In this lucid, entertaining book, Orenstein fills page after page describing 'bro culture,' W's and L's, 'weaponized' language, and more. In person, she comes across as intelligent and with a fine sense of humor. She certainly deserves credit for calling in the fire, as it were, but she has no plan for putting it out except for pious platitudes like "We have to purposefully and repeatedly broaden the masculine repertoire of dealing with disappointment, anger, desire." Translation: "We have to fix boys." (sigh) Sorry, but the real fault lies in society's - i.e. our - contradictory and impossible demands.
Why is the "New" masculinity, so much like the "Old"? To quote the book,"... it's a mistake to underestimate the strength and durability of the cultural machinery at work on adolescent boys." So true…
Who gains from men sacrificing themselves as soldiers, police, fireman and rescue workers? From men taking on the dangerous jobs of farmer, fisherman, construction worker and sports entertainer? From men as full- and over-time workers unable to spend time with their families? From men taking responsibility for sex?
And on top of all that, now the added demand that men be 'in touch with their feelings' and 'emotionally available.'
Yet even if men do all that, they still get no credit. If society has a problem, it's their fault. "Never hold women accountable."
Boys approaching manhood understand: "Women get options, men get obligations."
So here's a better plan: Stop blaming boys. Stop making boys accountable for solving society's problems. Give boys options - real options, not the phony ones Orenstein holds out to them. Our boys will be better off and so will society.