Man Disconnected #3: Young men in yet more crisis!

Chapter 12: Sour Grapes: Entitlement Versus Reality 

Young men are brought up being told that they can be whatever they can be, without even trying, and one thing which perpetuates this illusion is the education system: grade inflation has taken place over the last decades with more people getting grade As and second class upper degrees than in the past, with less work being done.

At some point, however, young men have to realize the ‘great disappointment’: the moment they realize they are not as able as they think they are. But the problem today is that they haven’t been prepared for this realization through their childhood or adolescence.

Both the cause and effect of this is the online world: boys growing up in unreality, and then retreating further into it when they realize actual reality does not match up to their own perception of themselves.

Chapter 13: The Rise of Women?

The chapter starts with a review of women’s ‘progress’, pointing out that women are increasingly learning to live without men, but that men’s issues need to be taken into account if we are to have a truly equal society – especially where men’s parenting rights are concerned, given that equal numbers of men and women would ‘rather be at home raising a family’ than working, but maternity rights tend to favour women.

The rest of the chapter outlines some of the overlapping issues men and women face dealing with such things as sexuality – Zimbardo and Coulombe outline how women, as well as men, face problems expressing their true feelings, how girls are more obsessed with their online networks than boys, and also how women are negatively affected by unrealistic ideas about romantic relationships portrayed in movies (they expect too much, in short).

The chapter rounds off with an interesting discussion how both men and women are generally not sexually liberated – what has happened since the 1970s is that porn has become liberated, and as a result we are now suffering the ‘Beyonce Effect’: we have certain ideas about what it means to be ‘sexually liberated’ provided to us by the media, but these are actually quite narrow and shallow ideas about sexuality.

Chapter 14: Patriarchy Myths

This chapter starts by suggesting that men are actually disadvantaged by patriarchy: men are effectively socialised into being more responsible than women: and the reason more men do STEM subjects and have higher paying careers is because they are brought up thinking it is their role to provide.

We may have equal rights, but men are expected to do more – at least according to male socialisation.

Evidence that men suffer more than women in society:

In the final sections of this chapter Zimbardo outlines how men have worse lives than women in the following respects:

  • Men die earlier than women
  • Men suffer from bottling up emotions
  • The amount of sexual violence experienced by men from men and women is under-reported, and not treated seriously. And, as role reversal takes place, this is likely to increase.
  • Men have higher incarceration rates than women
  • The pay gap is justified because men do riskier jobs than women.
  • Gender equal relationships are lower quality for both men and women.

NB – He doesn’t actually deny that women have issues to, so this isn’t exactly anti-feminist!

Chapter 15 – Economic Downturn

Basically the cost of living has increased, and young men, especially those with little education see no prospects of every being able to be the breadwinner, so now they don’t bother with relationships!





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