; impatient; sensitive; emotional; strong (at times); weak (at others); sufferer of depression and above all, my most defining quality, but I had to think about it; I’d probably say, anxious… man? The question mark is there because I’m not quite sure what makes you (or me) a man.”
Manderson will be writing a fortnightly column for The Book Of Man, which aims to act as a support network for men by showing them that there are different ways of being a man.
The Book Of Man hopes to help men who are stressed and confused about what it means to be a man, following research* by the publication which found that two thirds (65 per cent) think male stereotypes are damaging, 56 per cent of men said they’ve experienced depression or anxiety, and just 37 per cent say they have a role model.
Stephen Manderson, Contributor to The Book Of Man, said: “I’ve decided to write this column to explore all things relative to masculinity – including femininity. What I hope to achieve is what defines, not being a man, but masculinity – to explore just how limiting or expansive it can be. My intentions are to be painfully honest, although I do question why honesty has to be painful and the truth has to hurt.”
Martin Robinson, Editor and CEO of The Book Of Man, said: “In a world where suicide is the number one killer of men under 45 in this country, and statistics on depression and work related stress are rising, we are seeing men channelling their struggles and rages and anxieties into alcohol and drug abuse, or into becoming sexaholics or workaholics. This is affecting men in all classes, and all regions.
“The Book Of Man is set to act as a support network for men by showing them that there are different ways of being a man. The feminist movement has rightly called for change in the way women are stereotyped and treated, but men haven’t done the same. Why can’t men talk about their problems? It’s time to start.”
Research by The Book Of Man found that almost 9 in 10 men (86 per cent) believe that men have a role in helping to drive equality, and over half (56 per cent) say that the definition of masculinity needs to change in order for the world to move forward. Half of men say social media has a bad effect on their self esteem, and just a third (35 per cent) of men say male advertising represents them.
CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably) is on board as a charity partner for The Book Of Man, while contributors include Stephen Manderson. You can read Manderson’s full column here: https://www.thebookofman.com/