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Understanding Men's Passages: Discovering the New Map of Men's Lives Paperback – May 4, 1999
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Sheehy also defines male menopause as a period in which hormones, including testosterone--and therefore potency and sex drive--drop, and men suffer from irritability and mood swings. She cites the statistics that claim more than 52 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 70 can expect some degree of impotence--which translates into at least 20 million men. "When ignored or denied, this sexual freeze extends more deeply into every aspect of a man's life than was previously thought," she writes. "It can be an underlying cause of depression, divorce, even suicide."
The men Sheehy interviewed were surprisingly candid about their situations and are glad that they've opened up a discourse. Says one man about the silence regarding sexual changes his father endured during his passage into male menopause: "The only sign of getting older probably was that earlier trip to the bathroom in the morning--which we call the six a.m. passage." In addition to covering male menopause and the latest treatments for impotence, Sheehy also includes chapters on how to handle empty-nest syndrome, job downsizing, and the strain on marriage that retirement brings about, but her main point rings clear throughout: "We need an expanded definition of manliness." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the book, but Sheey sometimes overuses examples from men who, quite frankly, do not quite fit the norm (rich, famous, and powerful). It appears that data supporting Sheey's book came from men in all walks of life. Why then, does she often use interview data from men who the average reader cannot identify with? When reading through this book, I sometimes wondered if Sheey met the elusive "every man" in each of us, but truly does not know the common personality characteristics that we, as men, exhibit. She also mentions virtually nothing about single men.
Strengths: The cover is eye-catching. And in general, Sheey is a gifted writer who draws the reader into her train of thought. She has also really done well in connecting with medical personnel who are familiar with men's health issues. Parts IV, V, and VI were perhaps my favorite parts of the book to read.
Years ago, I read Sheey's "Passages" for a class on adulthood and aging. She goes beyond that book in "Understanding Men's Passages," but not quite enough.
The good side is that she interviews men whose stories I could understand and whose words touched my pain. There are plenty of stories from men that have been where I'm going now at age 48. About 25 percent of the stories made sense to me and filled in more than a few puzzle pieces in my life.
The bad side is having a good writer like Gail Sheehy write a book about the male world is like Newt Gingrich writing a book about lesbian life. Eventhough the writer tries hard not to interject their innate opinion it comes through, and I as a man resented and felt hurt at the stereotyping the male species, the paragraphs that you just don't say to a guy that's down on his luck, and the "how great women are doing these days."
The book does contain some wisdom that I'm glad I found: older men talking about their lives. The downside is I had to read some passages that just ripped my guts out . . . almost like stepping on a landmine.
I'm glad, though, that I read it.
truth: the body of real things, events, and facts.
propaganda: ideas, facts, or allegations spread to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause.
I had heard some positive comments about Sheehy's book and being a 44 year-old man, was anxious to read it. While her chronicling of men's feelings are accurate, her "solutions" are lacking.
Whenever I read the book, I found myself depressed (even my wife noted that.) I finally realized that Sheehy's advice was really feminist, humanist ideology in a subtle disguise. In her view, the way for us men to successfully navigate our passages and transform ourselves is to accept the hard-core feminist agenda and to throw off the shackles of established religions. Of course she does not state that outright, but the images she paints in her book are of hapless men struggling in a society where women are gaining more prominence. If we don't accept the fact that men are losing power, we will not be transformed.
The real issue with which men are struggling is not about losing power, but losing respect. Men are criticized at every turn by women; discrimination against men is not only tolerated but is policy in many corporations; women make disparaging remarks about men in the workplace -- the type of remarks that would be offensive if they were made about women or a minority group.
I said that Sheehy's promotion of feminist ideology was subtle -- subtle until she launched her attack on Bill McCartney and the Promise Keepers. I attended two of the large rallies upon the invitation of a good friend and found the movement contrary to my Roman Catholic sensibilites.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is horrendous. Author Gail Sheehy is obviously not a man, and unfortunately she doesn't know anything about us either. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ultrabasic
I thought this book could be of some help to me, but I was mistaken. The author constantly uses two types of men for her examples. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D. Reever
Excellent!!! Men have a difficult time in the life transitions and this book no only clarifies what they are going through but also shows they are normal. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Liana Fortugno
A book of this kind is very much needed. Men often feel adrift, lost in contemporary society. Our culture lacks a common mythology that charts our path through life and this book... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Abner Rosenweig