This exceptional audiobook explores the inner lives of men: their struggles, vulnerabilities, pressures, and insights. Social researcher Maggie Hamilton aims to delineate which emotional characteristics bind men and women rather than which separate them. In What Men Don't Talk About, real and candid interviews with men and boys (performed here by Dino Marnika) alternate with solid research and background (performed by Marie-Louise Walker). Whether a listener is a female who seeks to understand and empathize with a male partner, brother, or son, or a listener is a male seeking permission to open up, this audiobook challenges "a narrow definition of masculinity" and highlights the "wonderful texture" of male psychology.
I found myself frequently frustrated by this book. At times it should be more accurately entitled "What some women think men don't talk about". There is a lot of commentary and relatively little of the actual reported comments of real men talking about the things that they are not generally open about. Maybe the fact that the thing is narrated in a female voice makes this even more obvious.
A large part of the first section ought to be subtitled "Boys eh! What a problem?". Much of this material is obvious and at times appears to be heavily biased towards an Australian culture. Possibly appropriate for the ambitions of the title but not apparent from the publishers guff.
If you are one of the men of the world who for whatever reason do not have children expect to feel short changed as well. I am and I did. There is a great deal of coverage of the alledged thoughts of fathers about children but no references at all to the rest of us.
At the very end of the work some context is given to its importance by referring to the disparity in suicide rates between the sexes. This material might have made more sense at the beginning as a means of establishing that the problem that the work purports to address needs addressing. Without them a lot of the material comes across as a woman saying "Wouldn't the world, and the men in it, be happier if they were more like women". There is almost no attempt to identify that some of the attitudes that men hold to life are important for the creation of a civilised society and that maybe sometimes both men and women just have to suck it up and get on with it for a greater good.
Basically an interesting idea executed in a frustrating and unsatisfying way.
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