Existentialism and the Origins of Male Supremacy

“While women demand a new status, says [Simone] de Beauvoir, they are far from achieving it and the institutions of patriarchy are still largely intact. Not only have 'abstract rights' not been granted to women everywhere; abstract rights themselves have never sufficed to assure women a definite hold on the world. True equality, she adds, … Continue reading Existentialism and the Origins of Male Supremacy

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Men’s Interests in Contemporary Patriarchy: A Draft Balance Sheet

“Treating ‘men’ and ‘women’ as undifferentiated categories, it is possible to draw up a collective balance sheet for men showing both the gains and losses, or benefits and costs, from contemporary gender arrangements. [...] The model distinguishes four major dimensions (or structures) in gender relations. This discussion focusses on the current state of play in … Continue reading Men’s Interests in Contemporary Patriarchy: A Draft Balance Sheet

The racial dimension of mass incarceration is its most striking feature . . .

“The racial dimension of mass incarceration is its most striking feature. No other country imprisons so many of its racial or ethnic minorities. The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid. In Washington, D.C., it is estimated that three out of four young … Continue reading The racial dimension of mass incarceration is its most striking feature . . .

The Strife between Workman and Machine

Today marks the day where Marx's influential and widely-read book Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume 1: The Process of Production of Capital (1867) was published 150 years ago: “But machinery not only acts as a competitor who gets the better of the workman, and is constantly on the point of making him superfluous. … Continue reading The Strife between Workman and Machine

The Irresponsibility of Guilt

“Change and learning occur most readily when you (a) recognize that an error has occurred and (b) develop a strategy for correcting the problem. An attitude of self-love and relaxation facilitates this, whereas guilt often interferes. . . .”

Men at Bay: The ‘Men’s Movement’ and Its Newest Best-Sellers

“Therapy of course has value for dealing with situations of crisis and despair. In less dramatic situations it often helps with sheer survival. But to transform emotional relationships, and a complex emotional structure like ‘masculinity,’ is inherently a collective project not an individual one. It must involve large numbers of people; it must deal with … Continue reading Men at Bay: The ‘Men’s Movement’ and Its Newest Best-Sellers

Boys and Their Toys

Contemporary self-making often requires dramatic reinvention. Left: A shy midwesterner, Marion Michael Morrison, transformed himself into John Wayne, the most readily identifiable masculine icon of the decades following World War II. (Publicity photography) Bottom: And President George W. Bush, son and grandson of aristocratic New England bluebloods, who repped at Andover, graduated from Yale and … Continue reading Boys and Their Toys

Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest

“His voice quavering, the young man stammered something [...] about how women can be as insensitive and hurtful as guys. He sounded like a victim himself. But afterward, when I asked him if he had reached out to any of his guy friends for advice or solace, he stared at me, incredulous, his irises two … Continue reading Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest

Invisible Laws of Capitalism

“In capitalist society individuals are controlled by a pitiless law usually beyond their comprehension. The alienated human specimen is tied to society as a whole by an invisible umbilical cord: the law of value. This law acts upon all aspects of one's life, shaping its course and destiny. The laws of capitalism, which are blind … Continue reading Invisible Laws of Capitalism

Setting Out

“I hate travelling and explorers. Yet here I am proposing to tell the story of my expeditions. But how long it has taken me to make up my mind to do so! It is now fifteen years since I left Brazil for the last time and all during this period I have often planned to … Continue reading Setting Out