I Love You: Opening Remarks to Intimate Strangers by L. B. Rubin

““I love you”--magical words, longed for, hoped for, dreamed about. “I love you”--words that hold out the promise that loneliness will be stilled, that life will at last be complete. Once, not so long ago, we heard those words and thought about forever. Once, they signaled the end of the search, meant that we would … Continue reading I Love You: Opening Remarks to Intimate Strangers by L. B. Rubin

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The Triad of Men’s Violence: Violence Against Oneself

“Aggression is the building of a precarious structure of internalized violence. The continual conscious and unconscious blocking and denial of passivity and all the emotions and feelings men associate with passivity—fear, pain, sadness, embarrassment—is a denial of part of what we are. The constant psychological and behavioral vigilance against passivity and its derivatives is a … Continue reading The Triad of Men’s Violence: Violence Against Oneself

Tough Guise

“Most men aren't violent, but 90% of violent crimes are committed by men. The question is why? For too long we've identified masculine strength with violence. But true strength comes from challenging the myth that being a real man means putting up a false front, disrespecting others, and engaging in violent and self-destructive behavior. Let's … Continue reading Tough Guise

The Shooting in Orlando, Terrorism or Toxic Masculinity (or Both?)

“The incident in Orlando was a homophobic attack, and whether [Omar] Mateen [the shooter] was (a self-hating) homosexual himself or whether he had been “radicalized,” neither of these things detract from the fact that homosexuality challenges notions of masculinity in the modern world. Using homophobia as the frame to understand what happened in Orlando, one … Continue reading The Shooting in Orlando, Terrorism or Toxic Masculinity (or Both?)

Overcoming Male Depression

“David,” Elaine says evenly. “You need to tell Terry about hitting Chad.” “I didn’t hit him,” David says sullenly. “Whatever.” Elaine shrugs this off. “It needs to be addressed.” David hovers for a moment between fighting and giving in. Then he sighs, leans back in his chair, and tells me the story. “Chad was walking … Continue reading Overcoming Male Depression

I Don’t Want to Talk About It, Prologue

“In high school, my father saw two boys he knew drown. One kid got pulled out in an undertow off the New Jersey coast and his friend evidently dove out to save him. This tragedy became one of the central metaphors of his life. “A drowning person will grip you,” my father told me, “if … Continue reading I Don’t Want to Talk About It, Prologue

The Gendered Domestic Division of Labor

“One of the main reasons men benefit from marriage is the unequal and taken-for-granted division of domestic labor. Research shows that women historically have shouldered the overwhelming bulk of responsibility for doing household labor, spending three times the amount of time as men doing routine everyday household tasks (for a review, see Coltrane, 2000 [see … Continue reading The Gendered Domestic Division of Labor

Boyhood Troubles

“The way we raise boys in our society not only reinforces masculine personality ideals but also encourages behavior that reflects those ideals. We valorize manhood and start, from the beginning of their lives, to transmit that valorization to our children. Children realize, early on, that if they are fortunate enough to be born with the … Continue reading Boyhood Troubles

A Thousand Plateaus, Opening Remarks

“The two of us wrote Anti-Oedipus together. Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as farthest away. We have assigned clever pseudonyms to prevent recognition. Why have we kept our own names? Out of … Continue reading A Thousand Plateaus, Opening Remarks

A Stud with the Ladies

“Not surprisingly, the most popular boys at River High are heterosexual. Expressing heterosexual desire establishes a sort of baseline masculinity. Bradley, a charming blond, blue-eyed sophomore who could hardly contain his excitement about being interviewed, explained, “To be the coolest guy? If you’re just like a stud at sports and you’re a stud with the … Continue reading A Stud with the Ladies