NOTE FROM DR. WAYNE BAKER: This week, we welcome back our popular contributing columnist Terry Gallagher for the first of a number of summer series in OurValues.
Each new outrage against women like what happened in Isla Vista, California, in May raises questions about men and how they got this way.
In the Isla Vista case, a toxic mix of mental illness, hatred of women and access to weapons resulted in mass murder. One of the responses has been the Twitter phenomenon with the hashtag #yesallwomen, a platform providing women the opportunity to share examples of misogyny, discrimination, harassment and violence. Overall, the hashtag is seen as a response to the lame male alibi: Not all men are guilty of such abominations.
On the other hand, men have found themselves looking at the world in new ways over the last two or three generations—and many are not liking what they see. For a lot of them, the response has been to withdraw, to retreat, to take themselves out of the mix, to stop participating.
The National Public Radio program All Things Considered is running a series this summer on men in America, with the premise that “today’s men have to reconcile old ideas of masculinity with new economic realities.” (The Columbia Journalism Review just reported on this convergence of conversations, headlined “In the summer of #yesallwomen, #menpr seeks to join the conversation.”)
So far, the NPR series has included some great stories about role models, new models of parenting, and objects men equate with manliness today, including motorcycles, chainsaws, and a “man pan,” a cast-iron skillet.
How do those fit your ideas of manhood?
Are good men really that hard to find?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS THIS SUMMER: Terry Gallagher will write four OurValues series in the summer of 2014. He also is working on a book-length collection of his reflections on American culture and values. In recent years, he has written about a wide range of topics: baseball, generosity, friendship, death, the Catholic church and home-made soup. You can read more than 100 of his past columns by clicking on this link. Email us at [email protected] with suggestions for Terry. And Please, we always invite you to comment (below) or to share this column on Facebook (use the blue-“f” icons).
- What’s up with men? Are you following #yesallwomen? Or, #menpr?
- What’s up with men? Where are the men in higher education?
- What’s up with men? Do our boys face more dangers than our girls?
- What’s up with men? Why are men shunning volunteerism?
- What’s up with men? What would you put in your man cave?