Manhood is in tatters.
As men, we sort-of know it, but most of us are probably too busy working hard to feed, clothe and house our families to step back and look at what is actually happening to men in society. So we 'suck it up', don't take it personally and just get on with fulfilling our responsibilities. In any case, if we got involved, we'd run the risk of being lumped in with those male superhero guys larking about irresponsibly because they're not allowed to see their kids. Best stay out of that, don't you think?
Of course, that attitude is part of the problem.
Last Sunday, a crew of scaffolders showed up at my house. "How often do you work on Sundays?" I ask one of the 'blokes'. "As much as I can." Says he. "Christmas is just around the corner. I've got a 16 year old boy, a 13 year old daughter (going on 21) and a 9 year old girl (going on 16!)."
Is he being a good father for working so many hours in this dangerous job? Or a bad, absent one?
Who the hell knows any more?
'Man-bashing' is now so commonplace on TV, online, in newspapers and magazines it doesn't even register anymore for most of us. But it really should, according to Peter Lloyd, the author of the new book "Stand By Your Manhood".
And he has a point. Actually he has a lot of points. When you add them all together as he does, you start to realise that we men are in deep shit, and on so many fronts - and in so many countries: particularly here in the UK and the US. And what's happening to married Hindu men in India is truly horrifying.
If I'm honest, I had initial reservations about reading this book. Was it going to be a misogynistic rant, with hundreds of pages of some bitter bloke whinging and complaining about how unfair life is for men?
I was wrong. It is not.
In "Stand By Your Manhood" he has pulled, and tied together all the frayed threads of what's happening to men in the patchwork quilt we call 'life'. And he has done an exquisite job. It is: intelligent, very well-researched including extensive interviews with many female academics and researchers, myth-busting, articulate, witty, upbeat, challenging, surprising, laugh out-loud funny in places, shocking in others, angry, compassionate, respectful of women, optimistic and a really good read. And you'll learn a few things about your penis too.
Will the author get attacked for writing this book? Of course he will. He knows this. His angry detractors won't be able to handle the truth. They will try to eat him alive. And not the parts he might enjoy.
Who should read it? Every man. Gay and straight. And good women. Already, my own partner wants to read it.
But I would especially recommend it to every skinny latte drinking metrosexual man with an over-developed 'feminine side' who might be afraid, like I was, to engage more fully with manhood in all its currently tattered, multi-faceted glory.
As he says - it's brilliant being a man. Let's all become proud 'Suffragents' as he suggests.
Just a word of warning though; this book could cost a bit more than its cover price because if you ever meet the author you'll want to buy him a beer. Probably two. I certainly will.
Roy Sheppard is the author of "Success and Happiness for Young Men" and "Free Happiness for All Young Women". Both are currently free to download at www.YoungAdultLifeGuides.comSuggest a correction