XY, on masculine identity / Elisabeth Badinter ; translated by Lydia Davis.

By: Badinter, ElisabethMaterial type: TextTextLanguage: English Original language: French Series: European perspectivesPublication details: New York, NY : Columbia University Press, ©1995Description: xiv, 274 p. ; 24 cmISBN: 023108434X (acidfree paper)Uniform titles: X Y, de l'identité masculine. English Subject(s): Men -- Psychology | Masculinity | Men -- Identity | Sex roleDDC classification: 155.3/32 LOC classification: HQ1090 | .B33 1995Summary: What is a man? What is a real man? Is masculinity a biological given or an ideological construction? In a work that does for male gender identity what Simone de Beauvoir's Second Sex did for women, renowned feminist philosopher Elisabeth Badinter seeks to define manhood at a time when sex role distinctions have become increasingly ambiguous, and when age-old stereo-types about masculinity have been shattered. Drawing on biological exemples, historical and sociological analyses, fiction, and biography, Badinter offers a groundbreaking account of the new man, which our century is in the process of inventing. Now updated to take into account the 1994 discovery of the female gene, XY delineates the shape of this new man. Woman, Badinter asserts, simply exists, while man must be constructed. As long as women give birth to males and the male gene XY develops within the female XX, this construction will persist. XY points out that girls are naturally initiated into "womanhood" through the biological process of menstruation. For boys, however, this initiation is seen not as natural process but as educative advancement, usually embodied in a societal rite of passage. But in the contemporary culture of disenchantment, where cynicism has largely drained such rituals of meaning, the transition has become uncertain. Exploring the shifting inscriptions of male identity in the popular imagination, Badinter examines changing role models for masculine identity - from cowboy in 1950s to Terminator in the 1990s, from flesh-and-blood man to machine. She suggests that men need new role models and that sufficient room needs to be left for the expression of male vulnerability, a psychic space that would accept attitudes and behaviors traditionally labeled as "feminine." This new model, Badinter argues, may reduce the profound effects of homophobia and misogyny. In the tradition of Betty Freidan's Feminine Mystique and Kate Millett's Sexual Politics, XY will appeal to a wide audience interested in the politics of gender construction. Already a number-one bestseller in France, Elisabeth Badinter's astounding presentation of male identity lays the foundation for the construction of a new masculinity. (book cover)
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155.332 B136x (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Available X20743

Includes bibliographical references (p. [243]-270) and index.

What is a man? What is a real man? Is masculinity a biological given or an ideological construction? In a work that does for male gender identity what Simone de Beauvoir's Second Sex did for women, renowned feminist philosopher Elisabeth Badinter seeks to define manhood at a time when sex role distinctions have become increasingly ambiguous, and when age-old stereo-types about masculinity have been shattered.
Drawing on biological exemples, historical and sociological analyses, fiction, and biography, Badinter offers a groundbreaking account of the new man, which our century is in the process of inventing. Now updated to take into account the 1994 discovery of the female gene, XY delineates the shape of this new man.
Woman, Badinter asserts, simply exists, while man must be constructed. As long as women give birth to males and the male gene XY develops within the female XX, this construction will persist. XY points out that girls are naturally initiated into "womanhood" through the biological process of menstruation. For boys, however, this initiation is seen not as natural process but as educative advancement, usually embodied in a societal rite of passage. But in the contemporary culture of disenchantment, where cynicism has largely drained such rituals of meaning, the transition has become uncertain.
Exploring the shifting inscriptions of male identity in the popular imagination, Badinter examines changing role models for masculine identity - from cowboy in 1950s to Terminator in the 1990s, from flesh-and-blood man to machine. She suggests that men need new role models and that sufficient room needs to be left for the expression of male vulnerability, a psychic space that would accept attitudes and behaviors traditionally labeled as "feminine." This new model, Badinter argues, may reduce the profound effects of homophobia and misogyny.
In the tradition of Betty Freidan's Feminine Mystique and Kate Millett's Sexual Politics, XY will appeal to a wide audience interested in the politics of gender construction. Already a number-one bestseller in France, Elisabeth Badinter's astounding presentation of male identity lays the foundation for the construction of a new masculinity. (book cover)

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