Curing toxic masculinity

Now that my kids are grown and gone, I have more time for regrets. It’s a hazard of the parenting business. I missed too many baseball games. I was too involved when I did go. I didn’t take them to the BWCA. I overprotected as is the want of my generation.

But none of my children went to prison, they married well, and — best of all — they didn’t turn out like the men about whom we’ve heard so much in recent weeks. From what I can tell via their social media, they’re as nauseated by the treatment of women as I, obviously, have been. This is a feature, not a bug, by the way.

If you’re looking for my parenting secret, you’re out of luck. I have no idea how this happened.

At the same time, you’re in luck because on Thursday on MPR News with Kerri Miller, Jana Shortal is hosting a discussion on changing hypermasculinity.

[Update: Here’s the audio of the show]

I know what you’re thinking. And so do all the marketers who help create the definition of what it means to be a man.

“Is how we talk to young boys about masculinity harmful to their emotional development?” Jana asks, and she’s invited the NewsCut audience to take part.

Her two guests — Andrew Reiner, who teaches at Towson University and has written an upcoming book about masculinity; and Ted Bunch a co-founder and Chief Development Officer of A Call to Men, which works to rework our vision of manhood — will discuss why they think the definition of masculinity needs to change. Also, they’ve both raised boys so we can all compare notes on our successes and failures.

Between now and then, I’m inviting a thoughtful discussion in the comments section below on your approach to raising your children not to be like the men in the news (and, no, we’re not entertaining a thread on the men in the news; we’ve done that plenty).

Don’t start writing until you watch Bunch’s presentation.

Make your observations thoughtful and considered, the kind you wouldn’t mind having read on the radio. Because that’s just what we’re going to do.