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Man Up: Surviving Modern Masculinity

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  278 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Jack Urwin’s father died just before he turned 10. Being male, he never really learned to talk about this with any kind of sincerity. His grief stayed with him through his teens, slowly becoming depression.

Now 24 and a journalist whose recent Vice article A Stiff Upper Lip is Killing British Men – described as ‘fabulous’ by Irvine Welsh – became a viral sensation, Urwin e
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 2nd 2016 by Icon Books
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3.60  · 
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 ·  278 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Jack Jordan
Everyone on Earth needs to read this book, regardless of gender or country of residency. Toxic masculinity is global. What we consider to be concrete, biological/psychological traits of men are merely social constructs weighed down by tradition that not only negatively affect men, but women, children, LGBT people, and important causes like feminism and equality. This book highlights, with humour, how and why these traits originated, and how they are detrimental to mental health, relationships, a ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I wouldn't say this is a review, mostly it is just a bunch of shit about how this book made me feel and how I feel about the topics in it. Fuck me right... I ain't making you read it, so don't complain.

This one is a hard one, Jack Urwin makes some good points, but mostly he is a condescending cunt (putting it nicely).

He neglects to properly understand how deeply psychological some aspects of masculinity are, you can understand issues of masculinity that need to be changed, you can see them in y
Nov 17, 2016 rated it liked it
It was really good, I only gave it 3 stars because I was already familiar with all the topics it brought up (because of women's studies). It's not referenced at all, only statistics and facts have been referenced and even when it is it's online articles. The entire book only has 43 references. I didn't mind the referencing though because for one, I knew everything in there was correct and also because the book presents an opinion that I agree with. So I enjoyed it, but if someone did not agree w ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great overview of an important topic. Although I was already familiar with many of the ideas expressed (as the author admits himself, he is probably - unfortunately -preaching to the choir), one thought that surprised me is that there is no male equivalent of a "tomboy" (as in, there's not positive/endearing word for which to describe a boy who has interests more common to girls, yet we fondly call girls who are more into 'boy' stuff like sports and Lego "tomboys"). The writing style was great ...more
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it
It was good and I enjoyed it, except the author was very repetitive and I (bciknoweverythingobviously) already knew a lot of what he was saying because of Womens Studies at school. Apart from that he brought up good ideas and he seem like good man.
A heart-felt plea for dealing with one of the most damaging aspect of masculinity: its influence on the many men that commit suicide. Jack Urwin argues that only by seeing masculinity as something broader can we improve the lives of men - by opening up, having emotionally honest conversations, and admitting to needing help.

This book is very much influenced by modern feminist thought, and it was refreshing to read about masculinity in a way that is compatible with female equality. Some sections e
Hattie Grünewald
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you know me well, you'd understand that I could have "not interested in your masculine crisis" tattooed on my forehead. But even I think this book is a must read. Jack Urwin writes intelligently and sensitively, with humour and emotion; his arguments are well-constructed, well argued and well thought-out, covering topics from male grooming to the military. Most of all, he does this without dismissing feminism - in fact, he celebrates it. Essential reading.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
It seems to me that it is an important, and helpful book for those who struggle with notions of masculinity, and especially so for those who don't know they do.
Therefore it is not written for me, even though I'm effected a great deal by these notions. I agree with a lot he says about the topic, but it doesn't seem to go far enough. For example: One reason is, I think, that he doesn't leave the heterosexual matrix, it is quite clearly written from a heterosexual perspective which carries a lot o
Spenser Milo
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very accessible therefore repetitive at times but still excellently written! Important stuff, you know?
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
interessting, primarily a Book for man, about man, and I Wish for a hell of a lot of readers (m)!
Feb 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Man Up might have worked better as a more clearly instructive guide to modern manhood (as Laura Bates's excellent Girl Up is to womanhood for teenage girls.) Instead it takes the form of a pop-sociological study of the sorry state of modern men (read: white British middle-class men, the differing experiences of black or "brown" men are only talked about from the outside, in passing) with intermittent entreaties that its male audience change their archaic masculine attitudes. Any man likely to be ...more
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow. Just an astonishing feat that this young journalist has tackled! He broached the subject of lads lads or stereotypical overly masculine behavior with snark and wit that added a new layer of enjoyment to the subject. While the writing was fun and light at times, Jack has covered how modern ideals of masculinity are dangerous and toxic to all. Urwin poses a way we can fix such issues aswell. A truly important and fun read!

I read this after a break up with my girlfriend, it has shown me that
Dan Coxon
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This was good, but not as insightful as I'd hoped. It struck me that Urwin is good at asking important questions, but not so great at offering answers - when he does offer them, they often seem naive and poorly thought out. (Pornography can improve gender equality by teaching us about diversity? Hmmmm, not sure about that...) Still, good to see these topics being discussed, and this is a very readable book for those who might not be inclined to delve much deeper.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting exploration into the role of 'modern' masculinity, which was accessible without being patronising, but had its flaws.

The topic of masculinity, as Urwin himself admits, is in vogue at the moment, with Grayson Perry writing his own (poor) book and Robert Webb having his own effort promoted relentlessly around the London Underground. It seems to be the PC version of immigration, something 'we can't talk about' despite being discussed in the media at length. The particular ef
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Although this book makes some good, interesting and valid points it was quite repetitive and not as factual as I would have liked. Urwin tends to use his previous not very much fundationed arguments to back up his next claim, which I found a bit bothering at times. All in all, some interesting aspects are made and its a valid effort, but to me it felt like it was lacking a bit of debth regarding some of the arguments and like it was going around in circles because he only had a handfull of argum ...more
Moss 慈映夢図
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Easily readable and a worthwhile look into a much underrepresented social issue.

Largely hampered by an irrelevant detour in the final third in which the controversy around Zoe Quinn is discussed, citing her as victim (she conceivably was) without once addressing her as perpetrator (she fucked five men in exchange for good reviews for her mediocre games.) Her trading on her sexuality to further her career was the backbone of the controversy and this is erroneously left out.
Even a cursory glance
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book had some very interesting points, but unfortunately it rambled quite a lot and repeated sections. Urwin was also inclined to make sweeping statements (some of which didn't add up with other things that he said) and the book could have generally done with a little more underpinning with solid research. That said, it was written in a very readable style and the basic premise was excellent - just a shame it didn't fully deliver. I understand the original article by Urwin it was based on i ...more
Matthew Gault
This is a very good book and well worth anyone's time. A book about gender, feminism, masculinity and equality that has received positive reviews from the The Daily Express, The Telegraph, Laurie Penny and The Guardian is clearly going to be something exceptional. Jack's style of writing (cultivated through VICE, where he published the article that inspired this book) is witty, engaging and sensitive.

If you are looking for a book that can help bridge the gap between newspaper articles and acade
Chelsea Harrop
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, 2017
This is such a great and poignant book. Urwin discusses toxic masculinity and how it manifests itself in different contexts. He also talks about the factors in our society that bring about these toxic behaviours. Once you've read this book, pass it on to men in your life because they will really benefit from it, especially the parts on male suicide and the importance of men opening up about their emotional state. Because it's so funny and witty, I think people who aren't normally interested in r ...more
Ryan Riley
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the book's message and premise. However i thought the writer tried a little too hard to be "jokey" and the flip flopping from serious writing to self-deprecation made it hard for me to get a good flow. He is clearly a talented writer so not really sure why the editor didn't steer him away from this. Also i think the American bashing was over the top and could definitely have ostracised a number of people who would be interested in the topic.
Larissa Waibel
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A really good attempt at trying to put heaps of knowledge and gender studies in one book. For once, an essay that is not boring but states all the facts we need to know in case we want to understand the concept of toxic masculinity - and how we can overcome it. Jack Urwin writes for everyone, and the topics of the book have an impact on everyone.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I can’t praise this book enough. An insightful, eye-opening read that is also very engaging and entertaining. So well written, so truthful and honest. I’m tempted to read it all over again just so I can fully appreciate Urwin’s incredible accuracy in his description of toxic masculinity, and the detrimental affects it has on society as a whole. This book should be required reading!
Kris Tin
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2017
the book provides some interesting insights. after a few chapters it gets kind of repetitive though. sometimes urwin lacked a clear train of thought (or at least i could not see it) so the points he was making were lost on me.
Ella Guerin
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
a greatly accessible boom on masculinity and the problems it brings. this book considers so many concepts and makes them understandable to anyone, including skeptics. I think this book is an excellent contribution towards gender equality and improvements in the lives of men
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was near perfect account of masculinity in our modern times. Very interesting and concise. Will be recommending this book to friends who want to know more about how feminism and gender studies connect with masculinity.
May 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cambridge
A valid topic, and a semi decent writing style, but the author expands the content of a ten page article into a 200 page book, which leads to endless repetitions. Stay away.
Gemma Handley
everyone needs to read this book!!
Mariana Tupper
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Funny, insightful, and smart! Highly recommended, either in print or via Audio edition.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I whish I could send this book back in time to my 14 year old self. Only using the four star rating because it is quite repetitive at times.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
I have read a couple of books on masculinity now - 'The Descent of Man' by Grayson Perry, 'Who Stole My Spear' by Tim Samuels and 'How Not To Be A Boy' by Robert Webb - all of which I had enjoyed. So I was looking forward to reading 'Man Up'. Maybe I've just read better books on the subject but this didn't do much for me.

Even though Jack Urwin makes a number of good points on masculinity, they were either a) ideas that have been explored before, or b) surface level with very little in depth expl
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“When people defend masculinity as an inevitable part of our nature, its simply a way for men to avoid taking responsibility for their shitty behaviour, and allows them to inwardly justify a dangerous attitude on account of it being perceived as masculine.” 0 likes
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