A much-needed, often startling debate on the personal and political dimensions of masculinity
The Politics of Manhood
Profeminist Men Respond to the Mythopoetic Men's Movement
"...a watershed in the national conversation on masculinity that has emerged over the past few years....[T]his book represents not only an extremely interesting text and an historically important document, but also an intervention that will likely change the nature of discourse about men's lives."
Ronald F. Levant, co-author of Masculinity Reconstructed
These essays by profeminist men critique the surface ideals and underlying messages promoted by the men's movement. Is it a backlash against feminism or does it respond to men's real needs independent of feminism? What does the movement say about the appropriate models of masculinity?
While the movement may be more than a bunch of white middle-aged men in war-paint, chanting and grunting in the forest, the profeminist men writing here express their explicit concern with both the surface ideals and the underlying messages promoted by the movement. Essays by several of the leaders of the mythopoetic men's movement, including Robert Bly, respond to the profeminist criticisms, opening a provocative dialogue among men about the politics of the contemporary men's movement, the "crisis" of masculinity, and where to go from here.
"Kimmel leads the field! First a documentary history of profeminist men, now a collection of their responses to the mythopoetic men's movement. Kimmel senses what American culture wants to know about gender and delivers it. Valuable reading for activist, scholar, and studentfor every man and woman in America."
Jean O'Barr, Director of Women's Studies, Duke University
"Can men learn to use male privilege with integrity, on behalf of gender justice? Perhapsif they are willing to challenge each other with respect, to educate each other with compassion, and to call each other into accountability with love. The often-startling debate documented in The Politics of Manhood offers a powerful model for such crucial discourse among men. In collecting these passionate voices, Michael Kimmel thwarts media attempts to caricature the mythopoets, disappear the pro-feminists, and dismiss progressive efforts to scrutinize masculinity altogether. This book provides a much-needed dimensionality to a movement-in-progress, and insight into the complexity of men's workboth personal and politicalfor gender justice."
Kay Leigh Hagan, author of Fugitive Information: Essays from a Feminist Hothead and editor of Women Respond to the Men's Movement: A Feminist Collection
Introduction Michael S. Kimmel
Part I: Conceptual Critiques
1. Weekend Warriors: Robert Bly and the Politics of Masculine Retreat Michael S. Kimmel and Michael Kaufman
2. Mythopoetic Foundations and New Age Patriarchy Ken Clatterbaugh
3. Gazing into Men's Middles: Sam Keen's Fire in the Belly Don Sabo
Part II: The Personal is Political: The Mythopoetic Men's Movement as a Social Movement
4. Men at Bay: The Men's Movement and Its Newest Bestsellers R.W. Connell
5. The Politics of the Mythopoetic Men's Movement Harry Brod
6. "Changing Men" and Feminist Politics in the United States Michael A. Messner
Part III: The Personal is Intellectual
7. Born to Run: Nineteenth Century Fantasies of Masculine Retreat and Recreation (or The Historical Rust on Iron John) Michael S. Kimmel
8. Deep Masculinity as Social Control: Foucault, Bly and Masculinity Tim Beneke
9. A Woman for Every Wild Man: Robert Bly and His Reaffirmation of Masculinity David Gutterman
10. Renewal as Retreat: The Battle for Men's Souls Timothy Nonn
11. Mythopoetic Men's Work as a Search for Communitas Michael Schwalbe
Part IV: The Personal is Personal: The Politics of the Masculinist Therapeutic
12. Homophobia in Robert Bly's Iron John Gordon Murray
13. The Shadow of Iron John Paul Wolf-Light
14. Soft Males and Mama's Boys: A Critique of Bly Terry A Kupers
15. Psyche, Society, and the Men's Movement Chris Bullock
16. Cultural Daddy-ism and Male Hysteria, David M. Weed
17. Iron Clint: Queer Weddings in Robert Bly's Iron John and Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven Mark Simpson
Part V: The Struggle for Men's Souls: Mythopoetic Men Respond to the Pro Feminist Critique
18. Thoughts on Reading This Book Robert Bly
19. The Post-Feminist Men's Movement Aaron Kipnis
20. Healing, Community and Justice in the Men's Movement: Towards a Socially Responsible Model of Masculinity Onaje Benjamin
21. Mythopoetic Men's Movements Shepherd Bliss
22. We've Come a Long Way Too, Baby. And We've Still Got a Ways to Go. So Give Us a Break! Marvin Allen
23. 25 Years in the Men's Movement Jed Diamond
Part VI: Conclusion: Can We All Get Along?
24. Why Mythopoetic Men Don't Flock to NOMAS Michael Schwalbe
25. In Defense of the Men's Movements Don Shewey
26. Betwixt and Between in the Men's Movement Mike Dash
Afterword: Tame Questions of Wild Men Michael S. Kimmel
Spokesperson for the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, Michael S. Kimmel is Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and editor of masculinities, a scholarly journal. His books include Men's Lives, Men Confront Pornography, and Manhood in America: A History.
Contributors: Marvin Allen, Tim Beneke, Onaje Benjamin, Shepherd Bliss, Robert Bly, Harry Brod, Chris Bullock, Ken Clatterbaugh, R.W. Connell, Mike Dash, Jed Diamond, David Gutterman, Michael Kaufman, Michael S. Kimmell, Aaron Kipnis, Terry A. Kupers, Michael A. Messner, Gordon Murray, Timothy Nonn, Don Sabo, Michael Schwalbe, Mark Simpson, Don Shewey, David M. Weed, and Paul Wolf-Light.
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