A portrait of the 21st century man looks something like this: He'd rather be a good father, husband, son or friend than be professionally successful. He's emotionally intelligent. He's comfortable with women in the workplace, but not yet comfortable being the stay-at-home dad. He wants his daughter to be independent, but doesn't necessarily want his partner to be independent.
At least that's what the survey results show us in The Shriver Report Snapshot: An Insight Into The 21st Century Man published this month, which includes the responses of 818 American men over the age of 18.
The goal of the report was to really dig into sensitive topics such as attitudes about gender and sex.
And what they found was that the modern man is pretty conflicted about everything. He's progressive in some ways — like being comfortable married to a woman who makes more money than he does — but then, in other ways, he's still stuck in the olden days. He thinks it's harder to be a man today than it was for his father because more women are competing against him in the workplace. And he's not very comfortable "having a female President of the United States."
Clearly, we still have a ways to go.
But it is interesting that the definition of the "American Dream" has evolved so much over time. According to the report, three in five of today’s men named personal achievement at home as the marker of success. The idea of being a "strong man" is focused most on personal character and integrity, rather than physical displays of masculinity.
He's confused. He wants his daughter to be intelligent, independent, strong, and principled so that she can thrive in the workplace. But this, in turn, is what he thinks makes it so difficult to be a man today. So he's just going to have to get over it.
If you want to read the full report, you can find it here.