Women, Men and The Culture Shift in America

Carlos Andrés Gómez & Courtney Martin on the next conversation between men & women in America
9:15 | 09/18/14

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Transcript for Women, Men and The Culture Shift in America
Now we want to turn -- this serious conversation that is dominating the workplace the media and the home Ray Rice and the NFL. Under fire for domestic violence and their response to it challenging our views of gender rules and what -- -- now as a society. To discuss this topic I want to bring -- -- very notable people who will be speaking at a -- conference on women in power the next conversation between women and men. Carlos Andres Gomez he's the author of man up re imagining modern manhood a powerful coming of age memoir that -- imagined masculinity for the 21 century male. Plus Courtney Martin -- the award winning author of the book starving daughters how the quest for perfection. It's harming young women at -- have both of you with us your real -- You haven't at this conversation I do find it to be. Actually even more timely given the types of headlines that we're seeing these days Ray -- even the Oscar historians. Conversation that's taking place what do you think of all of this and our response as a society. To. All of the headlines these days -- I think -- the knee jerk reaction and the very reactive sort of incendiary. Tweets FaceBook status updates I think that that's not. Pushing us in a direction what we're finding solutions to these problems. And I think I can speak as a man a lot of the -- that. You know I see around me coping you know -- we -- with all these different things that have been coming up and a lot of -- -- just. Shut down. Change the conversation not talk about it. And I think that if -- and you know if we're gonna work -- some of these things we have to be willing to be self critical self aware as sort of rethink the way that we've learned to be man in the world because we all kind of collude with the culture. This hyper masculine culture -- we don't have to dismantle it. We collude -- and I think we reinforce. -- -- all the way of living that allows for men to be violence and to act out these waves. I see you shaking your head to some -- an agreement. After image I think what's so exciting about what -- -- is saying -- are sort of shifting for a place of we need to protect women between did you write their victims of violence and randomly. But it doesn't that we need to liberate men rate we haven't really had that conversation they cannot I think until now and and you know Ray Rice doesn't want to be re right -- now right he's suffering he doesn't want to be -- me. And how we create authentic masculinity that guys like heartless and others out in -- world. Being themselves. Being nonviolent which we -- as a better quality of life you know having authentic emotions. That's the sort of the next frontier I think this whole conversation which by the way when they're tightening you -- -- writes I'm sure that your feelings are also that. His wife. Never wanted to be in that situation either so to say what you just said doesn't negate that -- first inform us straight is is acknowledging that this violence goes on -- that women are disproportionately affected right. Point blank at the beginning the conversation. The -- the conversation has to be why is all this violence happening right what is happening tonight and in their socialization and the way that they interact -- society that suddenly violent scenes like the answer and how do you answer that question. -- and I know for me I think so much -- discussion oftentimes when people are approaching man is facing don't do this stop doing this. Everything else I think I think of more the pro active approach what we say why don't we teach our men from the very young age. To be emotionally literate and accessible where are examples of that. I think I think that's a great question I think that's why we need to be -- -- and and I think I think we need examples of that and that's why I think people men especially important leadership roles board membership rolls where parents. -- fathers. On need to step up and say listen it's okay to be to be sensitive it's -- to be emotionally open. To -- knowledge we don't know something -- not be in control to share power to share leadership. All these things that have respect. And -- going up I thought a lot of NASA's work -- -- always -- -- control and you can never admit you're wrong. And to me that's the -- entirely wrong messaging me just say listen. Your -- your boy it's okay to be a whole wide range of things and not just this very narrow box that says you always have to be in control of stoic and tough and the winner. Your book is about girls and women and I wonder because so much of the conversation. Especially in the last five years has focused on the development of young women and making for stronger young women. And that's a great conversation. I wonder if part of what Carlos is talking about has been lost because of the conversation focusing the pendulum swinging in that direction so there isn't this other conversation. Of equal importance taking place about. Men and and grooming. Young boys to be strong men struck in the sense of emotionally strong and capable. But also a very open and willing. To play multiple roles in society as opposed to just that one. -- image we used to have -- -- be appropriate male identity. That's what I mean if you think that's right -- lean and Sheryl Sandberg conversation it has been such a big one. That's largely an I think there's some great things in not and that conversation not -- but it's largely about getting women to be more like -- and -- like. Lean into the traditional workplace negotiate for yourself. Some of which -- great -- But the conversation to shift to be how to change the entire workplace so that men and women's -- parents we're taking care of you know their own parents who -- whenever. All of us can live full lives that include meaningful work and and meaningful time -- -- I have a ten month old. And watching my husband's. Embrace this care taking -- -- get such joy and pleasure from it I think it's been one of the joys of his life but that's not really a big conversation on talk about how much men. Miss Senator Kerry taking ailing talk about how women need to get and that in the work -- and be strong. -- also celebrating. When. It really ample -- that message when men are in those roles. And not making it like mr. mom -- sort of pandering thing but more of this is reality and this is a good thing. Yes I think even in line without even though in the -- that the question was framed I think there's some -- idea of OK Karl we'll talk about the man and cordial talk about the women. After we fight it out who wins and I think baffled by -- just needs to be dismantled and destroyed. -- do you do it and -- I I don't. I mean I I -- I don't disagree -- -- -- but how do you make that happen. I think that we have to all. -- these ideas that all of us are these complex multi -- Hold beings that contain many different dimensions we're not just -- only few characteristics that are for men. And these few characteristics that are for women and we all have to just jump into one of those two boxes I know for me. -- that the the man that I am now a lot of them -- characteristic that were feminized and I was younger so I felt like they were wrong and I felt like -- change them. When I finally embraced who I was -- acting poetry writing was around people -- that. I realize that it was okay to be all these things and be a man and a human being and all the other multitude of things. And so I think that what what -- what we'll Courtney saying he's not many we taking away from the ways that men can be more fully themselves. It is in fact in service of that I think we all need to affirm the authenticity genuineness and all the complicated people that we are for us to break away from these things. And president attacking batsman -- cultural level of what we can do there's also this deep systemic structural rating -- -- -- important to this track and I mean. This country has an abysmal paternity and maternity leave policy we are behind -- industrial. Industrialized countries in almost every way when it comes to it like the work like Alan well you think on that -- what would you think of a paternity leave that is as long as a maternity leave that that most come because most companies do all this the company I work for for example. We offer maternity leave and a paternity leave here but I think the timing is different. I haven't had a child yet some -- well that looked into the policies specifically but. A lot companies that offer maternity they may offer some portion of time ran for the -- but it's not the same. Well you know anything it's less in Knight Frank about their allotment of time and more about the flexibility you know there's this great thinker out of tiniest -- at work like that instead of -- -- really seen that in my -- life in the -- of the new moms and -- around me that. You know send him that that'll take off two weeks in the beginning -- that he -- treatments to take another month because. That's when his wife is gonna start transition back to -- and says he can be more present parents. That's really what we need is just flexibility we're all living -- sort of diverts the diversity structured lives that it's not like every -- nine to five going to an office this amount of time in the center. So I think it's really it's more about the flexibility that a specific -- of time but it's also that the cultural. Affirmation and take appetite immediately because one thing that many say that as you get -- paternity leave but an island takes it because they're looking at each other like what he didn't take -- I'm not gonna take it. Yet that we sent -- is actually penalized man who don't take paternity leave that's interest and and managed to get guys to go ahead and -- and say it its okay we're all really excited about being parents. You know. Very interesting I think this conversation -- could have. Very much longer period of time both of you people should check out both of your books Carlos Courtney thank you so much for joining us -- conversation.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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