In the US, We Have a 'Crisis of Masculinity'

Christine Emba of the 'Washington Post' assesses the state of men
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2023 6:43 AM CDT
In the US, We Have a 'Crisis of Masculinity'
   (Getty / Nastco)

"Worrying about the state of our men is an American tradition," writes Christine Emba in a Washington Post essay. But she argues that a confluence of cultural, socioeconomic, and technological factors has delivered an unprecedented whammy to today's men, particularly young men. In this "crisis of masculinity," many are confused, whipsawed between conflicting extremes of advice. When one of her interviewees talks about how some women applaud the idea of men shedding their masculinity but then don't want to have sex or to partner with the same guy as a result, Emba writes, "I, a heterosexual woman, cringed in recognition." On the other hand, she complains about a "right-wing vision of masculinity" (think Andrew Tate) that she sees as dangerous.

"Much of the content in the online men's space is misogyny masquerading as being simply pro-male, advocating a return to a strict hierarchy in which a particular kind of man deserves to rule over everyone else," writes Emba. Still, while it's easy to lampoon this line of thinking, "what critics miss is that if there were nothing valid at the core of these constructs, they wouldn't command this sort of popularity," writes Emba. "People need codes for how to be human. And when those aren't easily found, they'll take whatever is offered, no matter what else is attached." Emba sees a way forward, one that takes elements "from models of the past" and adapts them to the modern day. "It's a vision of gender that's not androgynous but still equal, and relies on character, not just biology." Read the full essay. (Read more masculinity stories.)

Stories to sink your teeth into.
Get our roundup of longform stories every Saturday.
Sign up
We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.