For the Love of Men: A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity

For the Love of Men: A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity

by Liz Plank


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For the Love of Men: A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
cristieu 29 days ago
This was an interesting book about how modern masculinity is not preparing men on how to deal with current social norms. I loved how the author incorporated many sources into this book, such as her own experience from travel, research she completed, and by interviewing individuals. I felt like this approach made the book a lot more credible.
Jaruwa 30 days ago
If you are like me, and are constantly mystified about why men behave and think the way they do, even when it is obviously (according to the female viewpoint) counterproductive, this is the book for you. I was not expecting to be so excited reading this, but as I was presented with research and life stories supporting Plank’s ideas, I found that she had answered to my satisfaction many of the questions I’ve had about men all my life. The author, Liz Plank, has written an entertaining as well as informative book and I couldn’t put it down. If you are a man, this book will also be enlightening because much of what society deems “masculinity” is subconscious and almost never discussed. Misunderstandings about the differences between male and female gender rules cause a myriad of problems for men and their partners and bringing them to light could greatly improve all areas of life or both genders. She uses the term “toxic masculinity” to describe the rigid behaviors currently required for straight men to be acceptable to society. This complex system of rules are a heavy burden for men to bear, cause a lot of problems and pain for the men themselves as well as the partners who love them. She points out that boys before puberty enjoy very close relationships with other boys and are psychologically open and physically comfortable with them. Then, something drastic happens about the time of puberty that causes them to keep relationships with other men on a superficial level and to be very uncomfortable with physical expressions of affection. One example she gives is that there are rules regarding the use of urinals. These include, leaving an empty urinal between you and the next guy if possible (some guys actually go into the stalls if this is not available), and not making eye contact or talking unless you are close friends. Contrast this with the way women enjoy going to restrooms together as a kind of social event and feel free to discuss anything they want to and look anywhere they want to with each other or even with complete strangers in a very casual way. This is just one small example of the complex system of rules that straight men generally must follow to avoid being ostracized for not being “masculine”. This is largely subconscious, and just accepted as they way things are. Most women have no idea what these rules are, and they remain mystified as to why their male loved ones think and behave as they do. Try discussing these ideas with someone of the opposite sex and prepare to be startled. However, this type of “toxic masculinity” is fairly recent in our history. During the early history of our country, it was common for straight men to be physically demonstrative with male friends. They would often hire a photographer to take photos of them holding hands or sitting on each other’s laps, sleep together platonically, and call each other by affectionate pet names. These were prominent men, including presidents, and done in public without any embarrassment. Imagine today if straight men behaved this way. Things would not go well for them. We even have a special name, a “bromance”, for the sighting of straight men merely enjoying dinner together. What happened to make such a huge change in what we think of as masculinity? Plank believes it is homophobia and makes a strong case for this. Very highly recommended.
Chad Guarino 3 months ago
For the Love of Men is a timely review of what is a hot button issue in our political landscape: gender and toxic masculinity. While this is a book that men and woman of all ages would benefit from reading, due to the divisive nature of these topics in our country, it'll be unfortunately ignored by a decent amount of people (including some of the very people a little more mindfulness could really work for). Liz Plank's arguments about masculinity and the expectations we put on men as a culture are clear-headed and well thought out, and the conclusions drawn about the ill effects of pigeonholing youngsters into bygone ideals of manliness are often shocking. The book is well researched, covering far reaching topics such as children's toys, gun violence, terrorism, and economics. Plank also ends each section by giving an opportunity for real men to tell their stories about their cultural experiences, including a former white supremacist and a gay man living with cerebral palsy. What I enjoyed most about the book is Plank's repeated assertion that overcoming entrenched, toxic ways in our culture can only benefit everyone in the long run. It's not a matter of "hating" or "emasculating" men as some commentators would have you believe, rather encouraging humanity to practice more self-reflection and empathy when it comes to policy change. Recommended for everyone. One of the more important non-fiction reads of 2019. **I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to St. Martin's Press.**