Readers sound off on why young American men are so angry


On Tuesday, in the aftermath of the Gilroy Garlic Festival mass shooting — committed, as such carnage overwhelmingly is, by a young man — I ran a column asking one question: Why are young American men so angry?

Emails came pouring in from all over the country, men (and some women) of all ages, offering their thoughts as to what’s behind this epidemic.

What almost all have in common is a belief that the root causes go beyond gun control or violence in the media or first-person shooter games or easy access to hard-core pornography or virtual social lives that allow like-minded youth to interact only with those who stoke and reinforce resentment and anger.

In fact, most of these readers believe that what we’re seeing today, with alarming regularity, is a result of a decades-long erosion — in education, in popular culture, in the family and the workplace and society at large — in the way we now raise and regard boys and young men. Many pointed to the relatively new buzz phrase “toxic masculinity” as emblematic of the liberal and media elite’s reflexive contempt, one with real-world, trickle-down consequences.

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