For several years now I’ve been intrigued and informed by the writing of guys like Gordon Dalbey (e.g., Healing the Masculine Soul), Robert Lewis (e.g., Raising a Modern-Day Knight, and his entire Men’s Fraternity Ministry series of videos), John Eldredge (e.g., Wild at Heart — Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul), Robert Bly (Iron John — A Book About Men), Leonard Sax (Boys Adrift — The five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men), etc. The following is a David Mays (an on-line buddy) “key statements” review of another book about men, Manning Up — How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys by Kay S. Hymowitz. The common thread in all these books is the picture of men in a troubled state — certainly not the noble, vigorous, valiant, virtuous images of God that the Creator intended. Men, and especially American men, have taken a real beating in modern society. It is unfortunate that the caricature of men represented in the media is far more often akin to a clueless frat-boy or Caspar Milquetoast than to a typical John Wayne character. Even a brief time in front of a TV will expose one to a barrage of commercials and sitcoms featuring witless jerks making fools of themselves. Almost without exception young adult men are cast as idiotic buffoons. In fact my wonderful wife, Shirley, has learned to tolerate my comments on the issue as time after time I voice my frustration with my catch-phrase utterance, “Oh no! Another DAWG.” And I’m not referring to a University of Georgia football player; rather just another “Dumb American White Guy.” He, the DAWG, is ubiquitous in TV commercialdom. It is as if there is only one sure-fire method for promoting a product — use a white guy as the butt of a scene extolling the product’s virtues. Women, blacks, hispanics, asians, etc., are never made to look ridiculous. No. That honor is always reserved for the DAWG. Don’t believe me? Just start paying attention to what has come to pass for marketing.
Another media favorite always good for a laugh is a guy being smashed in the crotch. Have you ever seen an episode of Funniest Home Videos that did not include at least one groin groan?
But, unfortunately, it is probably more accurate to say that the media has discovered rather than created the doofus male. In countless ways we’ve done that to ourselves. Robert Lewis teaches that men were created by God to: resist passivity, assume responsibility, lead courageously, and expect God’s greater reward. The best Biblical model of a male is a servant leader, a man of upright character and integrity; a husband who loves his wife sacrificially as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Somewhere along the way we men have largely neglected to accomplish that in ourselves and to foster that in our sons. While women have rightly asserted themselves and demanded the equality they deserve, guys have not known how to or had the gumption to share the responsible role they were designed to fill. Look at society today. The majority of seriously screwed-up people are guys. In terms of criminality, addictions, abusive behavior, directionlessness, etc., it is mostly guys who are dysfunctional. Anyway, the following is simply the latest commentary on the clueless guy phenomenon. While I do not subscribe to everything Ms. Hymowitz says, or even her basic thesis that it is the ascendence of women that is responsible for guys acting more like boys than men, her views are certainly worthy of consideration.
If you have any thoughts on this I would love hearing from you. Here is the review:
|Manning Up — How the Rise of Women has Turned Men into Boys
Kay S. Hymowitz
Basic Books, 2011, 240 pp.