March 2nd, 2011

Recommended Reading #36: Men



      “Does empowering women really make men less ‘relevant’?” by Hugo Schwyzer (Reproductive Freedom, Gender Socialization, Relationship) 11/12/10

For as long as I can remember I have appreciated perspectives that have perceived the unfavorable effects (and/or arbitrary nature) of gender socialization to both/all sexes. Women indeed have experienced collectively effects of the phenomenon in tangibly grotesque ways, which is a foundation of the formation and emergence of feminism. I appreciate that and also appreciate recognizing that the constraints of gender socialization are as well harmful to all; the entire conundrum of the contention of certain “roles” or “ways of being” according to one’s sex has always struck me as profoundly misguided and inescapably detrimental. I appreciate the exploration in this article of this and the opportunity for men (and all of us in our collective perception of “men”) in the lessening and dissolution of gender-based prescriptions particularly in the context of shifting medical/physical circumstances.

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      “Downsides to being seen as a man” at Not Another Aiden (Gender/Sexual Identity, Gender and Society) 8/12/10

I found this post an interesting first-person exposition on experiences of gender (from someone who has experienced it from different sides), specifically as a man, in U.S. culture.

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      “The Myth of the Male Orgasm” by Sarah Sloane (Relationship, Gender Socialization, Sex and Culture, Sexuality Education) 12/16/10

I found it heartening and refreshing to see a piece devoted to the variety and individuality of the biological male sexual experience. The idea that men all are interested in the same thing and perform the same way strikes me as ludicrous (and I too have personally observed that it does not seem to be the case), yet it also seems a pervasive underlying perception in the general culture. I deeply love and appreciate the straightforward, compassionate tone of this piece in saying things that seem to me very important to be said.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

6 Responses “Recommended Reading #36: Men”

  1. I couldn’t agree more that the dividing lines we put up between gender behavior is short sighted. It’s a small wonder we, as a society, have such a difficult time with honest relationships. We spend so much time “proving” ourselves rather than being ourselves.

    Maybe this is one of the things I struggle with when I write stories.

    Lots of good stuff to ponder.

  2. Emerald says:

    “It’s a small wonder we, as a society, have such a difficult time with honest relationships.”

    Interesting—and, it seems to me, relevant—point, Craig.

    It occurs to me that I have consistently found your stories/writing to ring with the kind of honesty I think you reference here.

    Thanks for coming by. :)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lots of interesting and thought provoking stuff there.

    (sorry I often don’t have much more to say than that!)

    Have you read Norah Vincent’s ‘Self-Made Man’, Emerald? It’s an interesting book, and relevant to the second piece you linked to in particular.

  4. ste says:

    ^ forgot to type my name in!

  5. Hi, Emerald!

    Craig, I find this truly profound:

    ‘We spend so much time “proving” ourselves rather than being ourselves.’

    I think this can happen in various aspects of life.

  6. Emerald says:

    Hi ste! I have not read Self-Made Man, though I have heard of it. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Hi Jeremy! I agree as well that what you quoted from Craig is a widespread phenomenon. I was reading an article the other day in which I saw this quote, which I love and appreciate:

    “…[T]here is a part of me which is wiser, stronger, more truthful, more creative and more courageous than the everyday self I have been taught to present to the world.”

    Lovely to see you both! Xoxo

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