The Atlantic

The Many Possible Meanings of the ‘Masculinity Crisis’

A lot of people contend that American men are in crisis. But which men? And what is the nature of that crisis?
Source: Zoran Milich / Reuters

American men are in crisis, the conventional wisdom goes. And, according to some experts, they have been for a while. For a few decades, perhaps. Maybe for more than a century.

But in a discussion about this “crisis” on Tuesday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and , panelists had varying notions of what that entitlement.” For the writer Thomas Page McBee, the crisis involves men who are hurting in the face of society’s stereotyped expectations that they should be more inhumane than humane, more violent than empathic. For Joseph Derrick Nelson, a senior research fellow with the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives, the crisis is hitting black boys who need support and the kind of unconditional love necessary to help them break free of certain damaging norms.

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