Newsweek Redefines Masculiniity?
“We’ve arrived at another crossroads,” declares Newsweek — and this one represents a crisis for masculinity. As the magazine’s current cover story asserts, “The prevailing codes of manhood have yet to adjust to the changing demands on men.” With this cover story dedicated to “rethinking” masculinity, Newsweek launches itself into a very relevant cultural conversation.
“Man Up!” is the message the magazine conveys on its cover, though by the time a reader actually reads the article, he or she may be forgiven for having little idea of what this means. If, indeed, the traditional male is “an endangered species,” where does this leave men?
Writers Andrew Romano and Tony Dokoupil get right to the heart of that matter when they ask, “What’s the matter with men?” They point to the recent recession, which we now know has led to a significant and seemingly permanent change in the workforce — and largely at the expense of men. By some estimates, eight out of ten jobs lost in the recession were in sectors of the economy that are traditionally dominated by men, such as construction and manufacturing. In 1945, the male share of the labor force was 70 percent. Now it is less than 50 percent. In the nation’s largest cities, women often make more than men on average do. Women now outnumber men at virtually every level of higher education, starting with a six to four advantage in undergraduate registrations. The list goes on.
So, how do men recover? By reasserting masculinity? Here is a warning from Romano and Dokoupil:
But suggesting that men should stick to some musty script of masculinity only perpetuates the problem. For starters, it encourages them to confront new challenges the same way they dealt with earlier upheavals: by blaming women, retreating into the woods, or burying their anxieties beneath machismo. And it does nothing to help them succeed in school, secure sustainable jobs, or be better fathers in an economy that’s rapidly outgrowing Marlboro Manliness.
Well, men will certainly not recover a healthy manhood by aping crude stereotypes or cultural constructions of “Marlboro Manliness.” At the same time, the path to recovery doesn’t lie in denying the truth about gender differences or roles. (More)
This book by Stu Weber an excellent place to start: