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

St. Martin’s. Sept. 2019. 336p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781250196248. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250196255. SOC SCI.
Toxic masculinity has become a serious topic of conversation in recent years, and veteran journalist Plank has written a sensitive and sympathetic portrayal of the consequences of phrases such as “be a man” and “boys will be boys.” Plank points out that men are largely hurting themselves by participating in one of the most common aspects of toxic masculinity, suppressing emotions, and notes the health and economic consequences of doing so. The central chapter, “If Patriarchy Is So Great, Why Is It Making You Die?” gets to the heart of Plank’s project. The title reveals her thesis, confirmed by this chapter, as she is interested in the well-being of men. Readers should note this is not an attack on men; rather, the author deeply cares and illuminates stories about men navigating their way. Her goal is to encourage men to be compassionate with one another and possess the core values of a gender system that’s shifting from an emphasis on being a “real man” to being a “good man.”
VERDICT This heartfelt, recommended book will find a welcome place for general readers interested in a clearly argued analysis of the current gender environment.

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