What does it mean to be a man? How should I raise my son? How do I feel about the term toxic masculinity, that is being used today? What resources do you recommend I read, watch or listen to if I want to form my own opinion on what manhood means to me? What conditions are causing all of this pressure and change to masculinity and manhood?
After receiving this question in various forms we started compiling a list of articles, documentaries, and podcast episodes with various perspectives on what it means to be a man in 2019.
*** The opinions and perspectives of the resources here are not necessarily our own but we have formatted and reformatted this list with the goal to show various perspectives of the social pressures on modern manhood in American in 2019.
*** If you would like to suggest another resource please post a link to it in the comments and we will add it to our review each quarter.
1 ) Article: Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden
Perspective: “Toxic masculinity—and the persistent idea that feelings are a “female thing”—has left a generation of straight men stranded on emotionally-stunted island, unable to forge intimate relationships with other men. It’s women who are paying the price.”
Perspective: What do boys in America think about being boys today? What do they imagine is expected of them? Whom do they look up to, and how are they navigating the transition from being boys to becoming men?
3) Documentary Report: Special Report: The Future of Work
Perspective: “The next Industrial Revolution is upon us, and scientists, entrepreneurs and policymakers are warning of an imminent paradigm shift in the future of work.”
Perspective: Our current model of education is not only outdated; it’s not particularly effective. In a world where access to knowledge and information is ubiquitous, the value of memorizing information to regurgitate it, pass tests and get good grades quickly becomes far less valuable. According to Chase Jarvis, we’re moving towards a portfolio model of careers, a world in which kids growing up today will probably have five jobs at the same time. But the current model of education is preparing them for a future that doesn’t exist. If the purpose of education is to turn us into fully functional, happy and healthy adults, it is failing on numerous levels.
5) Article: The ‘Men’s Liberation’ Movement Time Forgot
Perspective: Emotional inertia will never be as bad as the threat of rape, domestic violence, disappearing reproductive rights, or the lingering pay gap. But it’s become clear that men need a space to express their feelings, one that doesn’t tolerate violence or blame women for all their woes.
6) Documentary Report: One Nation Under Stress
Perspective: Despite spending more on healthcare than any other country, America is experiencing decreased life expectancy. In One Nation Under Stress, neurosurgeon and investigative journalist Dr. Sanjay Gupta sets out to discover why. Driven primarily by an epidemic of self-inflicted deaths of despair — from drug overdose, chronic liver disease and suicide – this rise in the U.S. mortality rate can be seen as a symptom of the toxic, pervasive stress in America today.
7) Episode: The Lonely American Man
Perspective: We look at what happens when half the population gets the message that needing others is a sign of weakness and that being vulnerable is unmanly.
8) Article: Why Can’t Men Say ‘I Love You’ to Each Other?
Perspective: Submitted to the Modern Love College Essay Contest -MODERN LOVE – Why Can’t Men Say ‘I Love You’ to Each Other? It doesn’t count if you add “bro” or “man” to the end.
9) Article: The Legion Lonely
Perspective: Over the past few decades, loneliness has reached almost epidemic levels, with men uniquely suffering its effects. How and why has isolation become such a threat?
10) Article: Inside the Retreat Where Men Purge Toxic Emotions
Perspective: God, I’m so uncomfortable. My palms are sweating and my heart is pounding. Why did I think this was a good idea? I could be home right now with my girlfriend and my dog, having a beer and watching Netflix. But no. Evryman arranges getaways aimed at teaching men how to access and express their emotions. Would it work on me?
Perspective: Brian Campbell grew up stifled by his father’s expectations about masculinity. Can he change things for his own son?
Perspective: On a Monday night in a sparsely decorated room in Midtown Manhattan, a group of approximately 20 men including an endocrinologist, a sportscaster, a policeman and an employee of the United Nations were baring their souls. “I’ve been digging deep with my girlfriend and we are having those talks about moving forward in our relationship, and I’m having nights where I can’t sleep,” said Andrew Cummings, 44, an opera singer in New York who has performed at Carnegie Hall.
13) Article: I Am Proud Of My Masculinity
Perspective: There is a challenge for men to take up. It is to re-align their masculinity so it becomes relevant today. It is not about becoming feminine, it is not about developing a feminine side.
14) Article: The Problem With Masculinity
Perspective: Even though the boy was causing no major disturbance (much less a minor one), the father was visibly flustered. He gave his son a cold, hard look: “Hey, no crying,” he muttered. “What did I tell you about that? You’re not supposed to cry.”
Perspective: “This is actually one of the most surprising things in the whole history of public opinion,” says Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld. “There’s more and more rapid change in attitudes towards gay rights in the past thirty years in the United States than there ever has been in recorded attitudes in the United States on any issue.” Public opinion rarely shifts on contested issues.
What do you think?
Please share your opinion as well as any links to books, articles, episodes or videos on modern masculinity and being a man today in America.