Mean Men: The Perversion of America’s Self-Made Man

Mark Lipton. Voussoir, $16.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-9986130-2-4
Amid a chorus of women’s voices sounding the #MeToo movement, Lipton, a New School management professor, issues a detailed, methodical, and scathing critique of male behavior at its worst. He asks what it is in American culture that allows “mean men” to function and be celebrated in many sectors of society, including in the country’s highest political office. Lipton focuses on entrepreneurs, the “go-getting, risk-taking and rebellious” class now lionized in America, as a rich source of examples. From “Opportunists” to “Dogmatists,” Lipton discusses six distinct types of problematic archetypes that all share the common traits of being abusive to coworkers, unprincipled, unempathetic, deceitful, lacking in remorse, and prone to shunning responsibility. Whether the example is Mark Pincus of Zynga, Steve Jobs of Apple, producer Harvey Weinstein, or Dov Charney of American Apparel, Lipton has no qualms about naming names and telling the stories of men long allowed to flourish despite their unpleasant behavior. As for mean women, Lipton argues that they certainly exist, but that social norms make them less likely to thrive. What to do about their male counterparts, then? Empathy, Lipton says at the conclusion, can be used to understand and thus stand up to them. Readers with “mean men” for bosses will feel newly empowered by Lipton’s well-timed manifesto. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
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