Grayson Perry declares war on macho men: ‘Bear Grylls celebrates a masculinity that is useless’

Grayson Perry declares war on macho men: 'Bear Grylls celebrates a masculinity that is useless'
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As more and more people identify as 'gender-fluid', there is growing hostility in some quarters towards traditional gender stereotypes. In fact, for some the term 'masculinity' has become a dirty word.

Grayson Perry -- the cross-dressing Turner prize-winning artist -- is one such person. Perry has recently spent his time creating a whole television programme for Channel 4 dedicated to highlighting the problems that stem from 'masculinity and manly men'.

Top of his no-no list? Bear Grylls. Yes, Perry says that the Old Etonian adventurer is a 'hangover' who represents a 'masculinity that is useless':

'Try going into an estate agent in Finsbury Park and come out with an affordable flat. I want to see Bear Grylls looking for a decent state school for his child!'

As for Grylls' show The Island -- which sees contestants of both genders try and survive in the wilderness -- Perry says it helps foster a masculinity that makes life in modern society more difficult:

'Men might be good at taking the risk of stabbing someone or driving a car very fast, but when it comes to opening up, men are useless. Masculinity is a decorative feature that is essentially counter-productive.'

Happily Grylls seem non-plussed about the criticism. He has responded with a statement:

'In the wild, quiet courage, humility, persistence and selflessness makes a man and also a woman. That is never outdated.'

Of course, if Perry were to ever have to leave his London home and brave the wilderness, Mr S suspects he may change his mind on how useful such 'masculinity' really is.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

Topics in this articleSocietygrayson perry