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Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465018424
  • ASIN: B006CDF06I
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,012,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What do Adam Sandler movies, Maxim magazine, and South Park have in common? According to journalist Hymowitz's unpersuasive polemic, they are compelling evidence that "crudity is at the heart of the child-man persona," an increasingly ubiquitous personality type among men age 20–40 who don't grow up because they don't have to. Weaving together the socioeconomic and cultural paradigm shifts of the last half-century, Hymowitz identifies the appearance of "a new stage of life" in developed societies—pre-adulthood—where the traditional life-script: grow up, marry, have children, and die, is now: "What do I want to do with my life?" But in a world where social demands no longer equate manhood with maturity, frat dudes, nerds, geeks, and emo-boys can remain in suspended postadolescence, while women, whose biological clocks are ticking, are forced to choose between single parenthood and casting their lot with a "child-man." It's a provocative argument that Hymowitz advances with considerable spirit, but she conflates character with maturity, and her blaming feminism for the infantilization of men wrests more power and control away from men, suggesting that they can't develop a sense of responsibility without a woman's help. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review

A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
“Kay Hymowitz has written a fascinating and important book—one that should be read by every man, woman and man-child in America. So put down your Wii controller, click off the Tucker Max blog, and pick up Manning Up. You won’t regret it.”

Pamela Paul, author of The Starter Marriage
“With spot-on detail and zero dogma, Kay Hymowitz has written a smart, incisive analysis of the woes troubling today’s young men, oft saddled with the dreary label, ‘adultescents.’ Anyone interested in the state of the sexes will want to read Hymowitz’s wise, accessible and compassionate take.”

William J. Bennett
Manning Up is an important portrayal of the disintegrating covenant that once existed between the sexes.  And few can do this better than Kay Hymowitz. She untangles the complex forces threatening marriage for even the most privileged young Americans.”

Caitlin Flanagan, author of To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife
“In her fascinating, brutally honest new book, Kay Hymowitz describes an unintended consequence of the successes of feminism: the creation of a huge generation of aging frat boys, men who have discovered—in the spray tanned, bikini-waxed wonderland of post-feminism—a shangrila they are only too happy to inhabit.  Freed from the old tests of manhood, such as the ability to marry and provide for a woman and children, they are biding their time, and leaving many of the best and brightest young women wondering, ‘where did all the good men go?’  Manning Up is an important book for parents, educators and most of all, for today’s young women.”

Neil Howe, co-author of Millenials Rising: The Next Great Generation
“Kay Hymowitz is a brilliant observer of cultural and social trends in America.  Manning Up moves in a crescendo of accelerating energy from first chapter to last.  Any reader who has ever wondered about changing gender roles and the purpose of marriage in the lives of our friends and relatives—or in our own lives—will be impressed and amazed.  If you are between age 20 and 50, reading this book may cause you to re-plan your own life.  Whatever your age, it will certainly cause you to rethink our collective future.”

Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail
“Kay Hymowitz does an exacting job describing the growing flock of man/children we're seeing, and she lays out the disturbing reality of the ‘marriageable mate’ dilemma that once affected only black women but has now become a broader phenomenon. Not only are there fewer college-educated men to marry, but many of those men who are available are little more than man/children—not anyone you would want your daughters to marry!”

Mark Bauerlein, author of The Dumbest Generation
“If you’re curious as to why university admissions officers have to scramble these days to keep their entering classes at less than 60% female, or if you find that a sports bar on a Saturday afternoon sounds like a high school locker room, Kay Hymowitz’s Manning Up provides an illuminating response.  It’s not because feminism has emasculated men, or because the media parade one man-boy after another (Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, The Man Show . . .).  It’s because of the Knowledge Economy.  Manhood used to happen through marriage and fatherhood, boys becoming men by assuming caretaking responsibilities, usually by taking jobs in manufacturing.  It made them grow up.  The Knowledge Economy delays the process.  It keeps them longer in school, and many of the jobs it offers favor women (design, communications).  Drawing evocatively from films and novels, video games, blogs and research reports, female despair and male slackerdom, Hymowitz derives a fresh and pointed take on the Mars-and-Venus gender gap.  This is the startling and persuasive news she imparts, an unintended consequence of the knowledge boom.  More prosperity and innovation and media—but at a profound cost to family and society: the immaturity of men.”

Kirkus Reviews
“Hymowitz neither critiques feminism nor apologizes for modern male behavior. Rather, she offers enlightened observations to help women and men—who still say they want careers and families—make sense of cultural paradigms no longer based on the traditional life-scripts that once delineated gender roles. … A witty and insightful cultural analysis.”
 
People Magazine
“ruefully amusing”

 

Feministing.com
“Hymowitz…has a sense of humor, a fierce grasp on historical research (she puts this whole thing into centuries of perspective), and a powerful argument.”

Detroit
News
“Clever… Hymowitz makes the realistic argument that men and women alike might want to think hard about finding a mate who will also, one day, be a good parent.”

 

Washington Times
“Hymowitz does a terrific job of anatomizing the problem and setting out its less salubrious social consequences."


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Customer Reviews

Hymowitz wrote a well researched thought provoking book.
Gaetan Lion
And she rightly states that a man with a family is much more motivated to act responsibly, if for no other reason than a duty to provide for and protect his children.
SBK479
Women have a victim group and a voting bloc that is dedicated to their interests within ours and all other Western democracies, men do not.
Dustin Jarl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

168 of 181 people found the following review helpful By SBK479 on March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
The biggest problem with this book is not its failure to present a problem, but its failure to present it in a way people will take it seriously.

Her thesis breaks down like this:

1. Feminism elevated women to new opportunities they did not have before the 1960s, most notably in the workplace, but also in their ability to hold off on having children.

2. The change in our economy from manufacturing towards a service economy (which the author refers to as a Knowledge Economy) has meant a shift towards an economy that favors women based on their social tendencies and natural abilities. This, combined with a female-centric education system and popular culture, has made American society into a woman's world.

3. Men grow up in this society with little expected of them. And Adam Sandler movies are stupid.

4. Despite their newfound economic independence, women still possess a great desire to marry up, meaning that men in their 20s, unless they have high status, likely will not be able to attract desirable mates until their 30s when the pool of available men begins to dry up. So women don't need men, but still want a man who earns more than hey do.

5. Women love jerks, because jerks are dominant. This is despite the fact that jerks are incapable of ever being anything other than jerks. Modern dating culture, which has always encouraged caddish behavior from men, now encourages women to be equally promiscuous. The rise of Game theory encourages elaborate seduction techniques to trick women into bed. In other words, we're just doing what chimps do.

6.
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261 of 311 people found the following review helpful By Eric Jackson on March 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Manning Up is the latest addition to the seemingly endless stream of books which examines the inadequacy of men. What sets it apart from the typical feminist screed is a tone that is neither triumphalist nor bitter. It's not at all surprising that Hymowitz is married and has children; even when criticizing man for his childish ways, she's cognizant of the precarious position in which he finds himself. That her book fails to convince is a point against it but it contains enough truth to be mined by the attentive reader. In a future effort, the author herself may buttress her inadequate solution by offering advice for women, who have created their own misfortune.

Hymowitz provides a good sketch of how we have arrived at the present predicament. In her writings on the successes of feminism, she deserves special credit for singling out the role played by "nineteenth- and twentieth-century market capitalism" in building "foundations of the New Girl Order." She notes that, increasingly, women are succeeding in the "knowledge economy", while men are falling behind--opting out as they either lack the skills or the ambition to compete. Such women are not inclined to notice--let alone date--those men who prefer bumming around in basements. These trends are disconcerting because of female preferences: women tend to date men of higher status. Success, then, seems to reduce the pool of available men. But--and this is important--this occurs only because women are reluctant to alter their preferences to date a less desirable man.

Although Hymowitz focuses on the alienation men have experienced, and rightly notes that the trend goes back more than a century, she doesn't seem to recognize its fundamental importance.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By dealman on July 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Kay seems to believe that women are entitled to a man who will support them in marriage and after divorce. Women are entitled to take a man's children and demand that he hand over his paycheck until they're grown. Women are entitled to men who are willing to go die for them. Women are also entitled to reject men entirely if they so choose. But men are entitled to none of it.

Instead, men should be happy to find a promiscuous tart who already has a couple of kids for him to support and who will live with him just long enough to produce a couple more before leaving him and claiming that she is now entitled to half his stuff and lifelong support payments under threat of allegations that he was abusive.

Sorry Kay, men don't want the nightmare offered by the modern, liberated women. Men are finding that shucking to role of provider and protector is quite liberating. They don't have to grow up as fast. They don't have to work as hard. They can actually enjoy life. Not only that, but because young women have become such promiscuous sluts, men can "hook up" with as many or as few as they like and the kept woman and all the baggage that comes with her is just as irrelevant to the young man as a bicycle to a fish.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jack Donovan on May 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kay Hymowitz's piece for the Wall Street Journal, titled "Where Have The Good Men Gone?" drew a lot of criticism from men and women alike. It's old news now, but I just got around to reading her book Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys.

With either help or direction from her publishers, Hymowitz baited readers with a yellow op-ed, insulting cover art and a goading thesis. At least Micheal Kimmel deigned to call his frat-boy scapegoats "guys." Hymowitz refers to those guys as "child-men" and the book cover shows a baby dressed as a man. It was a sensationalistic and trashy move, but we live in a sensationalistic, trashy culture.

The real problem is that this belittling detracted from the more measured -- and often sympathetic -- tone of the book itself.

Hymowitz knows that the 20-something, Gen-Y guys she is talking about aren't children. Her argument is that they are stuck in an extended adolescence -- what she calls "preadulthood" -- that was a necessary byproduct of the knowledge economy.

My paternal grandfather never graduated from high school. He went straight to work. After spending WWII in the Navy, he ended up working for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and stayed on there until he retired.

Jobs like that are few and far between these days. Kids raised in the 80s, 90s and aughts were raised to go to college and "find themselves" in some fulfilling career, working with their heads instead of their backs. The stable lunch pail jobs were often outsourced, and replaced with job growth in more creative, exciting jobs. These jobs require education and many offer no linear career path, so if young people want to be "fulfilled" by their careers, they often have to put off having getting married and having children.
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