Masculinity and Morality (Paperback)Larry May (author)
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What does it mean to be a morally responsible man? Psychology and the law have offered reasons to excuse men for acting aggressively. In these philosophically reflective essays, Larry May argues against standard accounts of traditional male behavior, discussing male anger, paternity, pornography, rape, sexual harassment, the exclusion of women, and what he terms the myth of uncontrollable male sexuality. While refuting the platitudes of the popular men's movement, his book challenges men to reassess and change behavior that has had detrimental effects on the lives of women and of men.
In May's view, the key to solving many problems is to understand how individual actions may combine to produce large-scale, harmful consequences. May is eager to reconceptualize male roles in ways that build on men's strength rather than rendering them androgynous. Each chapter in his book suggests strategies to effect changes based on May's views on the nature of moral responsibility.
Examining separatism and the socialization of youth in athletics and the military, specifically at Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel, May analyzes the moral implications of the way all-male environments are constructed. Rejecting the standard arguments for them, he speculates about the positive ways they might be used to transform the socialization of young men.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 283 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
"May's points are well-argued, at times original, and always stimulating reading. Graduate courses on ethics and responsibility would do well to incorporate chapters from this book in their readings. And those character educators who haven't yet seen how feminism could apply to 'them' and their courses, would do well to read through these arguments. The book is one of the first books in the 'men and masculinity' literature to make feminism and feminist issues the heart of the book. This is a good work."* Journal of Moral Education *
"May... addresses several gender-related issues from a 'group-oriented' point of view.... He contends that men need to alter their behavior toward women, rejecting the position that innate qualities or badgering compel them to behave as they do.... He provides a well-articulated account of a distinctive stance on major issues."* Library Journal *
"This book represents May's latest ideas in his ongoing project to 'rethink' masculinity... His book is rich in insights and deservers to be widely read for its intelligent discussions of central aspects of sexist oppression in Western society. It is an admirable contribution to realizing Marx's dictum that the point of philosophy is to change the world, not merely interpret it."* Ethics *
"In this set of essays on topics like pornography, rape, sexual harassment, the Citadel, and paternity, Larry May develops a distinct moral vision that rejects traditional definitions of masculinity without requiring that we cease to be men in order to act ethically. Bracing, fresh, and insightful, these essays make it possible for men to be both masculine and moral."-- Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America: A Cultural History (SUNY at Stony Brook (Sociology)
"Larry May is a careful philosopher who asks interesting and important questions about the interpersonal and social responsibilities of men in a society of continuing injustice to women. He makes precise distinctions and good arguments in answering those questions. A first-rate book."-- Iris M. Young, author of Justice and the Politics of Difference
"People are too used to books about 'gender' being about women. Larry May's book challenges men to think about why issues like pornography, sexuality, rape, harassment, and all-male institutions are their moral and social problems, too. May's arguments for men's shared responsibility in these matters of intense popular debate are always clear and often provocative. They make discussion hard to resist. This book is an excellent choice for courses in ethics or feminism."-- Margaret Urban Walker, Fordham University