XY, on Masculine Identity (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism)

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Examining changing role models for masculine identity—from cowboy in the 1950s to Terminator in the 1990s, from flesh-and-blood man to machine—this book suggests that men need new role models and that sufficient room needs to be left for the expression of male vulnerability, a psychic space that would accept attitudes and behaviors traditionally labeled as "feminine." This new model, Badinter argues, may reduce the profound effects of homophobia and misogyny.

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Overview

Examining changing role models for masculine identity—from cowboy in the 1950s to Terminator in the 1990s, from flesh-and-blood man to machine—this book suggests that men need new role models and that sufficient room needs to be left for the expression of male vulnerability, a psychic space that would accept attitudes and behaviors traditionally labeled as "feminine." This new model, Badinter argues, may reduce the profound effects of homophobia and misogyny.

A New York Times New and Noteworthy Paperback

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Examines masculinity from a historical and psychological perspective, lingering on how society's and men's attitudes toward homosexuality have changed over the years. . . . The subject . . . is well researched and skillfully presented.
Booknews
The French feminist philosopher draws on biological examples, historical and sociological analyses, fiction, and biography to define the male gender identity that is being invented as sex roles become more ambiguous and stereotypes are shattered. She examines changing male role models, from 1950s cowboy to 1990s Terminator, and concludes that the traditional model of masculinity is out of phase with the evolution of women. It's also, she finds, the source of "a veritable mutilation" that men are just beginning to become aware of. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

ELISABETH BADINTER, internationally known feminist philosopher and historian, teaches at the École Polytechnique in Paris.

LYDIA DAVIS is the author of Almost No Memory.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the American Edition
Preface
Acknowledgments
Prologue: The Enigma of Masculinity - the Big X 1
Pt. 1 Constructing a Male (Y): Masculine Identity
Ch. 1 Y; or, Sexual Dualism 35
Ch. 2 Masculine Differentiation 43
Ch. 3 "It is Man Who Engenders Man" 67
Ch. 4 Identity and Sexual Orientation 97
Pt. 2 Being a Man (XY): Healing the Sick Man
Ch. 5 The Mutilated Man 127
Ch. 6 The Reconciled Man 161
Notes 187
Bibliography 243
General Bibliography (Selected Novels) 249
Index of Names Cited 271
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