By Sandy Ruxton
At school, I learnt how to kill a man. As we lay there in line with our Lee Enfield rifles, firing at life-size cardboard targets, I remember thinking how bizarre it was that we should be taught such a thing.
But in the cadet force, I learnt much about masculinity, and about what is expected of young men. The unwritten rules: ‘be tough’, ‘be hard’, and if need be, ‘use violence’. Mentally, I added these prescriptions to others that I (and my peers) had already assimilated on playgrounds, on sports fields, and in the classroom: