Where are All the Good Men... Books?

Feb 25, 2019 by Rick Broniec

Last week, my wonderful friend and co-author, Leonard Szymczak, went into a Barnes and Noble book store to shop.  He asked for directions to the Men's Issues and Personal Growth section.  The clerk guided Leonard to the Social Studies section where there were three shelves of books about women's empowerment, feminism, and growth....and not one book about men or men's personal growth! 

This fact was not a bit surprising to Leonard or me. There is a dearth of books for men's personal growth simply because the market for these books is dismally small.  Men, as a whole, simply are not interested in waking up or growing nearly as much as women. Sadly, we men are taught early on that we are expected to figure things out ourselves, that we are to do this in isolation, that we are never to appear to be weak or to not have the answers and that we are to tough out any issues we can't easily 'win'. These behaviours make up part of what the American Psychological Association has called "traditional masculine ideology", which they have branded as harmful.

I say this is sad because this harmful ideology leaves us men alone with little support or even a clue about how to get help. And when the shit hits the fan, we have fewer tools to help us, we find less support to move forward, and we are less resilient when dealing with setbacks and challenges- especially challenges to our sense of masculinity. As a result, we men commit suicide seven times more often than women are incarcerated thirteen times as often as women and have twice the addiction rates of women.  In other words, we men are in crisis!

Leonard and I have worked with men for over 30 years each. We know this dynamic and the effects of this ideology firsthand. We are dedicated to changing the traditional masculine ideology to a new model of masculinity that helps men become more resilient, more connected, and more loving to themselves as well as to women, children and other men.

One way we do this is by writing our book, Wake Up, Grow Up, and Show Up: Calling Men into the 21st Century. This book, which we hope to have published soon, lays out a simple and proven model of masculinity we call the CLASSICS Model.  Watch for more on our model in our next blog!