Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Omnivore - A Manhood Problem (and a Rebuttal to Hanna Rosin)

Silhouette of young man looking up.

Here is another feast of links form Bookforum's Omnivore blog - this time all of the links are related to men, masculinity, social gender theory, and other related topics - some interesting articles.

One of the articles linked below, by Hanna Rosin (The End of Men) is adapted from her opening statement at the Munk Debate, “Resolved: Men Are Obsolete,” held in Toronto. In it she offers a list of reasons supporting her contention that men are obsolete (not in a biological sense, but in a social constructivist sense).

Here are her five evidence points:
ONE: It’s the end of men because men are failing in the workplace [curator: and in education].
TWO: It’s the end of men because the traditional household, propped up by the male breadwinner, is vanishing.
THREE: It’s the end of men because we can see it in the working and middle class.
FOUR: It’s the end of men because men have lost their monopoly on violence and aggression.
FIVE: It’s the end of men because men, too, are now obsessed with their body hair.
These are weak points aside from number one. Point two is relevant, but not necessarily a bad thing if the men are still involved in raising their kids (but they often aren't).

Once again, as I have argued before, this is not the end of men any more than the 60s and 70s was the end of women. Men are in a transitional space as far as our role in society, and how we navigate this transition will determine whether men evolve into greater care and compassion, or retrench themselves in traditional, domination models of masculinity. How women engage this transition will make all of the difference.

A manhood problem

Apr 21 2014

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