Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Christina Hoff Sommers on Manliness, a new book by Harvey Mansfield, Harvard political philosopher.

After almost 40 years of feminist agitation and gender-neutral pronouns, it is still men who are far more likely than women to run for political office, start companies, file for patents, and blow things up. Men continue to tell most of the jokes and write the vast majority of editorials and letters to editors. And--fatal to the dreams of feminists who long for social androgyny--men have hardly budged from their unwillingness to do an equal share of housework or childcare. Moreover, women seem to like manly men: "Manliness is still around, and we still find it attractive," says Mansfield.

Kay Hymowitz also reviews it in Commentary. She says
Mansfield concedes that the manly man is not always appealing. He can be willful and boastful, and patronizing toward women. But these annoyances are part of a package that makes the average Joe capable of greater heroism and command than the average Josephine. More open to facing risk, he is more likely to gain and wield power and to make his mark in the world. There can be manly women—Elizabeth I and Margaret Thatcher come to mind—but they are rare.

I can't wait to read it!


Blogger Fergal Crehan said...

Here's an excerpt to keep you ticking over in the meantime:

Though I have to say that, as a man, I find Mansfield a pain in the ass. A Harvard professor telling me to be more macho sticks in my craw somewhat.

April 06, 2006 5:38 p.m.  

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