Our man, Wysong
Pity the American male. Confused by the increasing number of strong women working and politicking in his country, he’s taken to mourning his second-class status, and to wondering where in the world his strength and dominance have gone. All this head-scratching has led, according to author Jim Wysong, to some serious man-stress.
“Most men are wired to be in charge; it’s part of their DNA,” says Wysong, whose new book, The Neutering of the American Male, considers the psychology of confused gender roles and how the resulting stress can harm a dude’s health. “[Men] come into the world with a tendency toward certain masculine characteristics, for instance, a preference for building blocks over building relationships. Over the past century, gender roles have blurred. The man’s feminine characteristics overdevelop, so his psychological needs can be met by the masculine woman in his life, be it his mother or his wife.”
What is this, 1956? Do we really need a new book that examines the impact of post-World War II working women on American culture? Wysong, who appears to have slept through the last half century, thinks so.
“While everyone has both masculine and feminine qualities, problems occur when a person loses balance and is living opposite his or her core,” the real estate broker-turned-author insists. “The incongruence leads to stress, distress and dissatisfaction. And, increasingly, thanks to the nation’s current economic tailspin, some very confused men and women.”
In his just-published book, Wysong offers a helpful checklist of telltale signs that a man is giving in to his female side. If a fellow has “lots of friends who are girls, but no girlfriends,” for example, he may be in danger of losing his “masculine presence” among women – always fatal to anyone who isn’t gay or looking for a group with whom to watch reruns of Sex and the City. Or, if a guy is more comfortable around women than men, he may lose his natural ability for confrontation, apparently a talent that’s enormously important to real men the world over, who should not, according to Wysong, aspire to feeling “more supported by, and therefore less threatened by, women.”
It is this stunning logic that has us so looking forward to Wysong’s next book, which we hope will, once and for all, answer the question about who is smarter, boys or girls?