I'm happy to see that NPR is doing this, and that the are including a well-rounded list of voices including Brett McKay's.
Have any of you heard any of the episodes? Any thoughts on the series as a whole?
In the summer of #yesallwomen, #menpr seeks to join the conversation
NPR is running a series on “Men in America”
By Gabriel Rosenberg
Last year, NPR producer Melissa Gray began thinking about her two sons—specifically, about how to raise them in contemporary society. Were she to suddenly need to parent her boys by herself, Gray realized she had no idea what she should teach them about “manhood.”
“Things have changed, and my default is the 1960s default of what manhood was, and the more I thought about it, I wasn’t the only one,” Gray said.
Over at All Things Considered, Gray brought her concern to the radio show’s “big ideas” meeting last December. She pitched her idea of talking about men, and what it means to be a man in America, to the table, and the conversation heated up.
The resulting series, “Men in America” (or #menpr on Twitter), launched on June 23 and will run for 10 weeks. Hosted by Audie Cornish, “Men in America” will be divided into three sections, focusing on different parts of men’s lives. The first, looking at childhood and early development, is happening now. From there, the series will examine young adulthood—looking at college, dating, relationships, and friendships. The final third focuses on adulthood and the end of life.
Listened to the interview. Although Brett spoke on the "manly virtues", one or two things didn't get mentioned. To my concept of manliness, competence in your arts is a necessary component. As is a continual willingness to learn and improve.
Willingness to learn is not a virtue commonly on display here.
A closed mind is best evidenced by already knowing in advance what others will think or say, so you needn't listen to them.
I've only listened to one spot so far (older fathers); I intend to listen to a few more. My impression on that one: it told us there are more older fathers these days; new info perhaps. It told us that some are first-time-married and some are remarried; the only possible options besides unmarried, to be sure. It told us that the reporter expected they'd worry about being old when the kid hits adulthood, but they don't. The kid might or might not.
That is, it told us almost nothing. This may be the nature of the beast. 3-minute "news" spots are great for telling you if another car bomb went off in Iraq again or where Obama's flying to today. I'm not sure they're capable of covering anything deeper.
OK, listened to Brett's interview. It did contain some deeper info, and I'll credit the interviewer for letting it come through -- but the depth came from Brett.
I was similarly disappointed with the piece on middle aged male suicides;
as someone who is in that demographic and still wrestles with that demon I thought it would provide some good insights.
It turned out to be a reading of statistics, then experts saying the glass is either half empty, or full, given the data, with no conclusion whatsoever.
I just listened to " The new American man does not look like his father". Although some interesting data and points came out I was overall disapointed at the end. The 25 year veteran educator talking about how disrupting young boys are, then immediately talking about putting them in sensitivity classes to curve that was disturbing as a father.
Young boys have more energy and need to learn to focus it through sports, music etc. Sending them to feelings class and expecting them not to act out and to channel their energy and feelings as somone who has 30+ years of life experience is wrong.
I have listened to a few of these and have the same thoughts every time. They do a good job of talking about what males are currently experiencing in America but not what a man should be or what manliness actually is. I wrote an article addressing this a while back which you can find here (What does it mean to be a man?).
I think the series is good for discussion but practically I think it confuses the issue of what manliness is and how to live a virtuous life.
Real men do not listen to NPR. NPR is for women only.
Wrong. Back under the bridge with you.