Tuesday, June 5, 2012


An Introduction to Advancing the Conversation

Welcome to Advancing the Conversation, the introductory page to the blog about my book "So Dad, What Makes a Man?" and, a place for men and women to talk about the male identity. In the book, I write about my dominant, no-nonsense father, the results of sex education by my peers, and an engineering education in an all-men's college at the time, then, a two-year hitch in the military, and twenty-five years in a corporation managed by men followed by retirement. My life stories include my choices, mistakes and ignorance--and my own search of what makes a man after I retired.

Today, men's roles are shifting from what my father experienced. I joined a corporation with full confidence that, like him, I could spend the rest of my working life in one company getting every promotion I deserved. Few made it to the top, and when I didn't, and left the company at a relatively early age, that failure changed my life. I found my well-honed competitive attitude had taught me little about relating to others. That was twenty-two years ago. Nowdays, some men running political organizations have produced stalemates in national and local governing bodies, and some other organizations traditionally run by men are not functioning well. What's going on?

Rather than the hard-line cultural definition of masculinity my father grew up in, gender differences in general today are becoming more variable and fluid. Since the 1960's women's liberation movement, some women have begun exploring masculine attributes. As they move into formerly male roles, bringing their own set of attributes, those roles shift. Who are we men, what do we want, and how do we go about getting it in these challenging times? 
The day before his twenty-first birthday, my son asked me the question on the front cover of the book, and this book is my response to him--but it is not about telling him or you what to do. To the extent many men don't openly discuss personal aspects of their lives, the intent of my book and this blog is to advance the conversation about male identity today. To encourage discussions about some subjects we men don't often talk about with other men, women or our families.

I will have periodic posts for discussion and invite guest bloggers from time to time. I welcome your responses. If you wish to receive an Email of posts as they go up, please sign up at the designated place on the side bar.

There is a Buy the Book tab above and a Links tab of people and organizations who have helped me. 

May you go well,

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