Man Up or Man Down? Newsweek Redefines Masculinity

September 28, 2010 11:18

A healthy masculinity should motivate men to find their way in this new world of changed economic realities and work opportunities, and to do this while remaining men.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., at


As the magazine’s current cover story asserts, “The prevailing codes of manhood have yet to adjust to the changing demands on men.” With this cover story dedicated to “rethinking” masculinity, Newsweek launches itself into a very relevant cultural conversation.

By some estimates, eight out of ten jobs lost in the recession were in sectors of the economy that are traditionally dominated by men, such as construction and manufacturing. In 1945, the male share of the labor force was 70 percent. Now it is less than 50 percent. In the nation’s largest cities, women often make more than men on average do. Women now outnumber men at virtually every level of higher education, starting with a six to four advantage in undergraduate registrations.

American readers of the magazine are likely to note very quickly that Romano and Dokoupil seem quite enamored with Europe and its welfare and social policies. They highlight Sweden’s liberal parental leave policy as evidence of how government can act to redefine a reality as basic and ingrained as gender roles.

A true masculinity is grounded in a man’s determination to fulfill his manhood in being a good husband, father, citizen, worker, leader, and friend — one who makes a difference, fulfills a role for others, and devotes his life to these tasks. Most of our fathers went to work early and toiled all day because they knew it was their duty to put bread on the table, a roof over our heads, and a future in front of us. They made their way to ball games and school events dead tired, went home and took care of things, and then got up and did it all over again the next day.

We had better hope that the “new masculinity” of the uncharted future is one that leads that boy and his generation to become authentic and faithful men.


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