The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection
Edward M. Adams, Ed Frauenheim
“A wonderful book for thinking about how to release ourselves from crippling processes. It's time for men—and for all of us—to stand up and say, ‘Give us back our full humanity, give us back our dignity.'”
—Paul Gilbert, PhD, author of The Compassionate Mind
In a recent FiveThirtyEight poll, 60 percent of men surveyed said society puts pressure on men to behave in a way that is unhealthy or bad. Men account for 80 percent of suicides in the United States, and three in ten American men have suffered from depression. Ed Adams and Ed Frauenheim say a big part of the problem is a model of masculinity that's become outmoded and even dangerous, to both men and women.
The conventional notion of what it means to be a man—what Adams and Frauenheim call “Confined Masculinity”—traps men in an emotional straitjacket; steers them toward selfishness, misogyny, and violence; and severely limits their possibilities. As an antidote, they propose a new paradigm: Liberating Masculinity. It builds on traditional masculine roles like the protector and provider, expanding men's options to include caring, collaboration, emotional expressivity, an inclusive spirit, and environmental stewardship.
Through hopeful stories of men who have freed themselves from the strictures of Confined Masculinity, interviews with both leaders and everyday men, and practical exercises, this book shows the power of a masculinity defined by what the authors call the five Cs: curiosity, courage, compassion, connection, and commitment. Men will discover a way of being that fosters healthy, harmonious relationships at home, at work, and in the world.