The Man They Wanted Me to Be

The Man They Wanted Me to Be

Toxic Masculinity and A Crisis of Our Own Making

Book - 2019
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Based on the provocative and popular New York Times op-ed, this memoir alternates between the examination of a working-class upbringing and a cultural analysis of the historical, psychological, and sociological sources that make up the roots of toxic masculinity and its impact on society.

As progressivism changes American society, and globalism shifts labor away from traditional manufacturing, the roles that have been prescribed to men since the Industrial Revolution have been rendered obsolete. Donald Trump's campaign successfully leveraged male resentment and entitlement, and now, with Trump as president and the rise of the #MeToo movement, it's clear that our current definitions of masculinity are outdated and even dangerous.

Deeply personal and thoroughly researched, the author of The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore has turned his keen eye to our current crisis of masculinity using his upbringing in rural Indiana to examine the personal and societal dangers of the patriarchy. The Man They Wanted Me to Be examines how we teach boys what's expected of men in America, and the long-term effects of that socialization―which include depression, shorter lives, misogyny, and suicide. Sexton turns his keen eye to the establishment of the racist patriarchal structure which has favored white men, and investigates the personal and societal dangers of such outdated definitions of manhood.

"By carefully and soberly examining his own story, Sexton deconstructs American life and gives many examples of how pervasive toxic masculinity is in our culture." ―Henry Rollins, Los Angeles Times

"This book is critically important to our historical moment . . . Crackles with intensity and absolutely refuses to allow the reader to look away for even a moment from the blight that toxic masculinity in America has wrought." ―Nicholas Cannariato, NPR

Publisher: Berkeley, California : Counterpoint, 2019.
Edition: First hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781640091818
Branch Call Number: 305.3109 SEXTON J
Characteristics: 254 pages ; 24 cm


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May 26, 2021

Absolute 'woke' garbage. I laughed out loud when reading this so if unintended humor is what you're looking for I highly recommend it, but if you're serious about raising your son as a girl then this is a 'go to' book for you. I'm posting the same comment on the other 'woke' books I read recently that I chose from the library's staff of 'woke' recommended reading, which was really pathetic on their part. I didn't realize I paid property taxes to fund political indoctrination from people who can simply work a computer and file books and other materials properly. Who would have guessed that the most enlightened among us work at the library on the taxpayer's dime?? And this particular author struck me as completely wrong about the 'patriarchy'. Let's retitle the book honestly, shall we?

Title 1 - "I Whine, Therefore I Am"
Title 2 - "All Wymyn Good, All Men Bad"
Title 3 - "Waaaahhhhhh - I Want My Mommy"

Sep 07, 2019

Sexton is like a physician correctly observing the symptoms but totally wrong-headed about the diagnosis.

He is correct that boys inducted into manhood take on a heavy burden of emotional withdrawal and isolation both from their bodies and from themselves. Correct to point out the way men's work - long hours, separation from loved ones and dangerous conditions - reinforces those toxicities.

Where he goes wrong, though, is in attributing men's motives to preserving the patriarchy and male power. The truth is just the opposite: men are trained to sacrifice themselves for others - wives, children, and other men - to earn money, provide entertainment as in professional sports, or protect from harm as in rescuing from floods and hurricanes, or, at the extreme, war.

He is totally wrong, therefore, in calling for men to change themselves while requiring nothing from women and society at large.


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