At a time of disruption in the workforce, rapidly shifting gender norms, a dearth of role models and declines in mental health, men are facing a distinct set of challenges that are prompting a renewed understanding of masculinity. For the last few years, viral right-of-center personalities have dominated the conversation offering men guidance that much of mainstream media has viewed as radioactive. But as the challenges men face become more apparent, others are recognizing the issue at hand isn’t just a right-wing conspiracy.
This week’s guest is our very ownwho recently wrote a brilliant long-form essay in The Washington Post, “Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness”. Christine scrutinizes both the provocative influencers on masculinity as well as mainstream commentators who’ve denied the problem exists, all while asking what a healthier masculinity looks like that isn’t simply femininity. The conversation with and dives into how the decline of religion along with social and economic dislocation have impeded relationship-building. Can a softer masculinity emerge and thrive, or is it simply incompatible in a vigorously competitive world? And what do the world’s societies risk by leaving men to the wilderness?
In the full episode (for paying subscribers only) the three wade into a conversation around how the aspects of masculinity and religion interplay with fascism as they explore variants represented in religious figures including Jesus, King David and the Prophet Muhammad. They also discuss how periods of wartime have shaped men’s sense of purpose.
“Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness,” by Christine Emba (The Washington Post).
“The Ideal Man Exists,” by Christine Emba. (Wisdom of Crowds).
Our epic episode with the pseudonymous writer
Rethinking Sex: A Provocation, by Christine Emba (Amazon).
“What if We’re the Bad Guys?” by David Brooks (The New York Times).
Of Boys and Men, by Richard V. Reeves (Amazon).
War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, by Chris Hedges (Amazon).
An interview with author Beverly Gage on her book, G-Man, about J. Edgar Hoover (Reason).
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