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What Makes a Man: 22 Writers Imagine the Future

Updated on November 12, 2010

I picked this book up from the editor, Rebecca Walker, herself when she visited my university's campus back in my freshman year. It's been sitting around on my bookshelf for near on 4 years now, but I finally read it, and I'm glad I did. 

'What Makes a Man" is a collection of essays by a variety of writers (many of them African American), both male and female (plus one male to female transgender writer) writing about their unique perspectives on the representation of masculinity in contemporary culture.

Most of the writers agree: the construction of the male identity in our society is both damaging and mentally unhealthy. Forcing men to repress their emotions or only express them through violence lead to stress, confusion, and a marked lack of satisfaction in life. It was interesting that writers from such diverse backgrounds came up with similar conclusions.

Each of the essays (save Michael Moore's ,which was essentially just a standup comedy routine about how stupid and irrelevant men are) was interesting to read, and I enjoyed each of them. If you're interested in the subject, you should check this book out if you have the chance.


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