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A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?" "Yep," the wife replied , "in-laws"
* Societal forces that have catalyzed the movement * Psychological reasons why the movement gained strength * Various types of the movement * Objectives of the men who work together as brothers in the movement
According to author Susan Faludi (Backlash: The undeclared war against American women), men’s movement is a backlash against the women’s movement
i. Some men feel that women are becoming too independent and powerful
ii. A similar backlash in Rome (1900 years ago), Women gained freedom (of riding in horse-drawn chariots and from wearing multicolored dresses). 195 B.C., Roman Emperor Cato expressed his fear that women had become so powerful.
iii. 7-year survey of American male attitudes in the 1980s found that no more than 5-10% of the men surveyed support women’s demands for dependence and equality (still has not changed today)
B. The men’s movement as a brotherhood of psychological support for men
Example: father’s rights in divorce cases. Women should not be given automatic custody of children
Confusing images of men in contemporary media 1. sensitive guy like Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie) 2. involved family man like Robin Williams (Mrs. Doubtfire) 3. loving father like Steve Martin (Parenthood) 4. macho man like Arnold Schwarzenegger (The terminator) 5. caring nurturer in Kindergarten Cop
Late 19th century- men were focused on expansion (conquering the West and other lands), Cut down trees, and move elsewhere if things didn’t work out where he was
Industrialization and the great migration from farm to city- changed men’s relation to their work
By 1910, less than 1/3 were self-employed, Manhood was vanishing as men worked in factories. Cities represented female’s domestication efforts
The Boy Scouts were founded in 1911- men worried that boys spend too much time around women and Teddy Roosevelt’s hypermasculinity campaign- Rough Riders look. It’s not what Rough riders represent, but the anxiety about what men were, or ought to be
A. Changes caused by the industrial revolution during the early to mid-1900s (according to poet Robert Bly- founding father of the movement)
Kind of work men did changed 1. Before the civil war, 88% (of American men) were small farmers, small business owners. Men worked near their homes. Sons were learning from their fathers 2. By 1910, less than 1/3 of all men were self-employed
Men no longer saw the product of their labor. 1. Sociologist Michael Kimmel argues that manhood is threatened because men no longer worked their land
2. Men became factory workers during the post-industrial revolution iii. Men worked away from home and spent less time with their sons iv. Young men lacked role models. v. Now, men are concerned that they have little say in the upbringing of their children (how different is this from Taiwanese families?)
B. Effect of the women’s movement on the men’s movement i. Men play active roles in child care and housework (women work outside the home) ii. Men are entering occupations held by women i.e. teachers of young children, nurses iii. Men have female colleagues whose communication and management styles differ from men’s iv. Men started to read Robert Bly’s Iron John
A. Many feminists do not like the men’s movement- a way from keeping women achieve equality, advocating women’s return their housewife/motherly roles B. Wives of men who often participate are pleased- men are learning to express their emotions and getting support from other men
When we look back at history, the definition of manhood has always been in a flux. Each historical period, each society and group interprets the (raw) materials of existence in its own way. Like all human constructs (i.e. language, food, clothing) gender systems can change.
A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day,he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me at 5:00 AM " He left it where he knew she would find it.The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AMand he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go andsee why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper bythe bed. The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up." Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.