Men on the sidelines? ‘Man Out’ author claims men in America are in decline as the establishment looks away
Dec. 27, 2018 – 4:59 – More men are disconnected from work, family and community life in America, finds former New York Times reporter Andrew Yarrow, author of the new book ‘Man Out: Men on the Sidelines of American Life.’
Although I am on the left on most issues, I’ve been troubled by the fact that mostly conservative media have picked up on problems facing men, while more progressive media have tended to shy away these issues.
Helping all people in physical, socioeconomic, and psychological distress or are who suffering should be a defining characteristic of a humane, caring, and democratic society, but—once again, in our bitterly divided times—these foundational goals have been politicized: Many on the right have taken up the cause of men often to bash feminism and women, and many on the left avoid the real problems of a large minority of American men because even talking about them would be seen as politically incorrect.
Men have been oppressors of women for eons and men have done many horrible things to women, as the #MeToo movement has rightly emphasized, but men, or white men (or men of any other race or ethnicity), are not a monolithic group. There are many good men who believe in gender equity and act accordingly. There also many men who are struggling—with an economy that has pushed nearly 1 in 5 25-64-year-old men out of the work force and that has left many young men in their 20s and 30s living in their parents’ homes; a rising incidence of physical and mental health problems that have led white male life expectancy to decline and men to be 2 to 3 1/2 times more likely to die of drug overdoses and suicide, and much more likely than women to be isolated (whether with video games or as lonely older men); a culture that has treated men as second-class parents and that has sent mixed messages about masculinity and fueled misogyny. Yes, in many ways, men are the problem, but it is also true that millions of men have problems that also affect women, children, and society at large.
These should not be partisan issues.
See my new book: Man Out: Men on the Sidelines of American Life