Standup Guy by Michael Segell
Masculinity That Works

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



Three decades after American women changed their strategy in the battle of the sexes, how do men really feel? About themselves? About feminism? Is it still possible for men to be heroes? Aggressive pursuers of status and dominance--their traditional goals? In this candid dispatch from the front lines of the gender war, journalist Michael Segell delivers some provocative answers.
        As a columnist for Esquire and an editor at Cosmopoli-tan, Segell began to document a serious disconnect between American men and women, a seemingly unbridgeable divide between what men and women say in public about sexual roles and their very real private thoughts and desires. Women today expect that they will be fulfilled both professionally and personally. But often, Segell found, men are secretly too angry and resentful to woo, or stay married to, women they view as competitors. The result for men: a passive-aggressive approach to women, a historic aversion to intimacy (the euphemistic "lack of commitment"), and a rapidly declining marriage rate. Even, astonishingly, a new mode of payback: sexual withholding.
        After interviewing disaffected combatants, married and single, on both sides of the ideological divide and tracing the causes of men's pain and confusion, Segell embarked upon a search for the kind of man who can end this sexual stalemate--a man who doesn't retreat from successful women. Over time, a portrait resolved: Both a lover and a fighter, he's tough and competitive yet loving and compassionate, stoic yet emotionally sophisticated, skilled in the bedroom and the boardroom. In short, a standup guy.
        Deep in an all-male universe--at men's retreats and in locker rooms--Segell limns the evolution of a new masculinity, a model that reaffirms traditional male virtues, the durability of manly friendship, the immutability of the ancient laws of sexual attraction, the delights of marriage and children, and the importance of the bond, however challenging and strained, between fathers and sons. Along the way, he turns his focus upon himself, offering moving accounts of the events and relations that have shaped his own vision of what it means to be a man. Finally, through keen analysis of sexual manners and rhetoric, Segell offers a blueprint, for both sexes, for a détente in the thirty-year gender war.
        Intelligent, direct, and deeply felt, drawing upon comprehensive research and personal history, Standup Guy will enlighten and inform men and women alike.

        This is a book about men--Big Men and "rubbish men," athletes and aesthetes, philanthropists and presidential philanderers, babes and bullies, warriors and wimps, ladies' men and louts, and surfers, censorious censors, and CEOs.
        It's a book about male obsessions--or as my wife puts it, sports and sex. But it's also about the durability of manly friendship; the pure tough heart of little boys; the virtues of dominance and aggression; the utility of emotional constraint; the willfulness of the penis; the calming delights of marriage; and the challenging, often dangerous bond be-tween father and son. It's a book about the immutable laws of sexual attraction, and the persuasive power of a slow hand. It's about the dawning of personal insight, catharsis, and change.        --from the Introduction

About Michael Segell

See more books from this Author
Michael Segell wrote the popular column "The Male Mind" for Esquire, where he was a contributing editor. Twice nominated for National Magazine Awards, he has contributed to a wide variety of publications, including Rolling Stone, Time, Sports Illustrated, and The New York Times. Currently a columnist for MSNBC and the New York Daily News, he lives with his wife and their children in New York.
Published June 1, 1999 by Villard. 234 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Standup Guy

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Former Esquire columnist Segell writes of his quest for the ""standup guy"" who ""combines the best of the old masculine codes with the fresh personal insight necessary to win the love of the New Woman."" A ""veteran gender-war correspondent,"" he battles the ""ideological pointy heads and academ...

| Read Full Review of Standup Guy: Masculinity That...

Entertainment Weekly

Two new books offer fresh fodder for the ongoing conversation between the sexes: Standup Guy, a fascinating, remarkably touching study of male behavior, has former Esquire columnist Segell stewing over everything from fetishes (''Oxytocin ...

Aug 13 1999 | Read Full Review of Standup Guy: Masculinity That...

Reader Rating for Standup Guy

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review