WOWFEST: “Male friendships doesn’t give them permission to talk.”

WOW Festival – Day 2

BEING A MAN – Anthony Anazagorou, John McKeown and chaired by Jude Kelly


“Male friendships doesn’t give them permission to talk.” Is the perfect introduction from Jude Kelly, who surprisingly is the only woman on the panel of the Being A Man talk at this years WOW Festival. Suggesting that men are the same as women, Jude goes on to give the audience the platform that we need to approach feminism and gender in a different way.



From all of the talks I was assigned to this weekend, this was one of the top three I was most excited about. Not because it was finally something I could relate too, but was also the first talk that I went too that actually approached the male paradigm in feminism. Although I am going to be particularly careful with what I actually say, this was by far the best talk I went to, because it addressed the idea that men, like women, are equally not given a chance within society.


I believe, personally, that there isn’t such a thing as suppression within females, but a repression within gender. “It isn’t a one way street” as Jude describes it and suggests that men are also victimized when it comes to societal roles. For example, if we go back to the theme of the weekend, which seemed to be “not feminism, but rather power” there are countless examples of where men are victimized for being males, such as with parents splitting and custody going to the mother, the abortion of an unborn child being decided by the mother and many other cases. This talk really got me thinking about how we need to see each other as equal and not against each other. Gender needs to work with each other rather than trying to over throw one another.  Anthony Anaxagoras, a young poet, suggests that we need to move away from stereotypes within both male and female genders and enter a new world.



By far the most interesting and thought provoking talk I attended, which was down to Jude Kelly’s perfect chairing of the panel who bought out the best in each of the speakers.


Many thanks to Southbank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World Festival 2014 for putting together an amazing pair of individuals.


Find out more here –


  • Hearing Jude Kelly’s thoughts on men in society from a positive rather than negative view.
  • Hearing the story of Anthony Anaxagoras and over coming the stereotype of a young, mixed race male who broke the world of poetry.


‘Best quotes’ from the talk

  • “Men are never given a chance to voice their opinion [in social settings]”
  • “Men are trapped, the same as women”
  • “Women demonize men – and vice versa”
  • “Why do men walk away from their families so easily? This needs to be addressed!”
  • “ I was asked ’Does this mean you have daddy issues?’, to which I just responded ‘no’”

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