Newsweek magazine recently published an article, "Man Up! The Traditional Male Is an Endangered Species, It’s time to re-think masculinity" which seems to have received mixed reviews. On the O'Reilly show on FOX News, the host, Bill O'Reilly appeared to avoid a meaningful discussion with guest Gretchen Carlson by resorting to childish antics that did nothing but dummy down the conversation.
It does appear that the man we grew up with has gone through an evolution. While the macho men our mothers and grandmothers married still exist in our society, there has been a transformation of a man who accepts, even embraces his role not only as professionals and husbands, but also as involved fathers and people who want to make a difference in society. O'Reilly was so busy reaffirming to his audience his own masculinity that it seems he missed the point of the conversation. The question that the Newsweek article poses is, does the traditional male role hold back men in the modern era - is it better for men to be at touch with their feminine side?
In a Forbes article, author Dr. Lois Frankel states, "Now, those of us who have been paying any attention at all for the past few years know that savvy men no longer aspire to be the Marlboro Man, but rather someone like Barack Obama or Brad Pitt. In fact, when interviewed on the Today Show by Matt Lauer the authors pointed to both of them as good examples of men who have successfully embraced their roles not only as professionals and husbands, but also as involved fathers and people who want to make a difference in society."
On the Mediaite website, author Rachel Sklar provides some great stats where the Newsweek article has a few holes. I encourage you to check out her piece.
Nonetheless, it does raise a good point, do we need to raise our boys to be more connected with their feminine side? I would say yes. Without a doubt! I want to raise boys are as Frankel put it, "inclusive, listen, reward rather than punish, encourage rather than disparage — who, generally speaking, exhibit more stereotypically feminine characteristics. So, in this regard, rethinking masculinity is a must for survival."