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The fourteen essays in this edited collection respond to late-20th-century feminist criticism. The essays attempt to define what makes masculinity studies a separate endeavor from feminist critiques of men.

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Feminist critiques of projects like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In (2013), for example—those that exhort women to compete with men in male-dominated workplaces—suggest that women’s embrace of masculinity may be good for individual women but actually quite bad for society. Relishing competition over cooperation, taking pleasure in beating opponents, and showing no remorse for hoarding wealth and exploiting power are features of a masculine “politics of domination.” Is it really a better world if half of the winners of this game are women?

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Among feminists, the reigning metaphor reflecting this optimism is the “stalled revolution,” a phrase introduced by the sociologist Arlie Hochschild in 1989. Her intent was to draw attention to both the progress that had been made (women’s enthusiastic embrace of the traits and activities previously restricted to men) and the progress yet to be made (men’s embrace of those previously restricted to women). Implicit in the metaphor is the idea that we will have reached gender equality when men and women alike embrace both halves of their humanity: masculinity and femininity. As a nation, Hochschild argued, we are halfway there. To fully revolutionize gender relations, we just need to get moving again.

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Masculinity is normative for men, meaning that men are expected to display more of the traits that are associated with masculinity than femininity. Some stereotypically masculine traits include toughness, power, strength, stoicism, leadership, rationality, and virility. Pressure to conform to these stereotypes has negative implications for men and can promote behavior that puts men at greater risk of violence perpetration and victimization than women. For example, men are more likely to drink to excess and drive recklessly, behavior that can put them at disproportionate risk of causing or experiencing injury or death. Since gender is often essentialized, some people think of stereotypically masculine characteristics as biologically determined in men. However, social scientists point to variation in gender performance as evidence that culture shapes and magnifies the manifestation of sex differences.

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'For human beings there is no essential femaleness and maleness, femininity or masculinity, womanhood, or manhood, but once gender is ascribed, the social order constructs and holds individuals to strongly gendered norms and expec...

Review essay that assesses literary masculinity studies and that begins with Brod 1987 as one of the ..

Men and Masculinities - Term Paper

An accessible overview of masculinity studies: how it developed as a field, how it intersects with queer theory and feminist theory, how the male body appears in different official discourses such as law and medicine, and how masculinity intersects with categories of nation and race.