Masculinities and the Law

A Multidimensional Approach

Michael Kimmel
Frank Rudy Cooper
Ann C. McGinley

NYU Press (publisher)

According to masculinities theory, masculinity is not a biological imperative but a social construction. Men engage in a constant struggle with other men to prove their masculinity. Masculinities and the Law develops a multidimensional approach. It sees categories of identity—including various forms of raced, classed, and sex-oriented masculinities—as operating simultaneously and creating different effects in different contexts.
 
By applying multidimensional masculinities theory to law, this cutting-edge collection both expands the field of masculinities and develops new thinking about important issues in feminist and critical race theories. The topics covered include how norms of masculinity influence the behavior of policemen, firefighters, and international soldiers on television and in the real world; employment discrimination against masculine cocktail waitresses and all transgendered employees; the legal treatment of fathers in the U.S. and the ways unauthorized migrant fathers use the dangers of border crossing to boost their masculine esteem; how Title IX fails to curtail the masculinity of sport; the racist assumptions behind the prison rape debate; the surprising roots of homophobia in Jamaican dancehall music; and the contradictions of the legal debate over women veiling in Turkey. Ultimately, the book argues that multidimensional masculinities theory can change how law is interpreted and applied.

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