Misframing Men: The Politics of Contemporary Masculinities

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The first decade of the new millennium has witnessed an extraordinary transformation in men's lives. For years, wave after wave of the women's movement, a movement that reshaped every aspect of American life, produced nary a ripple among men. But suddenly men are in the spotlight. Yet, the public discussions often seem strained, silly, and sometimes flat-out wrong. The spotlight itself seems to obscure as much as it illuminates. Misframing Men, a collection of Michael Kimmel's commentaries on contemporary debates about masculinity, argues that the media have largely misframed the issues.

Kimmel, among the world's best known scholars in gender studies, discusses political moments such as the Virginia Military Institute and Citadel coeducation cases that reached the Supreme Court (the participated as expert witness for the Justice Department) along with Promise Keepers rallies, mythopoetic gatherings, and white supremacist recruitment. He takes on antifeminists as the real male bashers, questions the unsubstantiated assertions that men suffer from domestic violence to the same degree as women, and examines the claims made by those who want to rescue boys from the "misandrous" reforms initiated by feminism. In writings both solidly grounded and forcefully argued, Kimmel pushes the boundaries of today's modern conversation about men and masculinity.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sociology professor Kimmel (Guyland) is one of the co-founders of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism. In this collection of essays, he looks at "missteps on the way to redefining manhood" and dismisses "increasingly shrill assertions" of psycho-biological "Mars/Venus" differences between the genders. He not only examines the post-9/11 reassertion of "heroic and unapologetic masculinity," but also the aggressiveness of Bush-era foreign policy and financial rapacity. He deconstructs claims that women are driving males out of classrooms, attributing the differences in enrollment to class and race (college-bound whites, for instance, are split 50-50 along gender lines, but the ratio among blacks is approximately two to one). Kimmel sees trends both positive (in families where both parents work, men are increasingly taking on more responsibility and enjoying a closer relationship with their children) and negative (men express their newfound insecurity with homophobic jokes, for instance). Though he makes no effort to hide his own progressive politics, Kimmel offers an insightful, balanced view of the problems behind "me Tarzan, you Jane." (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813547626
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Kimmel is a professor of sociology at SUNY, Stony Brook. A highly visible advocate for gender equality, he is the author of the celebrated Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men and Manhood in America, the definitive history of American masculinity, among other books, and is the founding editor of Men and Masculinities. He was among the founders of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, now celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: Misframing Men 1

Part 1 Reframings

1 Has "A Man's World" Become "A Woman's Nation"?: Men's Responses to Women's Increased Equality in the Twenty-first Century 15

2 The Children's Hour: Masculine Redemption in Contemporary Film (with Amy Aronson) 38

3 Reconciliation, Appropriation, Inspiration, and Conversation: Four Strategies of Racial Healing among White Men 50

Part 2 Reversals

4 Who Are the Real Male Bashers? 69

5 A War against Boys? 92

6 "Gender Symmetry" in Domestic Violence 99

Part 3 Restorations

7 Profiling School Shooters and Shooters' Schools: The Cultural Contexts of Aggrieved Entitlement and Restorative Masculinity 131

8 Globalization and Its Mal(e)contents: Masculinity on the Extreme Right 143

9 Promise Keepers: Patriarchy's Second Coming as Masculine Renewal 163

10 Saving the Males at VMI and Citadel 173

11 Janey Got Her Gun: A VMI Postscript 197

Part 4 Resistance

12 Who's Afraid of Men Doing Feminism? 209

13 Profeminist Men: The "Other" Men's Movement 220

Index 231

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