Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Good Men Project - No, Seriously, What About the Men?

This article could easily have been an attack on all forms of feminism, but it isn't - it identifies certain strands of misandrist feminism. Quiet Riot Girl looks at the legacy (or lack of one) of Mark Simpson’s 1994 classic book, Male Impersonators: Men Performing Masculinity, which examines the various ways in which men "perform" masculinity.

No, Seriously, What About the Men?

OCTOBER 19, 2011

A closer look at how misandrist arms of feminism institutionalize the neglect of men and masculinity in women’s and gender studies.

Tom Martin is becoming quite well known in the feminist and anti-feminist blogosphere. He has taken the unprecedented action of suing a Gender Studies department—the renowned LSE Gender Institute in London, UK—for discrimination against men. As Martin has said:
When “women’s studies” became “gender studies” departments, it signalled a new era of inclusion for men’s issues—a rejection of this now is a betrayal of men and equality.
In America, the situation is even worse for men, potentially, as many universities and colleges retain the subject of “women’s studies” on their curricula. I have a Ph.D in gender studies, from the UK, and my view is that no matter what the subject is called, it will always be based on extreme feminist dogma and on a misandrist view of the world. Again, as Martin has pointed out:
Patriarchy theory—the idea that men typically “dominate” women—is omnipresent, when research shows that women tend to boss men interpersonally. Texts highlight misogyny but never misandry, its anti-male equivalent.
It is in light of this bias in gender studies that I came to read Mark Simpson’s 1994 classic, Male Impersonatorsand examine how and why it has been omitted from the reading lists of gender studies courses, including modules on “masculinity.”
In Male Impersonators, Simpson undresses the idea of the “natural man” and shows us how men perform masculinity, in popular culture in particular. Male strippers and drag artists, “macho” body builders, pornography, sports, the War Movie, reality television, the “men’s movement,” rock and roll. They all reveal, as examined by Simpson, the complexities and subtexts of modern masculinities. One of the many striking things about reading this book in 2011, 17 years after it was first published, is that it seemed as “fresh” and new as it must have in 1994. It’s because the subject it focuses on—men, and their representation in culture—is one that has been ignored and distorted by subsequent gender theory and by some misandrist strands of feminism.
The authors suggests that feminism has offered three perspectives on masculinity, "which relate to how gender studies has come to ignore and belittle men’s experiences and perspectives. And these three things explain why excellent books such as Male Impersonators are not on gender studies reading lists."

(1) Whatabouttehwimmin?, (2) Men are Monsters, and (3) “Masculinity” is Gay

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