Confucian patriarchs are out—“wonder dads” are in! Divorce rates are rising, while middle-class consumerism and state-backed “family values” are heaping new expectations for men to succeed both at home and the workplace, redefining the standards of fatherhood and fidelity. As policymakers and education “experts” fan the flames of a supposed “masculinity crisis,” TWOC takes a look at the state of the Han man
Attitudes toward gender, dating, and marriage are in frequent f lux. Some men welcome the changing times. Others fear for the future. Those who once enjoyed unassailable positions of power now risk being called out for abusive or harassing behavior. At school, boys are falling behind with their grades amid fears of a growing “masculinity crisis,” the result, some claim, of over- parenting and feminized education. In the workplace, men are frequently competing for pay raises and seniority; while at home, the pressure is on for f irst- time fathers to be “wonder dads”— patriarchs who don’t just bring home the bacon, but cook it, and help with the washing up and homework afterward. Is this why, as some polls report, increasing numbers are indulging in affairs? In this issue, we look at whether Chinese men are truly in crisis— or if the boys are actually doing alright.