Rating

5

Recommendation

This book examines trends, real and alleged, in male roles. Its main strengths are its numerous examples, interesting interviews and chapter summaries of key points, which make for easy reading. Marian Salzman, Ira Matathia and Ann O'Reilly discuss a wide range of contemporary celebrities and ideas. Readers who have been paying attention to the social changes of the past few decades won't be challenged to think more deeply, but others may find something of interest in this review of trends in the men's rights movement. Just watch out for glib generalizations based on a random list of sources that includes Web sites, small newspapers of unknown accuracy and the occasional scholarly journal. getAbstract cautiously recommends this book to popular culture vultures and to marketers who wish to track social trends.

Summary

"M-ness"

Until recently, male supremacy in Western society was a given. However, things have changed in the decades since World War II. Wave after wave of feminism has moved through society, resulting in the current "postfeminist" era, with its countless changes in gender relations. The most important shift is that the industrialized world now accepts gender equality - more or less. These changes are revolutionary and sweeping for women, but they also affect men who are beginning to create their own definitions of masculinity, called "M-ness" or "My-ness."

Changes in male roles began when technology leveled the labor force playing field. Machines reduced the need for male strength in the workplace. More recently, biotechnological advances have led to additional changes in men's physical roles. Women still need sperm to get pregnant, but they no longer need to be involved with a man to get it. Society no longer demands that women have male partners. They can opt for female partners, male and female partners, friends or no partners at all. Most women continue to want men in their lives, but they don't feel required to have them. As a result, some men feel they've become...

About the Authors

Marian Salzman is the chief author of Next: Trends for the Near Future. Ira Matathia has been involved in marketing for more than 25 years. With Salzman and Matathia, Ann O'Reilly co-authored Buzz: Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand.


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