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For the Love of Men: From Toxic to a More Mindful Masculinity

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,965 ratings  ·  306 reviews
A nonfiction investigation into masculinity, For the Love of Men provides actionable steps for how to be a man in the modern world while also exploring how being a man has evolved.

In 2019, traditional masculinity is both rewarded and sanctioned. Men grow up being told that boys don’t cry and dolls are for girls. They learn they must hide their feelings and anxieties, that
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Hardcover, 325 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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Alison C How women would feel about a book called "For the Love of Women: A New Vision for Mindful Femininity", written by a man, would likely depend very much…moreHow women would feel about a book called "For the Love of Women: A New Vision for Mindful Femininity", written by a man, would likely depend very much on the actual content of the book. You don't suggest what that content would be, so I find your question irrelevant. In modern democratic countries, women and men can generally write on any topic they choose. Of course, whether the resulting books are useful/ well-written is a different matter. (less)
Cavak After watching about some of her videos, yes and no. She'll repeat her TedxTalk topics, but she will also go more in depth about them in ways that go …moreAfter watching about some of her videos, yes and no. She'll repeat her TedxTalk topics, but she will also go more in depth about them in ways that go beyond soundbite and stage presentation length. Like including citations and updating information, for starters.

It's also centering on masculine mentalities in modern culture. While feminism does appear to compare with it, that's not the key goal of the book like some of her previous public presentations.

And it helps that For the Love of Men includes other men lending their personal testimonies. So, you'll get more than Plank with this one.(less)

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 ·  1,965 ratings  ·  306 reviews


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Caroline
I’ve read many life-changing nonfiction books. Eating Animals converted me to vegetarianism immediately. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town enlightened me on rape and the broken criminal justice system. The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence taught me about listening to gut feelings to stay safe. I could go on. But For the Love of Men turned on its head everything I knew about males and their place in this world. It was, in every sense of the word, ...more
Shruti
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Shruti by: Caroline
READ THIS BOOK. Seriously, it should be required reading. If there was a way for every person in the world to get their hands on this book, the world would be a much better place.

"The factory we put boys through in order to turn them into men is global, and the urgency of exposing and disrupting it could very well be the paramount test of our time."

For the Love of Men is educational, eye-opening and engaging—all at once. When I started reading it, I couldn't put it down and I can't say that abo
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Eli
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Drop everything: This is the most important book of the year, and you need to read it.

Liz Plank pulls out the big guns in her first book, incorporating her international travel experiences, social experiments, various interviews, and well-cited research surrounding masculinity. Coming from an outsider's perspective, she approaches masculinity from every angle, peppering throughout her book interviews with a wide range of men, including a transgender man, a gay black disabled man, a mixed Native
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rosa guac
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
conversations around masculinity are pivotal in our efforts to imagine a radical & transformative world. and with this book, liz plank gives us a fascinating, data-driven, anecdotal, and expansive account for why that is.

mainly written for men, i thought this book did a strong deep dive into the harmful ways that masculinity is misdirected towards violence and death (patriarchy is literally killing men and women!)

while so many conversations that i've had about feminism and gender center around
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Kara Babcock
Huge note: Since writing this review, I’ve actually come out as transgender! So, uh, enjoy all the parts here where I laughably reaffirm my cis-ness! I will revise this review at some point. (Note to future Kara: actually do that.)

I received this book as a gift from a friend who shares my interest in feminism. She found For the Love of Men: A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity somewhat revelatory. Like me, she had already begun thinking about masculinity (we had both watched The Mask You Live In
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Holly Hillard
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this might be one of the most important books I read this year. I’m sure everyone has experienced some version of the belief that “liberals” or “feminists” are trying to take away masculinity. Or that we are trying to feminize men. The phrase “toxic masculinity” has become one of those things that shuts down conversations. Well, everyone needs to read this book. Her examination of masculinity- what it is and what it isn’t- and the problems that men face was fascinating and thought provok ...more
Sandra
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sandra by: Caroline
Shelves: non-fiction, 2020, 5-stars
Toxic masculinity is not only hurting women. It is also harming men. In the same way gender equality doesn't benefit only women, but also men. Th search for gender equality seen as a war between men and women is a consequence of a noxious concept of what being a man means we all grow up with. Is not about women conquering spaces that belong to men, but the new spaces we all win over. Gender equality should be understood as a war against the harmful notions and expectations that wound us all.

This
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J
Dec 07, 2019 added it
Plank overreaches. This unfortunately is not a good book.

— She is a woman trying to understand the experience of men, but this will never happen, just as men will never understand the experience of women. Swimming in her inflated sense of understanding, she advises men on how better to be men. The nobler, respectful, and compassionate approach is to acknowledge that despite our many unifying similarities, there are a small number of critical differences between men and women. These differences s
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Elaine
Nov 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2019
I have spent my entire life around men: 5 brothers, senior leadership positions for over 20 years where I was the only female in the room. I thought that this experience meant that I understood men. I had read all about venus and mars, studied male-driven cultures, learned to golf and to talk trash about football.

But, only raising a son allowed me to see that I knew very little, and that what I knew might be very wrong. Therefore, I have greatly valued those books that allowed me to rip away my
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Jeff Shackelford
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For the most part, I’ve done a pretty good job evolving past some the negative thoughts, words, or phrases that plague men today. However, I wanted to read this book to give me a better understanding of why I am struggling to make strong connections with other men, even as I’ve worked to reach out over the last five plus years. After reading Liz’s book, my struggle largely makes sense. The foundation for some of these reasons are centuries old, but many come from recent history (100-150 years). ...more
Becca
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great way to dip your toes in if you’re just getting into the topics of gender equality, toxic masculinity, gender roles, and feminism. The author provides mounds of research to educate those who read this book. Should be required reading for everyone!
Ekansh Gupta
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
"We're more comfortable seeing a young boy play with a toy gun than a toy doll"
This book makes the case that men tend to do better in more feminist societies and how traditional gender roles are harming men as well. The book talks in a straightforward fashion, cites numerous studies and throws shade at Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro and other alt-right figures who have made claims in the past that a lack of traditional gender roles is emasculating young men and contributing to their misery. Liz Pl
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Mehrsa
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I read the history of misogyny a while back and it was written by a man and he explained that it was fitting for a man to write that history because they invented it. So I was willing to go along with Plank on masculinity, but there really is nothing new or insightful in here. I agree with the thesis that the rigid notions of masculinity are hurting men and we should change them, but that seems like an empty notion. How to change? What to replace them with? I have ideas about these things, but I ...more
Theodore
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding and eye-opening book on how masculinity is semi-consciously defined by both men and women. The blurb was what initially enticed me, so I think reading that gives an accurate prediction on whether one would enjoy the whole book. NB., though, there are no “actionable steps“ provided but rather an extensive dive into the ideas of manliness in general.

It also seems the author is quite famous, though I didn’t know her beforehand. After reading the book, though, I like her now, and all the
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Jim Angstadt
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
For the Love of Men: A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity
Liz Plank

This seems like an important discussion on how men can change and adapt to a better, broader understanding of who or what we want to become. Sex is what we are born with; gender is what/who we are.

I had a hard time mentally unifying the diverse elements the author presented, all in the name of mindful masculinity.
Allister Mason
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Patriarchy may not hurt equally, but it hurts everyone."

I enjoyed this read a lot and Liz Plank gives an excellent overview of much of the toxic aspects of masculinity in a modern setting. She is able to discuss a serious topic in a fairly light tone and accessible level.

The book gives an overview of how much of what society expects of men and men expect of themselves is often to their detriment (and even death with the high rates of "deaths of despairs" seen among men, particularly white work
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Stephanie Bailey
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: goddess-circle
The world would be a better place if everyone would read, absorb, and discuss this book. Liz Plank thoroughly investigates the many areas where traditional masculine norms are harming and/or inhibiting men and women alike, and while she includes several zappy one-liners that are laugh-out-loud worthy, she also lends a sincere empathy to men for the way society has imposed impossible expectations on them, which I believe is critical to ensuring the conversation about gender norms is inviting and ...more
Hannah
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Listened to this book with my partner. Relevant information for anyone.
Laila (BigReadingLife)
I picked this up because I heard and enjoyed an interview with Plank on Sam Sanders’s It’s Been a Minute podcast. Sadly, this book disappointed. The premise is great. We definitely do a disservice to all of us by how we raise and socialize men in America. This plays out in so many ways. If we encouraged boys and men to freely feel and express a range of emotions we would probably have much less violence in our society, for example. And I do like her attention to race and lgbtq experiences. But t ...more
Tracy
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is one of the most important books for our society today. We all need to be more mindful and compassionate as a whole.
Andrew
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For the Love of Men: A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity, by Liz Plank, is a book discussing masculinity in the modern world, and more specifically, the harms of toxic masculinity in human society. This book is interesting, because it discusses how toxic masculinity is not only harmful for women, but also for men. Men experience shorter lives on average, see their doctor less, are more likely to commit suicide (by a staggeringly high degree), and experience issues with talking about emotion, co ...more
Brandy Cross
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it
This is not a book written for men. I'll say it again for the maybe 300 reviews I've read of people complaining about it not being for men or about men or it doesn't 'get' men. This is not about you. This is not for you. You could read this but then maybe sit down and shut up and stop sharing your experience about it because you have plenty of forums and space to share your opinions in your own spaces and not in women's.

This is a book about helping women to understand why men are like they are
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Barred Owl Books
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Liz Plank is leading a vital debate about gender, power and feminism in a style that opens wider dialogue and reaches beyond the politically converted. She also shows it's entirely possible to have fun while tackling challenges like gender norms and cultural repression. Liz has established herself as a leader and an expert in the field of gender politics -- all without conforming to some of the old rules about what it means to be an expert. Whether you find yourself nodding in agreement or laug ...more
Santiago Guerra Arrangóiz
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
A very interesting read!
SPECIALLY FOR MEN.
I think it gives a fresh, accurate perspective of what must be defined being a man today, and the problems anyone of them faces in a patriarchal society. Also being a better man means being a better human being, we shouldn’t associate being a man with being discriminatory, violent or closed off and miserable. This book gives that point across effectively.
Some chapters are better than others, but it resonated with me deeply. And I believe it could lead t
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W M
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
everyone should read this!!! Read this with my 14 year old brother and we had some great discussions about toxic masculinity and the pressures that accompany “”being a man”” also great to think about some of the small ways I also perpetuate harmful gender norms.... definitely going to read more and be more mindful of the way I interact with people
Emmkay
A compassionate, witty exploration of how gender roles defined by patriarchy hurt men - their health, their relationships, their overall well-being. I particularly liked when the author synthesized interesting research, for example around men’s health issues, or international development that focuses on supporting women without addressing men in the community. I was a bit less interested in her personal anecdotes, but I can see how, coupled with her Instagram presence and high media profile, it ...more
Mike
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly (like, SO thoroughly) researched, well presented with the right amount of humor and frustration mixed in, and utterly compelling, even if you were already convinced at the outset. This is a book for men and women alike, and it lays out very explicitly the many areas of our culture that are affected by harmful ideas of idealized masculinity.
Ben
Sep 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, netgalley
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC.

I was really excited by the description and topic of this book, and think it's absolutely something we need more discussion about. And yet I was disappointed with the execution of this. There's a lot of good points here, but it's written in a very dense style that's a little more academic and less pragmatic than I had wanted. There's plenty of great interviews here with a variety of different perspectives on modern masculinity, but also one w
...more
Lyndsay
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
The content of this book is extremely important. I only wish the book were better written and edited. There are so many typos, extra words, and repetitive statements within paragraphs, I found it difficult to stay focused on the content. The author’s writing style felt at times like reading a transcript of how a person might speak—too informal, loaded with grammatical faux pas, and poorly organized. I often found myself wondering how she jumped from one paragraph to the next. It read like a rush ...more
The Grimm Reader
This was a decent book -- there were some things of value that could be taken away from it. However, the most important thing to note when/before reading it is that the author is a JOURNALIST, not a PSYCHOLOGIST. This book is mostly an opinion piece based on personal research. I thought that the author offered an interesting opinion in regards to certain topics, however she often refuted or disregarded biological and psychological facts on men and women. There are many differences between the g ...more
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