Bravery. For better or for worse, men usually give it up after adolescence. Well, it's not really bravery at all, is it? It's a kind of childish pride that we, as a society, tend to idealise. We imbue our screen herores with it, this 'cool'. And isn't it seductive- this apparent absence of vulnerability? It works. Don't women want to be desired by someone who doesn't feel pain, who isn't afraid?
But it's an act. Anybody who doesn't want or need something is dead. And anyone who does need something can be hurt. They can be afraid. We teach men this act, to perform it all the time. And subsequent to their emancipation, women now have to pretend too.
- An extract from Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman.