The idea of the sensitive, post-feminist 'new man' has received great attention. This book sets out to determine how much of the hype is based on fact, and why such images have proliferated in the media. McMahon focuses on the pivotal issue of men's relationship to the vital daily work of caring for people - both physically and emotionally - revealing much confusion about the extent and the interpretation of change. Using statistical data, as well as interview transcripts and media analysis, McMahon draws insightful distinctions between pleasure and performance, assistance and responsibility, gendered personality and gendered jobs, and - underlying all - between consumption and production. Incorporating social theory, psychology and popular culture, this book argues that recent social conversation about men largely avoids the important political point that men's material interests provide a major motivation for resistance to pro-equity change.
Introduction; 1. Changing Men?; Part I. The Interests of Men: 2. Having a wife: the division of labour and male right; 3. Producing men: the labour of love; Part II. The Revolving Door: 4. Stalled rhetoric: the optimistic will; 5. It's on the agenda: optimism about images; 6. The new father: the masculine new man; Part III. The Blocked Door: 7. Blocked door theory: misrecognising resistance; 8. The separated, defensive male: psychologizing sexual politics; 9. Conclusion: looking after men.