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Invisible Men: Men's Inner Lives and the Consequences of Silence Hardcover – December 20, 2011
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“Michael Addis, a leading expert on the psychology of men, gives us a lens through which to see and understand the invisible men in our lives and provides a set of powerful tools to overcome the forces that keep men invisible. The messages and strategies in Invisible Men are unique and invaluable for men and for all the people who love them.” ―Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Yale University and author of Women Who Think Too Much
“The world would be a better place if everyone--men and women--read this groundbreaking book on the silence and invisibility that surrounds the lives of so many men.” ―Terry Bradshaw, Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback and FOX Sports Broadcaster
“Thoughtful, articulate, and most importantly, compassionate--Michael Addis gives a name to the problem that affects so many men and their partners, and helps us understand what we can do about it.” ―Professor of Psychology at the University of Mary Washington, and author of The Masculine Self
“In Invisible Men, Dr. Michael Addis puts his finger on a critical part of the male experience, namely, keeping our vulnerable inner lives hidden. This is an important and critically needed book for every man, and every woman who cares about boys and men in her life, and who wants to understand and loosen the vice grip of invisibility and silence.” ―James Mahalik, Professor of Counseling Psychology, Boston College
About the Author
Michael E. Addis, Ph.D., has published more than seventy articles and books. He is a recipient of the American Psychological Association's David Shakow Award and the New Researcher Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Addis is a professor of psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and lives in central Massachusetts.
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The book itself came packaged well, very quickly and in pristine condition! Happy customer.
Like so many people who write about gender and gender roles, Addis goes to the usual extreme of implying very strongly that all differences among the sexes are socially constructed. No doubt that's true to a large extent, but there's no such thing as a human raised without a social structure around him or her. For this reason, any effort to eliminate the reality of socialization with the stroke of a theoretical pen comes across as forced, and that's the case here. Addis focuses a great deal on all the harm that male socialization does to men, but never mentions any of the benefits (and there have to be some - right?). There's also the implication that fathers who try toughen their sons up are hurting them; but Addis might have considered the idea that most fathers know how tough the world is, and they know that you have to be tough so that you don't get eaten alive. But I don't see this reality acknowledged anywhere.
I'm being a little tough on the book, but the author's heart is in the right place, and despite my criticisms, I found myself agreeing with a lot of what he says. He talks about the three types of silence men experience - personal, private, public - and while I found the 3 Ps a little too perfect at first, the more I thought about it, the more I saw the value of thinking in these terms. Addis redefines homophobia as not "fear of homosexuals" but rather "fear of the same (i.e., men)" or "fear of being femmed" - and that's a powerful way of looking at the term. For me, though, the most insightful analysis was the idea of social policing, of male behavior that keeps other men in line with the accepted tenets of masculinity. Since reading this book, I've become hyper-aware of this stuff, and it makes more sense to me every day.
Not a perfect book, and it would have benefited from a bit more nuance, but a good, quick read (sometimes confusing, though, because the structure of a few chapters gets muddled because the author tries to speak simultaneously to men and to women who are in relationships with "silent" and "invisible" men). Oh, and that whole silence and invisibility thing - Silence makes a lot of sense and should have been the title. Invisible is too much of a stretch.
In his book, Dr. Addis convenes a conversation, calling us to attend to the complex problems resulting from the invisibility of men. He adroitly blends the use of research and data with anecdotal and personal experiences to examine cause, effect, and the potential for change. He demonstrates his own vulnerabilities and shares moments from his life where he, himself, has become entangled in the prevailing societal pressure to remain silent and live inside stereotypically male norms.
This book is informative and entertaining, with simple exercises for men, women and couples which are designed to facilitate more authentic human engagement.
Dr. Addis is leading the way in challenging norms and conventional behavior in service to the promotion of the well being of men.