The Cycle | October 26, 2012
>>> you want everything the only thing. if only everyone on this earth could feel as you captain crunch cereal. that won't end and i'm 4. in a onesies and transformers is on.
>> that's poet carlos gomez talking about love but also i think implicitly challenging what it means to be a man in society by showing his true emotions. my father's generation had a much easier time to show their masculinity. nowadays manhood is in flux. can we be in touch with our emotions and still be men. can we cry and still be men. women have long known the importance of sharing your feelings. that's critical in a moment when men have been losing jobs in what's called man session, jobs for working age men are disappearing and depression is all too common. some in the modern generation say i want to be emotional and masculine. one of those is carlos gomez author of "man up cracking the code of modern manhood." welcome.
>> thanks for having me.
>> how is modern manhood in your eyes different than what our fathers defined i want as?
>> i think there's a critical mass of men right now that realized the old model that maybe my dad your dad tried to fit within is really, doesn't serve us in the nature of the world right now and a lot of people want to break out of that suffocating box and be thing we were ashamed to be when we were younger.
>> i know a lot of by interactions with other men we're two rams butting head and competing and can't get to those nurturing relationships that women can get to more easily. do you think the way we interact with each other is important to create this new brand of masculinity that you're talking about?
>> absolutely. in man up, a lot of it is giving permission to open up so guys can talk about what they are feeling, they can be in touch what's happening inside, be emotional literate, ask for help and be better advocates for healthy relationships with other men, women, with everybody.
>> viously men had an advantage in the workplace just through merit of brute strength and of course system structure so that men were the only ones allowed to work. now there's an argument being made that the shoe other foot, that women and traditionally sort of feminine characteristics, things like consensus building, working cooperatively, they actually have an advantage in the modern workforce. is that a thesis you agree with?
>> i do agree with that. i think the fact we're moving away from a manufacturing economy and it's much more technologically based, service based, a lot of those traditionally feminized traits are important, they're vital to that kind of system. i think it serves men now to first stop gendering those different traits and know all this stuff we have inside, all the things we are, it's okay to embrace that and forget the old rigid gender binaries.
>> carlos , you outline a number of reasons why men have it pretty rough today. toure talked about the recession. be of course, unemployment. you talk about deployments abroad, you talk about high incarceration rates, but i'm wondering if you think men today really have to worse than men say, during, world war i or the great depression or vietnam or some other times when life was pretty rough.
>> absolutely. i think -- it's not about me saying that maybe men right now have it tougher than any other time in history, but you do see specific periods where men are going through hard times and there's a necessity to adapt and change, and i think right now is one of those urgent times, especially with us having the recession right now, the biggest economic downturn since the great depression. so especially with the economy changing, i think it's really time to know that it's okay to adapt, change, and start to shift the definition of what we're allowed to be.
>> you know, carlos , there was a movement maybe in the '70s and into the early '80s, new age sensitive male was a term that got thrown around, the allen alda ideal, i guess, where parents were sort of encouraged to raise their kids, their sons particularly, to be more emotionally open and to be more sensitive. i can remember growing up listening to that marlo thomas album "free to be you and me." what's your sense of my generation? are men in my generation more emotionally open than they were a generation ago? has a lot of progress been made?
>> i think there has been progress made, but i think what happens when you see these trends where maybe men are more emotionally literate, more open, better communicators, there's also reaction against them. i think you see that right now. the good news is more, both men and women, are defying the rigid gender roles but you also see a lot of people still clinging to the old, outdated roles. even though there's a building momentum, there's still a long way to go.
>> carlos , thank you very much.
>> thank you for having me.
>>> straight ahead, speaking of halloween even though nobody was talking about halloween, i will tell you it's scariest thing you