Review published on March 11, 2018.
In these times of #Metoo, high profile scandals involving a lot of people in the public eye, and more noted levels of toxic masculinity, Man Up by Rebecca Asher is a timely, well-researched study into the issue of where traditional male behaviour fits in the world.
The book looks at the issues that are facing the ideal and concept of what makes masculinity. So the books studies the main stage of life, from school, the teenage years and adolescence, to masculinity in the workplace, fatherhood, friendships between men at all stages in life, and the traditional male bonding activities, as well as how they shift and change over time.
Using a lot scientific studies to back up her findings, Rebecca Asher puts forward a number of theories and ideas about what masculinity is and how it has changed in the internet era. As a deputy editor of Woman’s Hour, she will be aware that many of these issues are becoming more prevalent, with the easier spreading of new stories and right-wing and left-wing publications and political bodies taking opposing sides on the issue.
However, the book is not about what is happening now, it is about changing how things might be in the future, and how do boys find their way to being good men, so how we treat boys and girls at school is something of an issue, with boys falling behind in academic circles, whilst their behaviour can lead exclusion and expulsion, or their prospects in the job market as a result of this.
The book is not really a call to arms, as the studies used only look at how things have been, rather than looking at how they could be, but the book is an interesting and informative read with plenty to say, for both genders, about the challenges that face the human race as a whole.
Ben Macnair 3/3
Man Up: How do Boys Become Better Men by Rebecca Asher
Vintage 9781784701802 pbk May 2017
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