FOR THE LOVE OF MEN: FROM TOXIC TO A MORE MINDFUL MASCULINITY was the most impactful book I read in 2020. It is a book every man, woman, wife, friend, teacher, father, mother, husband, teenager, grandparent, aunt, uncle, employee, business owner –everyone– should read. I understood men in a different light thanks to this book and the research that author Liz Plank lays out for us. I now understand so much more about the root of gender and gender role issues, and how so many of them are incumbent and societal. It’s up to us to constantly catch ourselves and understand how we are contributing to the problem and how we can begin to pave a better path for our youth.
Below are a list of notes I took in my phone while listening to the audiobook. There are so many more elements I wanted to highlight in this book, but I was so captivated while listening that my note-taking was limited. If you feel even a flicker of inspiration or familiarity with any points of the below, I urge you to dig deeper and listen to Liz Plank on Armchair Expert podcast, along with other interviews she has done.
Please just read For the Love of Men… I dare you to be disappointed.
Notes from my phone:
- Friends are something you earn
- Friendships are vital
- Friendship is a garden you must tend to
- Make your partner your favourite friend, not your best friend
- Having your partner as your best friend can be dire for men
- Do more listening than talking
- Men don’t listen to each other; they just take turns talking
- Stoicism and men – opposite of stoicism is two ears and one mouth
- As Tim Harris says “You are the average of the five ppl you spend time with.”
- Your friends happiness and success is contagious… and so is misery
- The Glen Canning Chapter: I cried during this chapter! It is important to have young men listen to this story and not remain comfortably ignorant against violence against women
- Men know their silence is part of the problem
- The key to ending violence is the way parents raise their options. Set an example for your sons. It’s ok to cry. Use your voice.
- Remaining silent about injustice is the biggest issue
- We have such low expectations of fathers and it is the opposite of the types of expectations we put on mothers.
- Paternity Leave- take it like a man (Denmark) danish fads emphasizes their role as caregiver. Their roles as men fundamentally changes
- By age five kids have fully absorbed their parents thoughts on gender identities
- Our generation of men is responsible for changing how boys grow up now
- Children choose toys based on what they think is appropriate for their gender
- Children learn about roles through play
- “Manicures” don’t mess boys up. Our reaction to boys getting manicures messes them up. (Proud to say that I take my son to get manicures! At least, I did pre-COVID. Now we do them at home!)
- Feminism is diminished. It is seen as weak. Why else would boys not be allowed to play with toys seen as feminine?
- Dolls actually help teach children empathy and social skills
- The stories that men shared about wanting more feminine skewed toys are unreal – I learned so much from the research in this chapter.
- “Could assuming the best in men, help us from preventing the worst in them?”