​​​​​​​In the last 50 years feminism has contributed to dismantle most of the traditional assumptions on gender roles, empowering women and allowing great advancements in terms of personal freedom, sexual equality and social rights. Feminism has defined what it means to be a woman and provided a space for women to navigate the complexities of womanhood in its many forms and expressions. More recently, Fourth Wave Feminism and the #meToo movement have not only sustained women's liberation, but also emphasized the limits of traditional masculinity, that revolves around the stereotype of the white heterosexual man, physically and emotionally tough, confident, competitive and dominant. They have put the spotlight on the bare truth of masculinity: it failed to realign with the modern world as men, consciously or not, seem more inclined to preserve the status quo and their social and political privilege.
The collapse of the structures that for centuries underpinned male power and, at the same time, the lack of valid alternative models are increasingly threatening men's identity and sense of self. Many men today perceive a growing sense of discomfort, dislocation and conflict, exacerbated by our generally poor capacity to manage uncertainty and process emotions. While striving for a society free from sexism, homophobia and misogyny, most of us men are stuck in the liminal space between what it was and what will be, with questions that still haven't found an answer. How to embrace change, not just in society but in ourselves and adopt healthier and more inclusive models of masculinity? What is to be a good man at a time when just being a man seems inherently wrong? How to deal with the wounds that we and our fathers have unknowingly inflicted to ourselves throughout centuries of patriarchy?
Inspired by these questions, The Clearing is a journey into the deep and vulnerable layers of the man's soul, deconstructing masculinity and searching for the meaning of being a man in contemporary society.
Copyright 2024 Dario Mannucci