The Man They Wanted Me to Be

The Man They Wanted Me to Be

Toxic Masculinity and A Crisis of Our Own Making

Book - 2019
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Baker & Taylor
A writer at Salon examines the outdated and dangerous current definitions of masculinity and the long-term effects of this socialization which include depression, shorter life spans, misogyny and suicide while examining his own working-class upbringing in the rural Midwest.

Perseus Publishing
"By carefully and soberly examining his own story, Sexton deconstructs American life and gives many examples of how pervasive toxic masculinity is in our culture." —Henry Rollins, Los Angeles Times

"This book is critically important to our historical moment . . . [C]rackles with intensity and absolutely refuses to allow the reader to look away for even a moment from the blight that toxic masculinity in America has wrought." —Nicholas Cannariato, NPR


Based on his provocative and popular New York Times op-ed, The Man They Wanted Me to Be is both memoir and cultural analysis. Jared Yates Sexton alternates between an examination of his working class upbringing and historical, psychological, and sociological sources that examine the genesis of toxic masculinity and its consequences for society.

As progressivism changes American society, and globalism shifts labor away from traditional manufacturing, the roles that have been prescribed to men since the Industrial Revolution have been rendered as obsolete. Donald Trump's campaign successfully leveraged male resentment and entitlement, and now, with Trump as president and the rise of the #MeToo movement, it’s clear that our current definitions of masculinity are outdated and even dangerous.

Deeply personal and thoroughly researched, The Man They Wanted Me to Be examines how we teach boys what’s expected of men in America, and the long-term effects of that socialization—which include depression, shorter lives, misogyny, and suicide. Sexton turns his keen eye to the establishment of the racist patriarchal structure which has favored white men, and investigates the personal and societal dangers of such outdated definitions of manhood.



Publisher: Berkeley, California :, Counterpoint,, 2019
Edition: First hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781640091818
Branch Call Number: 305.31 SEX
Characteristics: 254 pages ;,24 cm.

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