Man in Box

Man in Box

Monday, November 06, 2006

Buy this book for every man you care about

This is an extraordinary book! I urge you to buy copies for every man, young or old, in your life - family, friend, lover. It can change their life for the better (and yours as well.) It can start them on the way to finding love without domination.

The book is The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love by bell hooks. You can purchase copies at only $10 each here from

Some excerpts:

...the will to use violence is really not linked to biology but to a set of expectations about the nature of power in a dominator culture. (p55) one talks about the role patriarchal notions of manhood play in teaching boys that it is their nature to kill, then teaching them that they can do nothing to change this nature --- nothing, that is, that will leave their masculinity intact. (p11)

Indoctrination…includes a psychological initiation that requires boys to accept that their willingness to do violent acts makes them patriarchal men. (p59)

Researchers [in a national survey of adolescent males] found that boys agreed that to be truly manly they must command respect, be tough, not talk about problems, and dominate females. (p42)

Patriarchal fathers cannot love their sons because the rules of patriarchy dictate that they stand in competition with their sons, ready to prove that they are the real man, the one in charge. (p47)

...there exists a masculine ideal that young males are not sure how to attain and that undermines their self-esteem. (p49)

Ruthless patriarchal assault on the self-esteem of teenage boys has become an accepted norm. There is a grave silence about male tyranny in relation to teenage boys. (p52)

Boys brutalized and victimized by patriarchy more often than not become patriarchal, embodying the abusive patriarchal masculinity that they once clearly recognized as evil. (p28)

The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women, [but rather] acts of psychic self-mutilation, [killing] off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem. (p66)

The unhappiness of men in relationships, the grief men feel about the failure of love, often goes unnoticed in our society precisely because the patriarchal culture really does not care if men are unhappy. (p5)

Wounded males must recover all the parts of the self they abandoned in serving the needs of patriarchal maleness. (p155)

The core of feminist masculinity is a commitment to gender equality and mutuality as crucial to interbeing and partnership in the creating and sustaining of life. (p118)

Feminist writing did not tell us about the deep inner misery of men. It did not tell us the terrible terror that gnaws at the soul when one cannot love. (p4)

...most folks continue to see men as the problem of patriarchy. This is simply not the case. Women can be as wedded to patriarchal thinking and action as men. (p23)

Dismantling and changing patriarchal culture is work that men and women must do together. (p24)