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Within the Manconomy industry is selling a new kind of manhood



There are many commercials and celebrities and "celebrities" as well as books and hashtags and about 73 podcasts and at least one bagel-bites campaign that shows us how we can be better dads, husbands, friends and colleagues. Their business is self-improvement – the individual and collective improvement of the male species – and they sell alertness and intentionality, self-confidence and feminism. And we seem to buy it. We must. An entire economy has emerged to serve and exploit people's desire to be better people: better fathers, brothers, spouses and co-workers.

This is a welcome thing in a sense. This magazine has been looking at improvements for years. But now we have a lot of company. The scale of this economy ̵

1; it's so important, we had to capitalize on it – is amazing and it's easy to be cynical about the whole thing. For example, when you see Amazon branding its own "Good Man" clothing brand Market and shoot a commercial with Russell Wilson talking to a few guys about being … good men. But can a company that exploits the deepest insecurities of people actually help move the needle towards a more just society? Can men just consume their way to become better people? Can the Manconomy actually be a driving force?

This summer, for several months, I studied the brighter lights and darker shadows of the Manconomy, and it turned out that these commercials and celebrities and "celebrities" et al. Not only help us find a better version of us when it comes to money. They ask the right questions, trigger the right conversations and start the right fights. Maybe they'll save us all from ourselves.

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It used to be so easy to be a man, thousands of years of tradition and legacy and deeply rooted patriarchy had clearly outlined the expected roles and characteristics of real men: robust, heterosexual, independent providers who put food on the table and never asked for help, the vulnerability was weak and feminine, men dominated and women were submissive, heroes were military generals, cowboys and Secret agents: John Wayne and James Bond made everything look so simple.

Masculinity today is decidedly more complex in both perception and exercise, with the #Metoo movement giving women an unprecedented opportunity to hold male offenders and harassers to justice which, in turn, helped normalize conversations about consent and assault, aggression and power wiping out traditional gender norms in conjunction with hard-won advances for the LGBTQ + community, is radically changing sexual policy. All of these changes have caused confusion among many men about their role at work, at home and in society in general. The advantage of social progress is the liberation from the previous constraints of what we considered a man. But there is uncertainty associated with this freedom: we do not know what to do now. We do not know who we should be.

This is where the Manconomy comes in. Podcasts quickly become a hotbed for big ideas and (serious) long discussions about what it means to be a man. Dax Shepard and David Harbor, in a series of Armchair Expert Mark Pagán, deepen their respective struggles with alcoholism and bring up his joke on the subject of male financial insecurities Other Men Need Help . Aymann Ismail reveals the struggles Asian men face against tinder in Man Up and Bill Delvaux on the development of a "new male identity in Christ" for Heroic: Conversations on Surprising Manhood . Overall, these podcasts have collected millions of streams. All of this happens, of course, between advertising mattresses and webdomains and menus.

Joe Rogan rises in the midst of all Woke-Bro podcasts. Since 2009, there have been more than 1,300 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience and in 2017 as well as 2018, it was the second most downloaded show by Apple Podcasts, with more than 6 million subscribers recorded on its YouTube channel. The show's success with its (mostly male) audience is based on Rogan's willingness to engage with (mostly male) guests, covering the ideological spectrum of controversial rights such as Ben Shapiro, Andy Ngo and Alex Jones, to more advanced types like Rogan Charlamagne, the god, Judd Apatow, and Bernie Sanders exploring their perspectives on a kind of Hodge-Podge roadmap navigating masculinity.

Rogan and his podcasting cohort are our closest contact to Manconomy. But beyond the reach of our iPhones, there are real experts and "experts" for masculinity and gender who first write some blog posts before turning a TED talk, signing a book contract and then hiring companies and colleges to listen to their game. Regardless of your budget, you can find a man who can hold a keynote or breakout sessions, or join a panel or read from his book – provided you have the prerequisites to cover meals and accommodation. Some of these speakers (like Tim Mousseau and Jeff Perera) charge only a few thousand dollars for their services. Big names like Jordan Peterson, however, have booking agents who are not supposed to consider bidding below $ 100,000.

What are some of these events? They're probably similar to the L63 lecture hall at John Jay College, New York, where I sat in the far right corner this summer and was set up by a goat-bearded man in the front of the room.

"Repeat after me: we promote a healthy manhood!" The man bellowed, a broad grin spreading across his face. I was on "Multicultural Maleness," a free workshop organized by A Call to Men, an organization whose mission is to improve the "next generation of masculinity." Like the ManKind project and evryman and meetup groups, A Call to Men is just one of many events, men's groups, and wellness retreats with a similar mission to help us reckon with our masculinity. Often for a registration fee.

The crowd of 200 around me was a mix of older academic types, young professionals, and students, all of whom had signed up for seminars called "Redefine Masculinity: A New Lexicon." The majority of participants were colored, and although the audience was mostly male, there were many women in the lecture hall. One of these women was Katie, who works on Long Island for a domestic violence shelter. When I asked Katie what led her to the event, she said to me, "It's about finding the right language, because masculinity is such a sensitive issue for so many people."

We stood up while another man from our seats got his iPhone ready to stick to our common slogan for social media. "We promote a healthy manhood!"

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The agenda focused on mitigating the negative consequences that unhealthy practices and perceptions of masculinity have on society, the major themes: sexual violence, homophobia, misogyny – and the people who had signed up for the seminar seemed genuinely looking forward to these difficult conversations nonsense and get to the point, as Joseph Maldonado, a CUNY professor, told the crowd: "We do not call out any men. We're calling in men. "

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I met the goat who had asked us all from our seats in the hallway after wrapping his keynote. His name is Ted Bunch, chief developer of A Call to Men's and the most public member of the organization, apart from CEO Tony Porter, whose TED Talk outlines a more progressive masculinity and has been viewed more than 2.9 million times since its release In 2010.

In a bespoke blue suit, a white button-down, and a blue old-school van, Bunch gave me a firm handshake and greeted me as we walked down the hall to a smaller classroom. In the classroom, he put a PowerPoint presentation on the line as I sat in the middle of 25 other men and women. Instead of teaching the room about the failure of masculinity, Bunch opened the session with a relaxed Q & A, letting the participants share their unfiltered impressions of masculinity.

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Ted Bunch breaks with his workshop" Man Box 101 "the" collective socialization "of men.

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The dialogue is an access to" The Man Box ". "A call to the most popular educational materials for men that breaks down what Bunch calls" collective socialization of men ". Men are taught – often by other men, but also by women – to accept certain behaviors and characteristics (such as physical hardship and toughness) and avoid others (such as vulnerability). In the man box, women are objects and worth less than Men, and this power dynamic helps to explain why violence against women is so commonplace. Much of the work of A Call to Men is prevention-oriented, but Bunch wants men to feel more responsible, not just to check their own masculinity, but also for the other men they encounter in their everyday lives. According to Bunch, it can not be just feminists reforming men. "The bridge between prevention and intervention is men," said Bunch.

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During our session, I experienced real breakthroughs when a woman reported in tears how her deceased father had difficulty expressing his feelings because he wanted to maintain a strong appearance A younger man Talking about how the worst insult a tyrant could do in his neighborhood in Brooklyn was that you were gay, when we talk about toxic masculinity as a society, we usually talk about men in a static, broad shape is a more hopeful vision: we can begin to reduce these venomous attitudes, not by marching or tweeting or buying products that signal virtue, but by having and opening a conversation.

A Call to Men should teach us that men are not born with morality or a personality or a destiny empty canvases involved in a metaphysical lottery and the people we become – to which we resolve – are shaped by much more power than we often imagine. Who your parents are, how much money you have, what country you live in, what neighborhood you live in, what language you speak, which skin color you have, which genitals you have between your legs: All these things affect who you are want day grows up. And from the moment you leave behind the emotional regulatory phase of childhood and begin to develop motor skills and a conscience, people compete for your attention and present examples that help you become a person with thoughts, feelings and transform beliefs. An identity. What makes you to you ?

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The advertising industry also wants to join in. In the pilot episode of Mad Men the Cocksure Ad Executive of the series, Don Draper explains his views to a friend About romance: "What you call love was invented by men like me to sell nylons."

Masculinity may not (yet) sell any nylons, but it certainly sells a lot of books and deodorants and chunky soups earlier this year Gillette produced a two-minute Super Bowl ad that had almost nothing to do with shaving, but instead capitalized on the commercial fight against toxic masculinity: bullying, sexual harassment and fatigue, the notion that "boys will be boys". [19659036] image "title =" image "class =" Lazyimage Lazyload "data-src =" https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s 3.amazonaws.com/images/gillette-2-1567187729.png ? resize = 480: * "/ >

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The commercial was an immediate viral phenomenon and was praised by celebrities on the left such as Chrissy Teigen and Ava Duvernay while ridiculed by right-wing experts such as Piers Morgan wrote that the ad urged men to be "tarred with the same monstrous brush". "Boycott Gillette" quickly became a hot topic on Twitter, which almost seems like part of Gillette's plan.

"2019 It is the 30th year of the legendary line" The best thing a man can get. "" We debuted it at the Super Bowl in 1989, "says Pankaj Bhalla, director of Gillette and Venus, North America When we looked at the line, we wanted to think about how to bring it to life, we were already starting to show men in a more modern, contemporary light, and we wanted to redefine what "the best a man can get" Not just the best razor, we wanted to focus on what kind of man Gillette intends to emulate and follow, meaning "the best a man can do" and not just "the best a man can do".

What Bhalla articulates is a reversal of Draper's old nylons model, companies that sell products to indirectly enhance values, and now emulate those values ​​directly to sell products.

Ax is another company that the da changed from masculinity to ads. In the mid-2000s, Ax was known for campaigns like "The Ax Effect," in which swarms of women stormed at men who had just used the body spray and around them. According to Mark Lodwick, Brand Director of Ax, starting in 2016, the company's marketing began to dramatically change from the worn-out slogan "The guy gets the girl".

Opportunity to re-establish itself as a brand with them. The 12-year-olds do not know these [previous] ads today, "says Lodwick. "We used who we are – attraction and self-confidence. But the expression of what it means to be a man changes over time. "

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In other words, changing the definition of masculinity also applies to young men's personal preference for how socially aware their brand should be for deosprays.

"What has been recognized by [advertising agencies] is that younger consumers see no reason why they should support a brand if it does not speak to their values," says Mark Tungate, author of Branded Male: Marketing to Men. As these younger generations, socially and politically more active since the election of Donald Trump, exert greater purchasing power, it makes sense that more companies come to power by incorporating explicit social messaging into their brands.

No matter how noble corporate and economic intentions are, it is impossible to separate alleged altruism from capitalism. Gillette plunged into the poison manliness debate to sell razors. Pampers asked John Legend to talk about the need for more changing tables in the men's public bathrooms to sell diapers. Even the curvy wife Robbie Tripp recognizes that body positivity is a lucrative good. Within a month after Tripp posted a photo on Instagram praising his wife's "thick thighs, big booty, and sweet little garnish," the couple earned $ 100,000 in branded stores.

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A cynic might argue that the Manconomy prevents men from seriously engaging with the issues they use to sell products – after all, it's a lot easier To buy the shave cream and believe you did your act at the time of actively helping to close the gender pay gap or taking part in a boycott.

But man's path to modern enlightenment can not end with this Perhaps Starting with a razor foam advertisement or a particularly appealing podcast: Instead of selling the illusion of progress, the Manconomy has the opportunity to give men a fresh start, boy, do we need one.


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