Man Enough: Fathers, Sons, and the Search for Masculinity

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A man learns masculinity primarily from his father. But generations of boys without caring and accepting fathers and mentors grow up modeling themselves after overblown myths of manhood. Obsessed with being "man enough," they become hypermasculine - constantly overcompensating for their lack of a true role model. Chances are they are unable to commit to family life. In the first section of Man Enough, Dr. Frank Pittman discusses men's obsession with masculinity. He describes three common varities of overly ...
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Overview

A man learns masculinity primarily from his father. But generations of boys without caring and accepting fathers and mentors grow up modeling themselves after overblown myths of manhood. Obsessed with being "man enough," they become hypermasculine - constantly overcompensating for their lack of a true role model. Chances are they are unable to commit to family life. In the first section of Man Enough, Dr. Frank Pittman discusses men's obsession with masculinity. He describes three common varities of overly masculine men: philanderers, contenders, and controllers. In the second section he examines how masculinity develops and how relationships between fathers and sons are changing as patriarchy wanes and disappears. He looks at mothers and sons, and explores why males without role models may grow up to flee from women. Pittman also examines the changing images of heroes in our culture, which reflect our changing models of masculinity. In the third and last section of the book, Pittman illustrates how a man can move beyond proving his masculinity and into the real life of practicing it. He offers models for masculinity based on teamwork and emulation - striving with the other guys rather than against them. He proposes a masculinity without the fear of women and the need for male dominance, and encourages equality and intimacy with female partners. Finally, Pittman reveals how being a father benefits a man - how a man can rear himself as he rears his children; how he can understand and, if necessary, forgive his parents as he becomes one; and how he can pass on what he has learned about being a man among his peers and an equal partner to a woman. Man Enough moves beyond the spate of men's-movement books toward a new definition of masculinity: it is an original, heartwarming work.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Being manly doesn't mean being macho, declares Atlanta-based psychiatrist Pittman ( Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy ). Here he explains the ``masculine mystique'' and suggests how men can overcome their obsession with masculinity, achieving greater happiness and intimacy with members of both sexes. The first section details three kinds of men afflicted by ``masculopathy'': philanderers (who can't make or keep commitments), contenders (who feel driven to compete) and controllers. The second section explains how men become masculopathic. Through sometimes humorous anecdotes and numerous references to films, Pittman explores such areas as father/son relationships, homophobia and the striving to separate from Mother (and thus, the ``feminine''). Finally, he shows men how to shed the ``mystique'' through cooperation (as opposed to competition) and emulation (rather than envy); how to let go of the fear of women and the need to dominate them; and how to ``raise themselves'' through raising their children. A sensitive and reasonable guide for enlightened men--and those who want to be. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399138195
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/5/1993
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.26 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 13
I The Obsession of Masculinity
1 Masculinity: The Secret Passion of Men 27
2 Philanderers 47
3 Contenders 67
4 Controllers 85
II Becoming a Man
5 Growing Up Male 107
6 Father Hunger 121
7 Mother Love 143
8 The Brotherhood of Boys 161
9 Myths of Heroes 181
III Being a Man
10 A Man Among Men 201
11 Mating with a Woman 225
12 Life as Father 249
Sources 271
Index 277
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