On Men: Masculinity in Crisis

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9780099416142: On Men: Masculinity in Crisis

An exploration of the challenged state of masculinity in our post-feminist society of gender equality. As we reach the millennium, there is hardly anything to be done that cannot be done by women - where does this leave men? Have men been pushed out of parenting - even of procreation? The brute strength of the male is no longer necessary to mine coal or build ships - or even make war. Men don't have to "provide" for their families, as more women harness their intelligence and generate their own incomes. Is it surprising that male suicides outnumber female by a factor of 3 or 4 to 1, or that the predilection of males to be violent - once seen as a source of pride - now seems to threaten our very culture and civilisation? Is what Clare calls the "phallic man" - assertive, authoritative, dominant, in control not only of himself but of women - dying out? As a practising psychiatrist, Anthony Clare brings a knowledge of science and medicine plus a deep understanding of the human heart and mind to this lively, readable, fair-handed and above all sympathetic examination of the male in today's society.

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Review:

"Whither men?" It's a question which guides Anthony Clare's thoughtful, and provocative, new book On Men: Masculinity in Crisis. Best known as the voice of psychiatry on radio--three volumes of the popular series of interviews, In the Psychiatrist's Chair, have already been published--Clare is an acute observer of the dilemmas of contemporary cultural life. On Men takes an unabashed look at the "crisis" so often supposed to threaten men and their masculinity in our new "Age of the Amazon" (to borrow his phrase). Under siege from all quarters--as breadwinners, lovers, husbands and fathers--the image of manhood that emerges from Clare's analysis is at once powerful and fragile, menacing and menaced. Clare does not shy away from the hard questions facing men as perpetrators of political and personal violence, their "capacity to inflict terrible suffering with seeming indifference and even delight" as he puts it in a discussion of the (exceptionally elusive) origins of male violence. But if the first half of the book is dominated by various forms of a generalised male malignancy--and the equally various attempts to account for it from evolutionary biology to feminism--the second half turns more directly to the problem of men in their relations to women, children and family. Clare is preoccupied by the question of men as fathers, finding evidence of a pervasive devaluation of paternity in the rise in divorce rates and the "visiting father", for example, as well as developments in reproductive technology. His concern at that devaluation suggests the complexity of Clare's position: sympathetic with some feminist criticism of traditional formations of masculinity (instrumentalist, dominating, emotionally isolated), Clare is also keen to retrieve something of the "old man"--the father who knows how to love and protect his children, a man who is strong enough to bear intimacy, and to hear the final challenge of On Men: "a man has got to add up to something". -- Vicky Lebeau

Book Description:

Acclaimed new book on masculinity from Ireland's and Britain's most popular psychiatrist

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Clare, Anthony W.
Published by Arrow Books Ltd (2001)
ISBN 10: 009941614X ISBN 13: 9780099416142
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
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Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
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Book Description Arrow Books Ltd, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11009941614X

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