Men Overboard: A Blush of Boys

Men Overboard: A Blush of Boys

As part of our masculinities series, A Blush of Boys contrasts the experiences of two adult men with two boys from St Martins Youth Arts Centre. Two boys aged ten and eleven discuss how they feel about growing up, alongside actor and performer Paul Capsis and author Tony Birch.

Former journalist and politician Maxine McKew hosts this wide-ranging discussion about what advice boys of yesteryear found most useful while they were growing up and what pressures the boys of today are facing.

What is it like to grow up as a boy in the second decade of the 21st century, and what sort of men are boys expected to become? As gender roles continue to evolve and are redefined, who are the role models for young males today, and what sort of message are they conveying to the next generation?

Presented in partnership with St Martins Youth Arts Centre.

Men Overboard

What does it mean to be a man – or a boy – in the 21st century? How far have we come in shedding the macho expectations of the past … and to what extent do we still perform our gender roles on a daily basis? Do we still believe that boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy dogs’ tails, or that real men don’t eat quiche? This insightful series explores masculinity through talk, performance and across the generations.


Portrait of Will Beattie

Will Beattie

Will is a 12 year-old comic collector with big plans for a graphic novel business. He believes that Heath Ledger was the best Joker and that playing Minecraft has brought him and his sister Rose closer together.

Portrait of Paul Capsis

Paul Capsis

Paul Capsis is a playwright, performer, actor and singer.

Portrait of Tony Birch

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of three novels: the bestselling The White Girl, winner of the 2020 NSW Premier's Award for Indigenous Writing, and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Prize; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2012. He is also the author of Shadowboxing, and three short story collections – Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People.

In 2017 Tony was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. In 2021 he will release two new books, a poetry collection, Whisper Songs, and a new short story collection, Dark as Last Night. Tony Birch is also an activist, historian and essayist.

Portrait of Maxine McKew

Maxine McKew

Maxine McKew is an author and Hon Enterprise Professor of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne.

Her most recent book, published by Melbourne University Press in 2014, is Class Act – a study of the key challenges in Australian schooling. This publication followed the success of her memoir, Tales From the Political Trenches, an account of her brief but tumultuous time in the Federal Parliament. 

Listen to Men Overboard: A Blush of Boys