- Hardcover: 248 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (March 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465018424
- ISBN-13: 978-0465018420
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 68 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,265,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys Hardcover – March 1, 2011
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
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.”
“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.”
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book goes into depth only on the latter of these topics. The exposition is mostly the sort of stuff you might get in people magazine.
The author had an idea and a catchy title and she wrote it as hurriedly as she could.
Not good. Save your money
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. This is true of males and females alike, and while Hymowitz makes much of the "New Girl Order," she acknowledges that those successful girls are also stuck in a kind of pre-adulthood, too. However, they hear their biological clocks ticking, and they are up against a pressure to get things underway that simply isn't as pressing for males.
Hymowitz overplays the size and importance of the creative class -- while those jobs abound in major metropolitan areas (like New York -- Hymowitz lives in Brooklyn), there are too many graphic designers, web designers, script writers and photographers everywhere else. She also seems to inhabit a mental world where everyone went to Brown or Wesleyan or some posh east coast school, and one wonders if she is writing about the sexes in America, or just Sex in the City. She is correct, though, that the knowledge and service economies demanded skills which matched female tendencies. Hymowitz acknowledges that whether nature or nurture is to blame -- she's not sure herself -- "manufacturing's loss has been women's gain" She also notes that while males aged 13-34 have eluded marketers, young females buy a lot of stuff, and it made sense for employers to look for women to help them create designs and promotions that appealed to their target demographics. This is easy enough to verify. I've noted for years that design seems to be getting "cuter" and virtually all of the new businesses in a neighborhood near to me were created by and for women. My favorite is "branch and birdie : retail catering to the modern home, woman and child." (Notice who is missing...) She writes of the "Bridget Jones economy":
"the uncomfortable truth is that youthful female careerism is closely intertwined with the growth of consumption for two reasons. First, working women make and spend a lot of money. Second, women can find satisfying (passion-filled?) careers centered around the sorts of products on which women like to spend money."
Refreshingly, the author doesn't blame the ad agencies or the media for pandering to women or to her child-men; she understands that most successful marketing trends exploit an existing demand.
When it comes to feminist heroes and doctrine, Hymowitz is not afraid to criticize Betty Friedan, who she portrays as being a bit spoiled and delusional, or Micheal Kimmel. She dismisses Kimmel's tired 1970s neo-Marxist race and gender "entitlement" narrative tidily:
"The college-educated inhabitants of Kimmel's Guyland never knew a world where women weren't lawyers and managers or where slayers named Buffy didn't take care of the vampires."
Indeed, Hymowitz is a lot more sympathetic to the plight of young men than Kimmel. She acknowledges that there are demographic, economic, technological, cultural and hormonal reasons why young men haven't "evolved" into "postfeminist mensches." Despite the fact that she hysterically called Roissy an "evil" misogynist, she recognizes that the guys who she calls "Darwinians" have "the preponderance of evidence in their corner." Males and females, according to Hymowitz, have biological clocks running at different speeds, and due to feminism, technology and changes in the economy, males and females alike have little motivation to marry early or produce a population-sustaining brood.
Hymowitz matches Kimmel's bitterness, sublimated envy and ideological blindness with a schoolmarmish, obsessive horror of crude boyish humor -- which is I imagine how she justifies the "child-man" moniker. But when she's not wagging her finger or harrumphing about Maxim or Adam Sandler movies, she seems to understand that our society has made it clear that men are expendable as fathers and even in the workplace -- so they sometimes act accordingly. Hymowitz believes that most men want families, albeit after the age when women want them, and she says that men will have to "man up" if they want to have those families. This feels like an afterthought, because while she spends the entire book outlining the problems young men and women face she offers no solutions whatsoever. She admits that the modern young man is "free as men have never been free before," but gives no suggestions as to changes that could be made to encourage men to invest in families and careers before they've had their fill of beer and sluts.
Perhaps she realizes the kind of changes that would be necessary, and doesn't dare.
(Originally published at [...])
Most recent customer reviews
Other reviewers cover it's myriad defects more than adequately.Read more