- Series: Signet
- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Signet (May 1, 1977)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451126580
- ISBN-13: 978-0451086273
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,684,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hazards of Being Male: Surviving the Myth of Masculine Privilege (Signet) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1977
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Top Customer Reviews
This book was originally written in 1976, and is considered one of the classics of the men's rights movement. In it, psychologist Dr. Herb Goldberg takes years of clinical experience, and concludes that men, far from being the privileged sex, are actually out of touch with their bodies and emotions, and unhealthily dependent on women. Further, too many men are on a destructive course that leads to mental illness, alcoholism and death. Each chapter in this fascinating book ends with a list of guidelines that the man should study to examine himself.
Overall, this book knocked me right over. As the author explains his views on men, their thoughts and their situation, I found myself shocked at his ability to see through to the heart of matter. So much of what the author says is true to this very day, more than a quarter of a century later!
My only complaint against this book is that the author attributes so much of men's attributes to social conditioning, whereas more recent studies have shown that many male-female differences are actually biological (see The War Against Boys by Christina Hoff Sommers). But, that said, this is a fascinating book with penetrating insight into the lives of modern men. I highly recommend this book to all men.
He wrote in the Foreword to this 1976 book, "The male has paid a heavy price for his masculine 'privilege' and power. He is out of touch with his emotions and his body. Only a new way of perceiving himself can unlock him from old, destructive patterns and enrich his life... Men need to arrive at their own realization of what is crucial to their survival and well-being. It is my hope that this book will serve as a major step toward awakening each man to the way in which he denies and destroys himself daily. It is only then that he will fulfill himself as a total person and learn how to be a friend and partner to male and female alike."
Here are some additional quotations from the book:
"Unlike some of the problems of women, the problems of men are not readily changed through legisltion." (Pg. 4)
"There is also a commonly-expressed notion that men will somehow be freed as a by-product of the feminist movement.Read more ›
Some of the 1970s lingo comes across as being "dated" and corny now, and some of the case studies describe situations which I think are hard to relate to in the 2010s. I was also somewhat appalled at the degree of selfishness the author seems to advocate, but then again it was the 1970s; "The ME Decade." I think it's possible to find a compromise position where a man can fulfill his social obligations without selling his soul.
It seems like men are somewhat more free to express themselves now than we were 30 years ago, but while reading this book I realized that we are still in pretty much the same predicament as we were in back then. Women are our equals now, but we still end up being forced into restrictive gender roles and made to feel guilty just for being men. Our bodies and our desires are still perceived, subconsciously, as being "shameful" while the female of the species basks in beauty and approval which is the result of a concentrated multimedia effort to boost her self-esteem. There's very little genuine affirmation for men in our popular culture. Instead we get TV ads selling us boner pills that defy nature, because apparently a man is expected to be Johnny-on-the-spot with an erection whenever his woman demands it. This does not seem right to me. With the so-called "masculine privilege" comes a heavy "male responsibility" - and it seems modern woman has been only too happy to leave us all of the latter while securing for herself the benefits of the former.Read more ›
It would be simplistic to explain it as "showing how sexism hurts men as well as women." It's more like a survival guide for men.
The "success trip" chapter was particularly poignant. Made me more compassionate toward men.
I gave a copy to my Dad and he really enjoyed it and said he wished he'd read it when it first came out when he was a young man.