By David Michael Newstead.
Over the last few years, I’ve read a series of books and articles that all say variations of the same thing, each describing different aspects of the same phenomenon. The American economy is changing, but our ideas about manhood are not.
The discrepancy between the two has affected a large number of men who (at best) aren’t adapting to the new global economy and (at worst) are hostile to very idea of change. This trend is detailed in Hanna Rosin’s 2012 book The End of Men and the Rise of Women and most prophetically in Michael Kimmel’s 2013 book Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era.
So, when I read back over some of this material recently it was amazing to me how relevant it was to the 2016 presidential election. And not in a good way.
After all, anger is not a particularly rational emotion. And we are not having a particularly rational election year either. Instead, the hyperbolic insecurities of modern America are creating a toxic mix of whiteness and maleness, which were already prone to toxicity to begin with.
Where is all that going to lead? I don’t know. But sad to say, a sequel to Angry White Men is practically writing itself now.