Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys

Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys

by Kay S. Hymowitz

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“A fascinating and important book—one that should be read by every man, woman and man-child in America.” —A.J. JacobsSee more details below


“A fascinating and important book—one that should be read by every man, woman and man-child in America.” —A.J. Jacobs

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
“Kay Hymowitz has written a fascinating and important book—one that should be read by every man, woman and man-child in America. So put down your Wii controller, click off the Tucker Max blog, and pick up Manning Up. You won’t regret it.”

Pamela Paul, author of The Starter Marriage
“With spot-on detail and zero dogma, Kay Hymowitz has written a smart, incisive analysis of the woes troubling today’s young men, oft saddled with the dreary label, ‘adultescents.’ Anyone interested in the state of the sexes will want to read Hymowitz’s wise, accessible and compassionate take.”

William J. Bennett
Manning Up is an important portrayal of the disintegrating covenant that once existed between the sexes. And few can do this better than Kay Hymowitz. She untangles the complex forces threatening marriage for even the most privileged young Americans.”

Caitlin Flanagan, author of To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife
“In her fascinating, brutally honest new book, Kay Hymowitz describes an unintended consequence of the successes of feminism: the creation of a huge generation of aging frat boys, men who have discovered—in the spray tanned, bikini-waxed wonderland of post-feminism — a shangrila they are only too happy to inhabit. Freed from the old tests of manhood, such as the ability to marry and provide for a woman and children, they are biding their time, and leaving many of the best and brightest young women wondering, ‘where did all the good men go?’ Manning Up is an important book for parents, educators and most of all, for today’s young women.”

Neil Howe, co-author of Millenials Rising: The Next Great Generation
“Kay Hymowitz is a brilliant observer of cultural and social trends in America.  Manning Up moves in a crescendo of accelerating energy from first chapter to last.  Any reader who has ever wondered about changing gender roles and the purpose of marriage in the lives of our friends and relatives — or in our own lives — will be impressed and amazed. If you are between age 20 and 50, reading this book may cause you to re-plan your own life.  Whatever your age, it will certainly cause you to rethink our collective future.”

Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail
“Kay Hymowitz does an exacting job describing the growing flock of man/children we're seeing, and she lays out the disturbing reality of the ‘marriageable mate’ dilemma that once affected only black women but has now become a broader phenomenon. Not only are there fewer college-educated men to marry, but many of those men who are available are little more than man/children—not anyone you would want your daughters to marry!”

Mark Bauerlein, author of The Dumbest Generation
“If you’re curious as to why university admissions officers have to scramble these days to keep their entering classes at less than 60% female, or if you find that a sports bar on a Saturday afternoon sounds like a high school locker room, Kay Hymowitz’s Manning Up provides an illuminating response. It’s not because feminism has emasculated men, or because the media parade one man-boy after another (Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, The Man Show...). It’s because of the Knowledge Economy. Manhood used to happen through marriage and fatherhood, boys becoming men by assuming caretaking responsibilities, usually by taking jobs in manufacturing. It made them grow up. The Knowledge Economy delays the process. It keeps them longer in school, and many of the jobs it offers favor women (design, communications). Drawing evocatively from films and novels, video games, blogs and research reports, female despair and male slackerdom, Hymowitz derives a fresh and pointed take on the Mars-and-Venus gender gap. This is the startling and persuasive news she imparts, an unintended consequence of the knowledge boom. More prosperity and innovation and media—but at a profound cost to family and society: the immaturity of men.”

Kirkus Reviews
“Hymowitz neither critiques feminism nor apologizes for modern male behavior. Rather, she offers enlightened observations to help women and men — who still say they want careers and families — make sense of cultural paradigms no longer based on the traditional life — scripts that once delineated gender roles.... A witty and insightful cultural analysis.”

People Magazine
“ruefully amusing”
“Hymowitz...has a sense of humor, a fierce grasp on historical research (she puts this whole thing into centuries of perspective), and a powerful argument.”

Detroit News
“Clever.... Hymowitz makes the realistic argument that men and women alike might want to think hard about finding a mate who will also, one day, be a good parent.”

Washington Times
“Hymowitz does a terrific job of anatomizing the problem and setting out its less salubrious social consequences."

Publishers Weekly
What do Adam Sandler movies, Maxim magazine, and South Park have in common? According to journalist Hymowitz's unpersuasive polemic, they are compelling evidence that "crudity is at the heart of the child-man persona," an increasingly ubiquitous personality type among men age 20–40 who don't grow up because they don't have to. Weaving together the socioeconomic and cultural paradigm shifts of the last half-century, Hymowitz identifies the appearance of "a new stage of life" in developed societies—pre-adulthood—where the traditional life-script: grow up, marry, have children, and die, is now: "What do I want to do with my life?" But in a world where social demands no longer equate manhood with maturity, frat dudes, nerds, geeks, and emo-boys can remain in suspended postadolescence, while women, whose biological clocks are ticking, are forced to choose between single parenthood and casting their lot with a "child-man." It's a provocative argument that Hymowitz advances with considerable spirit, but she conflates character with maturity, and her blaming feminism for the infantilization of men wrests more power and control away from men, suggesting that they can't develop a sense of responsibility without a woman's help. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews

City Journal contributing editor Hymowitz (Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age, 2007, etc.) examines how the career-first trend among young Americans has led to social and economic gains for women and a destabilization of gender roles for men.

In this witty book, the author argues that the shift toward an information-driven economy that began in the 1990s has created a major demographic event she calls "preadulthood." The author describes this new stage of life as "a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance." Preadulthood usually begins in college, where more women than men now earn four-year degrees. From their early 20s to early 30s, these young people often wander "from job to to city, country to country" as they attempt to determine what they want to do with their lives. When they settle into a stable work life, it is typically in a knowledge-based profession. Many of these jobs—especially those in teaching, communications and health care—are dominated by women brought up with the idea that "[c]areer and independence [are] required. Love, marriage, husbands, and children entirely optional." Confronted with the rise of the "alpha female" and pop-culture icons who often glorify adult male childishness, many men go into a state of slovenly "arrested development." Sex, beer, and video games become the focal points of goalless lives that can extend into early midlife and even beyond. No such laxity exists for professional women, whose lives have the added constraint of a relentless biological clock. Hymowitz neither critiques feminism nor apologizes for modern male behavior. Rather, she offers enlightened observations to help women and men—who still say they want careersandfamilies—make sense of cultural paradigms no longer based on the traditional life-scripts that once delineated gender roles. Women must come to better terms with their biology and hold males to greater account, while men must dispense with the self-destructive "navel-gazing" and "man up."

A witty and insightful cultural analysis.

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Product Details

Basic Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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