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Men, put down the rocks and feed the baby


Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls

ACCORDING to real-life action man Bear Grylls, modern men are confused by what constitutes masculinity.

Launching his new television show, The Island with Bear Grylls, which will feature 13 men from all walks of life dropped on a Pacific island and left to survive for 28 days, Bear described how he wants to "rediscover manliness".

"Men really struggle nowadays with what it means to be a man," the broadcaster and adventurer said.

"In the olden days, it was clear – you use your spear, your brains, your resourcefulness, your courage."

He went on: "If you strip man of everything – no microwave, no bed, none of the stuff we take for granted – are the skills that man has gained over thousands of years of mistakes and errors and development still here?"

Bear is intent on finding out the answers to these important questions, which is why he is going to set participants loose in the wilderness with nothing but their wits to keep them warm.

Poor Bear. He's obviously genuinely worried about the hapless men of the world who may be in crisis.

What he thinks about the plight of us women isn't as clear, but I hope he has a show in the pipeline for us also, because, you know, we might need a hand surviving in a post-apocalyptic world too.

I've already learned quite a lot from Bear so, if push came to shove, I'm quietly confident that I could make it out alive from a variety of life or death situations.

For example, if I'm ever stranded on a desert island I'll go straight to the bamboo trees, rustle myself up a little boat and sail to my freedom.


If I happen to get stuck in a sandstorm, I'll stay low and cover my mouth with a cotton t-shirt so I don't suffocate. I even know how to rehydrate myself by drinking my own urine if the situation arose.

The only slightly annoying thing about all of Bear's handy lifesaving tips is that none of them has ever helped me out in real life.

I have other, far more pressing problems to solve. I need to know how to get a parking space without having to circulate the car park a million times.

I want to know what to do when the tallest person in the cinema chooses to sit in front of me, or why the show I set to record isn't on my Skybox.

Bear isn't bothered about that stuff, he's too busy gutting fish and skinning wild animals for their pelts.

And that's exactly why most men love him. They don't care that they'll never actually have to use his many nuggets of wisdom – they just hope that one day they will be lucky enough to be forced into a situation where they have to make fire by rubbing two rocks together.

Much like Top Gear appeals to the part of their brain that is still that of an 11-year-old, Bear appeals to their macho ego. You know that side of them that miraculously appears when they're assembling the complicated flat-pack bookshelf or when they're incinerating dinner, I mean, barbecuing steak.

If they're trying to impress us by hunkering down in front of the TV and learning how to be modern-day heroes from the comfort of their sofas, they really shouldn't bother.

They don't need to wrestle vicious alligators or build makeshift shelters to make us happy. All they really have to do is to volunteer to unload the dishwasher, or get up in the middle of the night to feed the baby. Now that's what I call heroic.