You go boy!

In 2018, Skarhult celebrated its five years anniversary as an open castle and over 100 000 visitors have now heard about the strong women of our history. 2018, it is the boys’ turn. In the exhibit You go boy! we talked about how ideals of manliness have changed throughout the centuries, and how the man has been essential for building a common good in the world. 

One of Sweden’s 300 000 hunters

What are men good for?

Men rape, assault, eat too much meat, drink alcohol, commit suicide, throw their daughters from the balcony, sexually harass women at theaters and offices, are pedophiles, porn addicts, or self-radicalised terrorists. 

At the same time, women exceed men in education, they focus more on their careers, they buy houses and cars, they procure trust funds, and they travel to Denmark for a dash of sperm. Social media campaigns such as #Metoo is fighting male chauvinism. 

The public today is filled with “You go grrrl” and tributes to Girlpower, superstars shout “Who run the World? Girls!”. Masculinity is portrayed as a criminal beast. When this is the case, what happens to young men? 

From warlord to latte-dad 

The castle courtyard welcomes you with portraits of men showing separate masks that the man has hidden behind throughout history. Inside the castle, visitors are taken on a historical walk of ideals of manliness. In the 16th century, a man was expected to be potent, to breed sons, to defend, and preserve. Paintings depict him as ironclad with a weapon in hand. In the 17th century, the dedicated civil servant made his entrance.

The 18th century is the age of vanity. The man is superficial, colourful, and preferably fashionable. As a result of the 19th century’s bourgeois ideals, the man is now the sole breadwinner. The once active woman is passivated into a housewife. The man almost becomes a stranger in his own home.

After the great wars of the 20th century, a negotiation that is still on-going is initiated. The gender roles become blurred and the ideals of manliness are slowly changing.

What kind of man do I want to be?
Image from the exhibit “Swedish Dads” by photographer Johan Bävman

We need each other 

Since time immemorial, women and men have sat together on the same branch. Like a pack of monkeys in a tree on the African savannah, we play, tease, and pick each other’s lice. Each attack on the other gender becomes an attack on the branch we are all sitting on. Men and women need each other. 

The pigs are few, but the piglets are many. Therefore, our boys need role models. Real men who dare to counter the toxic ideals of masculinity. Most men are trusting, hard working, thoughtful, and loving. Boys – you need to raise your voices in order to be heard. YOU GO BOY!