Since its original publication in 1989, Refusing to be a Man has been acclaimed as a classic and widely cited in gender studies literature. In 13 eloquent essays, Stoltenberg articulates the first fully argued liberation theory for men that will also liberate women. He argues that male sexual identity is entirely a political and ethical construction whose advantages grow out of injustice. His thesis is, however, ultimately one of hope - that precisely because masculinity is so constructed, it is possible to refuse it, to act against it and to change. A new introduction by the author discusses the roots of his work in the American civil rights and radical feminist movements and distinguishes it from the anti-feminist philosophies underlying the recent tide of reactionary mens movements.
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The very title suggests pugnacity-a characteristic usually associated with maleness. Employed paradoxically, Stoltmberg's title and agenda could not be further aparL He writes broadly on all the sexual issues and controversies of our time. With great imagination he explores the various components of human sexuality. His liberation is centered in the notion that there are more than two sexes; each of us possesses our own. He also raises interesting questions and deals with them imaginatively. His essay "What is Good Sex?" will make any reader think twice about a simple gymnastic answer. The essays began as speeches and, thus, have an oral "flavor." Since he deals with controversial topics, not everyone will agree with his opinions. (I personally think he is on the wrong track when it comes to pornography.) I doubt that ariyone, however, can deny the validity of his impulses and humanity. He clearly gives great thought to the problems of manhood in a post-sexist society, a society he hopes to help create. His published works here and in the new classic anthology, For Men Against Sexism, will, I hope, play an important part in such an act of recreation. -- From Independent PublisherFrom Publishers Weekly:
Co-founder of Men Against Pornography, Stoltenberg considers himself a radical feminist. These 13 searching essays reflect his belief that male sexuality is an artificial, social-political construct, inextricably linked to widely held assumptions of men's "natural" superiority over women. Rape, wife-beating, casual humiliation of females and pornography all flow inevitably from this cultural bias, he maintains. Though the author sometimes pushes his rhetoric to extremes ("The idea of the male sex is like the idea of an Aryan race"), these bracing essays link feminist awareness to men's on-going struggle to achieve nonsexist self-definition. One piece invites men to consider the range of erotic possibilities available beyond a macho definition of maleness. Another views the nuclear arms race as an extension of male sadism. Stoltenberg is as critical of gay male sex films as he is of hetero porn; his call for antipornography legislation that would enable women to sue smut-purveyors for damages will no doubt rile First Amendment advocates.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Fontana Press, 1990. Paperback. Book Condition: Used; Good. Bookseller Inventory # 1133999