The deep irony of all of this is that the men don’t feel empowered by male privilege. What they feel is trapped in silos of social and emotional isolation, under siege, as millions of women and other men rebel against an antiquated social contract that systematically cuts us off from deeper, more authentic human connection.
Our culture tells our sons “don’t be a sissy” or “be a man” but the message is clear: Don’t be a woman, women are less. As early as age four, boys are already being taught to reject the feminine, constructing a version of themselves that integrates women’s second-class status into their masculine identities. This drumbeat condemnation of the feminine is the perfect trap, cementing in place the interlocking double bind of misogyny and self-alienation that is the man box.